THE notorious political leader of the Regional Sentro De Grabidad, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (RSDG, NEMRC), Joedil Cayapos Virtudazo known as “Jerby” or “Janjalani”, was killed in a brief encounter against the soldiers of the 67th Infantry Batallion (67IB) operating under the 701st Infantry Brigade last December 26, 2023.
This comes following the commemoration of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) anniversary on the same day and a day before the two-day suspension of tactical offensives announced by the communist central command in all units across the country.
In a phone interview with the 10th Infantry (Agila) Division (10th ID), Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) spokesperson Major Mark Anthony Tito divulged that Virtudazo along with his comrades were slowly moving in the Southern Mindanao area of responsibility (AOR). This area has been declared insurgency-free as Virtudazo’s team has already been dismantled.
“Dako nga tao ni sya — political leader. Dismantled na ilahang grupo sauna pa maong karon galihok sila padulong sa atoa ug diha na sila na-encounter sa atoang kasandalohan samtang gahinay-hinay nga galihok (He was a vital person – political leader. Their group has already been dismantled so now they are moving towards our area until eventually captured and encountered by our army as they are moving) Maj. Tito said on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.
Virtudazo was killed in a 20-minute clash at Sitio Paradise, Barangay Santa Juana, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.
Meanwhile, his remains are now at Toni Funeral Services in Tagbina.
Brigadier General Allan D. Hambala, 10ID commander, commended the military’s action against the CTG’s plan to infiltrate the Davao Region.
“The death of Joedil Virtudazo, a notorious NPA leader in Northern Mindanao, is a significant blow against the NERMC. It surely weakens their leadership and their will to fight. Hence, once again I call on the remaining CNTs to abandon the armed struggle, and we will ensure your safety and well-being” Hambala said. DEF