Another ‘rebel’ slain in Bukidnon skirmish

AN ALLEGED communist rebel was killed in a gun battle with government forces in San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon, on Friday, May 4.

The slain member of the New People’s Army (NPA) has yet to be identified and was turned over to Datu Juliano Lipangga, a tribal leader of Sitio Victory of said village.

Troops under the 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) encountered the undetermined number of communist insurgents belonging to the Guerilla Front-4B of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).

The military seized an M16 rifle at the clash site.

"I am deeply saddened that another deceived Filipino citizen died in an encounter with my troops. This is what NPA terrorists do all the time! They recruit members and when an encounter happens, they leave their recruited member behind dead or wounded," 8IB commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana said.

The military said the operation was launched in response to reports from residents who complained the presence of the NPA combatants in the area.

Reports also reached the 8IB that NPAs are asking Permit to Campaign (PTC) and Permit to Win (PTW) from Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) candidates.

Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, Commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, said they will establish grounds and verify reports pertaining to the PTC and PTW scheme of the Maoist guerillas.

"We affirm that our soldiers will continue to uphold the peaceful undertaking of the Barangay and SK elections. We will be extra vigilant to avoid any chaos that the NPA terrorists may do to disrupt the election," Vinoya said.

Giving of donations, goods, or in kind to a group during election period to advance his or her candidacy is an election offense as stipulated in Article 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Major General Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said PTC is still extortion and repugnant in all possible ways.

"Candidates who will be paying PTC will violate the election code and these candidates should not win. I call on the candidates to never give-in to the demands of the NPA by paying PTC and PTW. Further, I encourage voters to choose wisely and not vote for candidates who are paying PTC and PTW," Villanueva said.


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