An NPA high-ranking commander and his son were killed in an encounter with troops of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, under the 402nd Infantry Brigade, in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte at 11:30 a.m. on May 11.
Lt. Col. Francisco Molina, the 23rd IB commander, identified the father as Gerardo “Hyde” Sembrano alias Bong, the leader of the Front Operational Command, Guerrilla Front 4A of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
Meanwhile, His son was identified as Alvin Sembrano alias Benot, a member of the NPA’s liquidation unit or Sparu. Both were killed during a five-minute clash between the guerrillas and the soldiers.
Troops recovered one .45 caliber pistol, one .40 caliber pistol, seven magazines with bullets, and three mobile phones.
Molina said that Bong was responsible for numerous crimes, atrocities, harassment, and extortion activites in Caraga. He had pending arrest warrants for murder, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, multiple attempted murder, robbery with frustrated homicide, and arson.
Bong also led the attack on detachments in San Mateo, Butuan City in 2018 and Dulag Patrol Base in Butuan City in 2017. He also reportedly led the team in torching a construction equipment in Barangay Bit-os in Butuan City in 2017.
Likewise, he said Benot participated in several killings, extortion, and harassment in Butuan City and Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.
Molina thanked the residents for providing them with information that led to the deaths of the two rebels.
“The lost of lives could have been prevented if they chose to abandon armed struggle and go back to the folds of the law,” he said.
“The death of alias Bong provided relief to many. The farmers can now have higher harvest since they will not be forced to give anymore to the said group, ” he added.
“The investors can put up their business in the area without fear of extortion. The contractors can proceed freely with their projects. And the people can move freely without being threatened,” he further said.