A RANKING leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a shootout while a female NPA member was arrested in separate law enforcement operations in Mindanao, the military said Thursday, February 6.
The military identified the slain NPA leader as Manuel Magante, who carries the aliases Jino and Saldo, and the arrested member as Jenefer Aguhob, 40, whose aliases are Ace, Jen, and Joy.
Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) public information officer, said Magante was killed in a shootout around 11 a.m. Wednesday at Rosales Street in San Ignacio Village, Butuan City.
Balagtey said the shootout ensued as Magante resisted and fought with joint military and police operatives, who were about to serve warrants of arrest against him.
He said Magante has standing warrants of arrest for the crimes of robbery with homicide and robbery issued by the court of Nabuturan, Davao de Oro.
The Eastmincom officer said the operatives recovered from Magante were a caliber .45 pistol with seven rounds of ammunition; a motorcycle; a cellular phone; and a laptop.
Magante is the finance officer of the Regional Operations Command and at the same time the Head of Intelligence Special Operations Group of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), he added.
He said Magante was also involved in numerous violent atrocities targeting military personnel and civilians, to wit: murder of Datu Ruben Labawan in 2015; abduction of Jail Warden Coquilla of Compostela in 2015; abduction and murder of Loreto, Agusan del Sur Mayor Dario Otaza and his son Darryl Otaza in Butuan City in 2015; disarming of the peace and order personnel of Barangay Mahungcog, Magpet in 2016; and burning of a heavy equipment of a construction firm in Barangay Callawa, Davao City in 2018.
Brigadier General Generoso Ponio, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said Aguhob was arrested after a warrant of arrest was served against him around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at her residence at Purok 3 in Buenavista Village, Oroquieta City, capital of Misamis Occidental.
Ponio said Aguhob has standing warrant of arrest for the crime of murder with no recommended bail issued by the court in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.
He said Aguhob is the finance and liaison officer of the Sub-Regional Military Area II (Monterosa) and chairperson of Karapatan and Makabayan bloc.
Ponio said Aguhob is also a contact of the following Western Mindanao Regional Committee (WMRPC) officers: Ma. Luz Ranan of Guerilla Front Sendong and wife of former Deputy Secretary of the Region, Rommel Salinas; former NPA finance officer Rowena Rosario Delambaca Tabanao; and former NPA logistics officer Leonardo Jacotin. All are now incarcerated.
He added that the arrested NPA member was sighted visiting a certain Ka Beto at Ozamiz City Jail and attending his court hearings.
“Our troops, together with our partners from the PNP (Philippine National Police) continuously conduct operations against the communist terrorists to prevent them from instigating hostilities in the communities,” said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief.
Sobejana urged the remaining members of the WMRPC to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law and “be one with us in our peace building mechanisms.” (SunStar Zamboanga)