BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Camp Gerona has confirmed the death of the top Communist leader in Negros island who is also believed to be a ranking cadre in the Visayas and a deputy in the Communist Party’s National Education Commission.
Ericson Acosta “is not a poet, songwriter or peasant organizer but the leader of a terrorist group that has sowed terror among the people,” Negros Army chief Innocencio Pasaporte told DNX a day after the Army reported two rebels were found dead in Makilo, a mountain community in the village of Camansi.
Pasaporte commands the brigade under which are the 94th and 47th Battalions that clashed with rebels in the uplands of Kabankalan City, 100 kilometers south of here.
He said Acosta was deployed by higher organs of the CPP to Negros in 2018 “because of the internal squabbles and problems inside the NPA organization and also due to the dwindling political cadres in Negros island.”
Acosta’s wife, Kerima Tariman, was killed summer of 2022 in Silay City, in an armed clash with soldiers.
The Army said she was the CPP’s secretary to the Northern Negros Front.
Pasaporte added villagers informed soldiers about the presence of the rebels who were reportedly forcing the people to give them food or money.
Acosta is the first regional cadre of the CPP to have been killed in battle a month after New People’s Army regional commander, Romeo Nanta, was slain in battle in the highlands of Himamaylan, a neighboring city of Kabankalan.