COMPOSTELA VALLEY -- Communist rebels killed Friday a mine worker, who is allegedly a former member of New People’s Army (NPA), and abducted two others in this province.
Captain Emmanuel Garcia, public affairs officer of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said the incident took place around 9 p.m. in the village of Calabcab, Maco town.
Garcia identified the slain mine worker as Felix Valiente Jr., who was shot dead when he resisted the NPA rebels.
Abducted were Valiente's brothers -- Jamil and Jimboy -- who were seized at gunpoint by six members of the NPA, Garcia said.
He said the Valiente brothers are mine tunnel workers in the village of Pamintaran in Maragusan town.
Pamintaran is a new mining area in the gold-rich province of Compostela Valley.
Garcia said residents of the area reported that the slain miner was a former NPA member who refused to rejoin the rebel group while convincing the other two victims to do the same.
Garcia said that early this year in Tagum City, the communist rebels also killed Dionesio Baslan Jr., a rebel returnee.
In the past months, the NPA admitted carrying out several killings targeting civilians, soldiers conducting peace and development projects, unwary policemen and unarmed militiamen, to include village officials and elders of indigenous communities.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, before leaving her office in June, has ordered the military to end the four-decade insurgency issue, one of Asia's longest, in Mindanao against communist rebel groups.
About 60 NPA guerillas have killed 11 soldiers and wounded seven others during a recent three-hour gunbattle near Mansalay township in Mindoro Oriental province.
Several rebels may have been injured, military officials said.
The military said the recent casualty was the Army's biggest loss in a single clash so far this year. Last month, rebels killed five soldiers and wounded eight others in a battle in the northern Philippines.
"We'll be conducting an investigation if there was possible tactical blunder in the operation," Army Lieutenant General Roland Detabali said. "It might have not been well-supervised."
Peace talks between the rebels and the government brokered by Norway collapsed in 2004 after the rebels accused the Philippine government of instigating their inclusion on US and European terrorist blacklists. (Bong Garcia/BOT/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)