High-ranking NPA leader killed in clash with military in Compostela Valley

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – A high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a clash with government troops in Compostela Valley on Wednesday, the military said.

The NPA official, identified as Marjun Taba or “Hiker,” was killed in a brief firefight with forces from the 10th Infantry Division and personnel from the Philippine National Police Laak.

The military said Taba resisted arrest when government troops served him six warrants of arrests in his safe house in Barangay Kapatagan.

Taba earlier “refused negotiations” with local government units and government troops for his peaceful surrender, the military said.

“Notwithstanding the local government, our units on the ground, and his family’s efforts for him and his NPA cohorts to surrender, they continued to be with the terrorist group and continuously terrorize communities in the boundaries of Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, and Davao del Norte,” Lt. General Felimon Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command was quoted as saying in a statement.

“We are offering them to peacefully surrender, if they refuse and continue with their violent means, we will employ all legal means to run after them. They can never run away from the long arm of the law, more so with the strong resolve of the government to end the armed conflict,” he added.

Taba was the deputy secretary of the CPP-NPA’s Sub-regional Committee 4, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee. He faced arrest warrants for murder, attempted murder, rebellion, serious illegal detention, double murder, and double frustrated murder.

Military recovered from the encounter site Taba’s caliber .45 pistol, and two International Humanitarian Law banned anti-personnel land mine.

The report comes after the arrest of another top NPA leader Jaime Padilla while seeking a medical treatment in a hospital in San Juan City.

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