LEONARDO Pitao, a top leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) who uses the nom de guerre Kumander Parago, was killed in an encounter with government forces in Davao City Sunday afternoon.
Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano, commander of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division said Pitao and an unidentified companion were slain at Purok 9, Barangay Panyalom, Paquibato District in Davao City.
Pitao was with about 10 groups of NPA guerrillas that included his close-in security when they engaged a task force composed of members of 10th ID, 6th Scout Ranger Regiment, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) and the 69th Infantry Battalion.
This group, according to Ano was organized solely to go after Pitao.
“We really focused on this operation. Parago was very notorious. He has 17 warrants,” Ano said.
Pitao was the commander of the Pulang Bagani Command 1 or PBC 1. Ano said almost all the encounters, ambuscades and killings in the region were carried out on orders of Pitao.
Pitao was also tagged in the 1999 abduction of Brig. Gen. Victor Obillo, then commander of the Army’s 55th Army Engineering Brigade and his logistics officer, Capt. Eduardo Montealto.
“He was like Tirso Alcantara and Ka Roger (Gregorio Rosal) combined. That was his image here,” Ano said.