TACLOBAN City – Three alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA), including a 14-year-old girl, were captured by the troops from the 93rd Infantry Battalion (93IB), while a soldier was killed in an encounter recently at Sitio Bonote, Barangay Rizal, Kananga, Leyte.
Reports disclosed that a 10-minute firefight ensued between a team of the Bravo Company of the 93IB, composed of an officer and 12 enlisted personnel led by Second Lt. Aldren Altameran, and more or less 10 NPAs believed to be remnants of the Front Committee-41, Sub-Regional Command (SRC) LEVOX.
The NPA group was reportedly led by Juanito Selleza, alias Tibor/Larry/Jay, and now under Island Committee Leyte conducting recovery works at around 6:50 p.m. of September 13.
The troops were acting on a tip that the alleged Communist rebels were seen speaking to a group of people, including children.
“As the government troops were closing in, the terrorists opened fire, prompting the former to seek cover and maneuver as they could not immediately return fire for fear that the children will be caught in the crossfire,” Maj. Bartolome Sayson, 802nd Infantry Brigade Civil-Military Operations Officer, said in a statement.
Three armed rebels, including the teenaged gril, were captured, and they yielded a caliber .45 pistol with magazine and ammunition, oral contraceptives, party-list ID cards, and other subversive documents.
One of them was identified as Romeo De Paz, a resident of Brgy. Kagbana, Burauen, Leyte. He had three standing warrants for rape in Burauen that was issued in April with no bail recommended.
Meanwhile, a casualty on the government side identified as Corporal Nicxon Tomenio was reported.
Kananga Mayor Matt Torres strongly condemned the incident. He assured that his administration will make sure that all Kanangahanos, particularly the youth, will not fall prey to the “terroristic acts of NPA.”
“Our youth should, at all times, be protected from any abuses. The recruitment by this terrorist group of our youth should never be tolerated and must be put to a stop,” Torres emphasized.
“Now, our forces from the Philippine Army have intensified their operations against NPA and have been monitoring their movements and that of the left-leaning groups that have supported the terroristic acts of NPA in the entire municipality because this shall not happen anymore,” he said.