DND chief: Death of IS, NPA leaders ‘big blow’ to terror groups in South


Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday that the successive neutralizations of the top commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao and the leader of the local front of the Islamic State (IS) in the country dealt a “big blow” to the two main terrorist groups in the country.

“The neutralization of Jorge ‘Ka Oris’ Madlos and Salahuddin Hassan through the sustained internal security operations of our troops is a big blow to these local terrorist groups, and a manifestation of the AFP’s [Armed Forces of the Philippines] commitment to secure the people against the threat of these lawless elements, especially in Mindanao,” Lorenzana said in a news statement issued through defense spokesman Arsenio “Popong” Andolong.

Madlos, the top rebel commander in Mindanao and spokesman for the communist group’s National Operations Command  (NOC) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao, was killed on Saturday in the mountainous part of a village in Impasugong, Bukidnon during combined operations by Air Force and Army forces under the operational command of the 4th Infantry Division (4th ID).

The military kept track of Madlos and his men after villagers reported their presence in the area after the group reportedly carried out teach-in and indoctrination among the villagers.

On the other hand, Hasssan, former head of the Al-Khobar terrorist group and who assumed the reign of the Daulah Islamiya  (DI) after the death of Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan in Sulu last year, was killed by Army troops in Maguindanao on Friday. The DI, based in Mindanao, is the local front of the IS in the country.

Lorenzana commended the AFP over the successful separate operations in Bukidnon and Maguindanao, which resulted in the deaths of Madlos and Hassan.

The defense chief also called on Filipinos to support the government’s effort to end the operations of terrorist groups and spur development, especially in the countryside.

“As the NPA and other local terrorist groups become weaker due to the efforts not just of the security sector but of the whole nation, we call on the public to continue supporting our bid for peace and progress in our country,” Lorenzana said.

4th ID commander Major Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. and Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command commander Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol awarded on Monday those involved in the operation against Madlos during a ceremony at the 4th ID headquarters in Cagayan de Oro City.

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