A former member of the New People’s Army who allegedly became a criminal gang leader was killed when his group shot it out with security forces in Calubian, Leyte, the military reported.
Killed was Nicolas Ibañez alias “Botoy,” who formed a group involved in gun-for-hire and illegal drug activities, according to a report from the Army’s 802nd Brigade.
He still had direct links with the commander of the NPA unit operating in the province, the report said.
Members of the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, backed by soldiers under the 802nd Brigade, encountered Ibañez’ group Thursday, in Sitio Mahayahay, Brgy. Anislagan.
They were supposed to arrest Ibañez’ follower Marlon Mendoza for frustrated murder, when the former’s group opened fire on them, the military said.
Ibañez’s body was found after a 5-minute firefight while his followers, including Mendoza, managed to escape.
No casualty was reported among the government forces, who recovered suspected shabu, a caliber-.45 pistol, an AK-47 rifle, an M653 “Baby” Armalite rifle, as well as various magazines and ammunition.