A ranking leader of the New People’s Army and two of his companions were killed when government forces conducted an operation in President Roxas town, North Cotabato, police reported.
Among those killed was Buenaventura Dawal alias “Atan,” a member of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee’s (SMRC) Executive Committee and former secretary of the Sub-Regional Committee 5, according to a report from the local police.
Also killed were his armed companions Dennis Nogollos and an alias “Alombro.”
A separate report from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said another rebel identified as Patrick Nadong alias “Chris,” a former political instructor of the underground movement, eluded arrest.
Members of the President Roxas Police, backed by intelligence operatives, other police units, and the 72nd and 90th Infantry Battalions, carried out the operation around 5:30 a.m. Monday, in Sitio Marinangao, Brgy. Sarayan.
They were implementing an arrest warrant for murder but occupants of the house where Dawal was opened fire, prompting policemen and soldiers to retaliate, the report said.
Dawal and two of his companions were killed in the 10-minute firefight that ensued.
Operatives recovered an M16 Rifle, a Carbine rifle, caliber-.45 pistol, two improvised bombs, several magazines and ammunition, flash drives and memory cards, cellphones, a tablet computer, camera, and three rolls of suspected marijuana, police said.