The suspected New People's Army rebel killed in a recent encounter with combined troops of 79IB and government militiamen in Brgy. Camalanda-an, Cauayan, turned out to be a leader of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the NPA in southern Negros, Lt. Col. Harold Anthony Pascua, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.
Pascua said the victim, Tata Sarona was responsible for the liquidation of former CAFGU member Rene Villar in Brgy. Camalanda-an, and two other CAFGU members in barangays Poblacion and Camindangan, all in Cauayan.
The 79IB also recovered an M-14 assault rifle from the encounter site in Brgy. Camalanda-an, Cauayan, aside from the cadaver of Sarona, that was left behind by his fleeing comrades.
Pascua also claimed that Sarona, a resident of Brgy. Inayawan, Cauayan, was also linked to the killing of a policeman and was among those who participated in the raid of an Army detachment in Toboso town.
Recently, the 79IB figured in four armed skirmishes with suspected New People's Army rebels in Cauayan, Candoni and Hinobaan, that resulted in the killing of two other rebels and an Army soldier, and the capture of another NPA member, who was released later.
Col. Francisco Delfin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the series of encounters in southern Negros took place due to information from the populace about the presence of rebels in their areas.
On Dec. 23, the NPA will start observing its 12-day suspension of military operations until Jan. 3 next year, as announced by the Communist Party of the Philippines, that will mark its 47th founding anniversary on Dec. 26.*GPB
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