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Alleged IP rebel leader slain in Army encounter in Bohol

AN INDIGENOUS People (IP) leader in Davao Region, along with five other communist rebels, was killed in a series of clashes with soldiers of the 47th Infantry battalion under the 3rd Infantry Division of Visayas Command (VisCom) in Bohol.

The military identified him as Kerlan Fanagel, the chairperson of Pasakaday Salugpungan Kalimudan (Pasaka/Confederation of Lumad Organization in Southern Mindanao Region), who hailed from Barangay Poblacion, Malapatan in Sarangani Province.

Fanagel was previously identified as Rogelio Jorillo from Minglanilla, Cebu based on the Office ID recovered from his body, according to the report.

However, his true identity was later verified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). 

Accordingly, Fanagel was one of the six NPA fatalities in the encounter between the 47th Infantry battalion and remnants of the dismantled Bohol Provincial Committee (BPC), Komite Rehiyonal ng Negros, Cebu, Bohol at Siquijor (KRNCBS), in Bilar, Bohol last Sept. 7.

“This is a clear manifestation of the deceptive tactics employed by the CPP-NPA. They infiltrate the different sectors in our community to include our Indigenous People, organize them, and use them to go against the government,” Lieutenant General Benedict M. Arevalo, the commander of the Visayas Command emphasized.

Fanagel was also a council member of Katribu, a national IP organization; Kalumaran in Mindanao; and Sandugo, an alliance of Moro and IP organizations. 

He was a member of the Regional Urban Committee of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Command, the group responsible for organizing indigenous peoples for mass protests in the urban centers in Mindanao and in Metro Manila, the military further said.

Arevalo added, “The presence of Fanagel here in the Visayas validates our assessment that the CPP-NPA is exerting efforts to recover their lost mass bases in the region which was cleared from NPA-infestation by our Community Support Program (CSP) Teams with the support of the local task force to end local communist armed conflict.”

He then reaffirmed their commitment to never allow the resurgence of the CPP-NPA in the region, “We will not allow the CPP-NPA from regaining their foothold anywhere in the region.”

“The people themselves have spoken. They don’t want anything to do with the terrorist group. As such, Team VisCom will sustain our momentum and push the CPP-NPA further to the point of their eventual defeat. Thus, we call on them to return to the folds of the law now, while they still have the chance.”

On May 12, 2015, Kerlan Fanagel, along with other 14 leaders of different organizations, were filed charges by the CIDG for kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and human trafficking for evacuating hundreds of indigenous people from Talaingod, Davao del Norte to Davao City.

Meanwhile, the body of Kerlan Fanagel was claimed by his brother Kernie Fanagel on Sept. 12 at Baguio Funeral Homes in Carmen, Bohol.


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