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4 rebel leaders slain in clashes

The military has confirmed the death of four top leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) during an encounter along the borders of Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental.

Major General Franco Nemesio M Gacal, division commander of the 4th Infantry Division of the Army, confirmed the information on Thursday.

Capt. Al Anthony Pueblas, chief of the division’s Public Affairs Office, said the confirmation came about four days after a series of clashes between the soldiers and the rebels belonging to The North Central Mindanao Regional Committee which resulted in the death of 10 rebels, eight of them turned over to Gingoog City for identification.

The rebel leaders who died were Ian Dela Rama, front secretary of the committee; Rio Amor Yuson, finance officer of the unit; Paquito Namatidong, platoon leader; Peter Mansaginda Pinakilid, political officer; and several others.

Gacal said the death of the leaders and some of their members was the result of the campaign of the military under the 402nd Infantry Brigade.

“Dela Rama was responsible for numerous human rights violations. He was also held liable and responsible for the killing of some lumads in the province of Agusan del Norte,” Gacal added.

He urged the remaining rebels to surrender and avail of government programs for them.
“To the remaining members of the New People’s Army, we know that you are tired and exhausted running away from the operating troops,” Gacal said.

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