THE military claimed that the two suspected communist insurgents killed in a clash with government forces last Tuesday, November 28, were high-ranking assets of the New People’s Army (NPA).
According to the 401st Infantry Brigade, the two slain communist rebels identified only as Alias Urbano and alias Abdul were top-ranking officers of the NPA's North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).
Colonel Andres Centino, 401st Infantry Brigade commander, said Urbano was one of the longest cadre and expert in making improvised explosive device (IED).
The military also said Urbano used to train the different NPA front committees in manufacturing IEDs, while Abdul was known to have been in the armed group for 10 years and was transferred from Guerilla Front 30 to the ordnance unit for the past four years.
The military said they were among the group that planned to conduct an ambush and lay landmines to the operating soldiers but was foiled when an hour-long gun battle erupted at the hinterlands of Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur, thus resulting to the deaths of Urbano and Abdul.
Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said their identities have been known through fellow NPA members who returned back to the folds of the law.
The military said the NEMRC leadership's priority is to secure its spokesperson and secretary known as alias Malaya including other cadres.
Martinez said at least two NPA fatalities were recorded, seven firearms seized and six NPA fighters have voluntarily surrendered to the different military troops within the 4ID jurisdiction since the collapse of peace talks.