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Finance officer of NPA slain in alleged shootout

A top finance officer of the New People’s Army in the tri-boundary of Davao-Caraga-Northern Mindanao regions was killed in an operation in Barangay 15, San Ignacio, Butuan City on Feb. 5.

He was identified as Manuel G. Magante alias Jino/Saldo, finance officer of the Regional Operations Command and the head of the Intelligence Special Operations Group of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

In a report reaching the Eastern Mindanao Command, Magante reportedly tried to fight the arresting interagency team who was about to serve the warrant of arrest against him for robbery with homicide (CC Nr. 5762) and robbery (CC Nr. 5718) cases issued by Executive Judge Hilarion P. Clapis Jr. of the 11th Judicial Region, Branch 3 of Nabuturan, Davao de Oro.

The arresting officers recovered one .45 caliber pistol with serial number 738406; one magazine with seven bullets for .45 caliber pistol; one XLR 200 Honda motorcycle with plate number MO 4686; one unit Nokia cellphone; and one Lenovo laptop.

The military said Magante was also involved in numerous violent atrocities targeting military personnel and civilians, including the murder of Datu Ruben Labawan in 2015; abduction of Jail Warden Coquilla of Compostela in 2015; abduction and murder of Loreto, Agusan del Sur Mayor Dario O. Otaza and his son Darryl O. Otaza in Butuan City last 2015; disarming of the peace and order personnel of Barangay Mahungcog, Magpet in 2016; and burning of heavy equipment in Barangay Callawa in Davao City in 2018.

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