BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The Army command in Western Visayas has racked up a kill rate of one rebel a week last year, including 12 top leaders in Panay and Negros islands and bringing the total number of “neutralized” rebels to 142 in the entire region.
The division said in a news release that this achievement is a result of its Focused Military Operations (FMOs) coupled with the targetted Civil Military Operations and what it described as “the overwhelming support” of the member-agencies of the National Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The 142 rebels “neutralized” were broken down into the following: 71 surrendered, 49 killed in armed encounters with sodiers, 14 arrested, and eight captured.
The release from the Division Public Affairs Office added:
“Twelve (12) of the neutralized personalities are top leaders of the NPA terrorist organization. Notable among them were the death of the following high-ranking NPAs: Reynaldo Bocala alias Russ/Bading, Chief, Regional Finance Bureau of Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay;
Karima Lorena Tariman alias Ella/Emem, Secretary, Northern Negros Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (NNF, KR-NCBS); Marilyn Badayos alias Monet, Finance Officer, (NNF, KR-NCBS); and Joven Ceralvo alias Lex, Commanding Officer, Front Operational Command and Deputy Secretary of Southern Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay.”
We quote the remaining parts of the release in full below:
MGen Benedict Arevalo, Commander, 3ID, also attributed the said success to the vigilance and cooperation of Western and Central Visayas people, as well as the continuous collaboration with concerned government agencies under the mechanism of the NTF-ELCAC in the region.
He likewise commended all the Spearhead Troopers for their exemplary performance and contribution in winning the fight against the CPP-NPA Terrorists while urging them to maintain the gains of the Division’s peace drive guided by its campaign mantra “Loved by the people, feared by the enemy.”
The 3ID Commander also reiterated his persistent reminder to the remaining NPAs to surrender. “The government is always open to those rebels who would want to go back to the folds of the law, we urge them (NPA) to lay down their arms while they still have time”, he said.