TWO New People's Army (NPA) terrorists, including a ranking leader, were killed, while another one was captured and two civilians were wounded following a clash early Thursday, April 22, in Zamboanga del Sur, officials said.
Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the 53rd Infantry Battalion troopers and policemen were in intelligence-driven law enforcement operation against six NPA rebels when the clash broke out around 5 a.m. Thursday in Guinlin village, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur.
Vinluan said the firefight ensued as the NPA rebels opened fire, prompting the troops to retaliate.
Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, 53rd Infantry Battalion commander, said the firefight resulted in the deaths of Felimon Suazo, whose aliases are Jonathan Cruz and Ka Nathan; and James Cordero, who carries the aliases of Ka James and Ka Tito.
Wounded and captured was Elvie Doctor, whose aliases are Ka Bangkat and Ka Nanang. She is an executive committee (ExeCom) member and propagandist of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) and political instructor of the Main Regional Guerrilla Unit (MRGU) and has warrants of arrest for murder and murder with direct assaults.
Suazo is a political instructor, finance officer and a member of the ExeCom of the NPAs WMRPC, as well as Squad 1 member of the MRGU.
Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said that Suazo has existing warrants of arrest for multiple frustrated homicides, four counts of attempted murder and theft.
Cordero is a member of the MRGU Squad 1.
Herrera said the two civilians were wounded as they were hit by stray bullets. They are in stable condition at a hospital in Pagadian City.
The troops recovered at the clash site one M-16 Armalite rifle attached with M-203 grenade launcher, one 9-mm pistol, two caliber .45 pistols and ammunition, as well as propaganda materials. (SunStar Zamboanga)