A MEMBER of the communist New People’s Army was killed during the conduct of pursuit operations against the rebels who abducted and killed two barangay officials in Masbate early this week, Philippine National Police PNP) Chief Debold Sinas said Wednesday evening, January 20, 2021.
Sinas said Special Action Force (SAF) commandos were engaged in a firefight against at least 15 members of the NPA led by a certain Ka Jesmar, allegedly the vice-commander of the Masbate provincial committee, at around 5 a.m. on Wednesday, January 20, in Barangay Eastern Capsay, Baleno, Masbate.
One communist rebel was killed. Troopers recovered an M-16 rifle, improvised explosive device (IED) components, remittance receipts, documents, P15,000 cash and medical supplies.
About 30 minutes later in Sitio Revil, Barangay Bat-ongan, Mandaon, troops from the 5th Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Masbate Provincial Mobile Force Company engaged another group of communist terrorists in a brief gunbattle. They recovered an M-16 rifle.
Sinas said the clashes were part of the operations against the NPA rebels led by a certain Kris and Star, who took hostage three village officials of Barangay Cabas-an in Aroroy, Masbate on Tuesday morning.
“Pursuit operations will continue without let-up against these criminals who murdered two public servants in the barangay,” he said.
Two hostages were executed while another managed to escape.
Police and military forces have established checkpoints along the national road connecting the towns of Mandaon, Aroroy and Baleno leading to Masbate City.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Masbate Station has deployed a coastal patrol composed of four seacraft to prevent fleeing terrorists from escaping by land and sea. (SunStar Philippines)