NPA commander’s son killed by troops in ComVal firefight

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley Province — A ground commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported last Thursday that one of three rebels killed in a series of encounters in Mangayon, this province is a son of a dreaded New People’s Army (NPA) commandere.

In his report to Maj. Gen. Leo Joggy Fojas, area command chief of the AFP’s Southern Mindanao 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, Col. Allan Luga, commanding officer of the Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade, stated the dead rebel was identified as certain “Pitoy Castillo,” of Pasian, Monkayo town, Compostela Valley.

Luga said Pitoy is a son of Rudy Castillo, alias “Commander Jason,” said to be commander of the “Pulang Bagani Command 5” of the CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Luga said that Pitoy died in a gun battle with combat troops in Mangayon, Compostela town, this province. The encounter lasted for almost two days, he said.

He said two other fatalities are still unidentified. “Unaccounted number of seriously wounded rebels were carried away by the fleeing communist insurgents,” he said.

Col. Rolando Bautista, spokesman of the 10th Division, and Maj. Rodrigo O. Sosmena, chief information officer of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom), said battalions of the 1001st Brigade were still pursuing the rebels in the mountains of ComVal

They said the first encounter happened about 4:30 p.m. last May 12.

Bautista and Sosmena said the first encounter resulted in the death of one rebel and the seizure of an M-14 rifle.

At 6 p.m., some 20 rebels clashed with the pursuing soldiers, resulting in the death again of another NPA rebel and confiscation of an M-16 rifle.

Last Tuesday at about 7:30 a.m., another fierce gunbattle erupted in nearby municipality of Montevista.

Another rebel was also killed.

The spokesmen said no government soldier was killed or wounded in the three encounters.

As this developed, helicopter gunships and attack war planes were dispatched to extend air cover for the pursuing ground troops. (ManilaBulletin)

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