ZAMBOANGA

NPA leader dies in clash with government forces

A HIGH-RANKING leader of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed in a joint law enforcement operation in the hinterlands of Compostela Valley province, top military official announced Thursday.

Lieutenant General Felimon Santos, Jr., Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief, identified the slain NPA leader as Marjun Taba alias “Hiker” the deputy secretary of the NPA’s sub-regional committee 4 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (SMRPC).

Santos said that Taba was killed in a brief skirmish Wednesday in the latter’s hideout in the village of Kapatagan, Laak, Compostela Valley.

Santos said the skirmish ensued when Taba resisted and fought in out with the joint team of soldiers and policemen who were about to serve warrants of arrest against the NPA leader.

Santos said Taba adamantly refused and resisted despite efforts have been exhausted by the local government unit, his family and the 1001st Infantry Brigade for his peaceful surrender.

He said Taba has standing six warrants of arrest for the crimes of murder, attempted murder, rebellion, serious illegal detention, double murder, and double frustrated murder.

“Notwithstanding the local government, our units on the ground, and his family’s efforts for him and his NPA cohorts to surrender, they continued to be with the terrorist group and continuously terrorize communities in the boundaries of Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, and Davao del Norte,” he said.

“We are offering them to peacefully surrender, if they refuse and continue with their violent means, we will employ all legal means to run after them. They can never run away from the long arm of the law, more so with the strong resolve of the government to end the armed conflict,” he added.

The military official said the joint team of soldiers and policemen recovered beside Taba’s were a caliber .45 pistol, and two anti-personnel land mines.

Santos said Taba is the 34th NPA's ranking and high value individual to be neutralized for 2019. (SunStar Philippines)


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