The North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) of the New Peoples Army was believed to have been wiped during the five-day clashes against the troops of the 401st Infantry Brigade in Andap Valley Complex in Surigao del Sur on May 14-19.
Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad, the 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said that 20 of the NPAs top leaders were killed during the series of encounters. He said the military operations were launched on the complaint of the indigenous communities regarding harassment and forced recruitments.
“This plan involves tactical offensive to kill IP leaders unsupportive of their ideologies, as well as the recruitment of adventure-seeking minors to sustain their terroristic schemes of murders, robberies, and extortion,” Trinidad said.
He said the NPA is also taking advantage of the confusion caused by the pandemic by ramping up their propaganda against the government. The documents that soldiers recovered from encounter sites and the overrun camps would support their theory about an existing plot by the Communist Party of the Philippines.
They also recovered two laptops, supposedly owned by Myrna Sularte or Mariang Malaya, the secretary of NEMRC, and Alvin Luque alias Joaquin Jacinto, the spokesperson of National Democratic Fronts Komisyon Mindanao. The laptops also yielded material evidence on the activities of the NPA.
Statements of former rebels also showed that Sularte and Luque were leading a planning session when they were caught by surprise by the military. Those who attended the session were:
1) Myrna Sularte aka Malaya, the secretary of NEMRC;
2) Alvin Loque aka Joaquin Jacinto, the spokesperson of KOMMID;
3) Edilberto R Daval aka Bong Waco, commanding officer (CO) of the Regional Operations Command, NEMRC; 4) Felizardo Valdez aka Adu or Jing, secretary of the Sub-Regional Committee Southland and also acted as the spokesperson of NEMRC;
5) Julieta Tawide Gomez aka Tina, secretary of Regional White Area Committee;
6) Rolando Leyson, secretary of the Sub-Regional Committee (SRC)-16 and head of the Hini-usang Command;
7) Judel Virtudazo aka Janjalani, CO of Regional Sentro-De-Gravidad (RSDG);
8) Imelda Rambuyod aka Sandara Sidlakan/Aloy/Kubing, the 1st deputy secretary and spokesperson of SRC Westland;
9) Adonis Maglasang aka Do, the head organizer of NEMRC;
10) Marcelino Navarro aka Marsing, the head propagandist of NEMRC;
11) Alias Tarzan, the ordnance expert of NEMRC;
12) Pablo Logatiman aka Lucas, the 1st deputy secretary of SRC-16;
13) Alias Del, the CO of Sub-Regional Sentro-De-Gravidad, SRC Westland;
14) Alias Rodel, secretary of Guerilla Front-21;
15) Alias Jared or Wolf, ordnance staff of SDG-16, GF-16;
16) Vergie Valdez aka Dalay, finance officer of GF-19;
17) Leonida Sanchez aka Susay, staff of GF-19;
18) Elizabeth Monter aka Amihan, political officer and spokesperson of GF-19;
19) Alfie Masinatao Bada aka Momoy, the vice CO of Regional Headquarters;
20) Lorna Pamutongan Gomez aka Momay or Danah, the medical staff of RHQ.
Trinidad said these wanted terrorists and a number of their cohorts were believed to have been killed or severely wounded after the series of clashes. The operating troops continue to clear several encounter sites, which proved to be challenging due to the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather.
Meanwhile, one unidentified body recovered found at the hinterland area of Sitio Kiskis, Barangay Siagao, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur was turned over to the local government officials of San Miguel for identification.
Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio M Gacal, the 4ID chief, said, Considering the losses suffered by these terrorists, the collapse of NEMRC is imminent. They were wrong to consider Andap Valley complex as a safe haven.”