Government troops killed a rebel commander in a clash with the communist rebel group New People’s Army in the southern Philippines, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Captain Raul Villegas, of the 10th Infantry Division, said five soldiers were also wounded in the fighting that erupted in the village of Aliwagwag in Davao Oriental’s Cateel town. He said troops also recovered the automatic rifle of the slain NPA leader who was identified only by his alias Ka Ryan.
He said the soldiers, who are members of the 67th Infantry Battalion, were patrolling in the village when it ran into a group of rebels and a firefight ensued.
General Ricardo Rainier Cruz 3rd, chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, urged members of the NPA to surrender and avail of the military’s Guns for Peace Program, which offers amnesty and financial assistance to rebels for them to start a new life.
“There is no better way, but the road to peace and what we offer [to rebels]is a chance to live a new life with their family and loved ones. I call on rebels to come down from the mountains and return to the folds of the law and that government is here to really help you start a new life,” Cruz said.
The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a separate state in the country. AL JACINTO