LAGUNA policemen early morning yesterday shot and killed an alleged ranking member of the New People’s Army operating in Calabarzon region as they were pursuing a group of heavily-armed guerrillas who attacked officers seeking shelter in Kalayaan municipality last Tuesday, Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brigadier General Vicente D. Danao Jr. said.
Danao identified the slain suspect as Mario Caraig alias ‘Ka Jetro/Dan,’ described as the NPA Secretary-General in Cavite and Batangas provinces.
The Calabarzon police director said members of the Laguna Police Provincial Office’s Intelligence Unit were pursuing the rebels who previously fought it out with members of the PRO4-A Regional Mobile Group last Tuesday when they encountered the group of Caraig in Sitio Buho in Barangay San Antonio past 12 a.m. yesterday.
Caraig was later shot in the encounter and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival by an attending physician. Several pieces of evidence were reportedly recovered from the slain suspect’s possession.
The clash erupted as the Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa ordered massive hot pursuit operations against a group of NPA gunmen who fled after engaging members of the PRO4-A RMFB in a gunbattle in Bgy. San Antonio last Tuesday.
Three of the rebels, one of them said to be carrying a P3.8 million bounty on his head, were killed in the Tuesday firefight.
“The Philippine National Police condemns in the strongest terms the latest act of hostility of the New People’s Army in Laguna amid the health crisis we are facing right now, Gen. Gamboa said even as he commended the RMFB 4-A troops for standing their ground after coming under heavy fire from the leftist gunmen.
Brig. Gen. Danao said that the guerrillas apparently were in a sabotage mission when they attacked the members of the RMFB4-A who were scouting for a shelter in the area amid their ongoing anti-criminality and anti-insurgency campaign.
The PRO4-A director said three of the gunmen identified as Dioscorro Cello alias ‘Ka Termo’ and two others known only as ‘Ka Omar/Efren’ and ‘Ka Danny/Mar/Rey’ were killed in the hour-long firefight.
He said Cello was identified as a platoon leader of the NPA Platun Laguna-Quezo under the Melito Glor Command which was described as the main regional guerilla unit in Southern Tagalog region and also the general secretary of the NPA Cesar Batrallo Command.
Danao said that Cello is the subject of an arrest order from the government which has also issued a P3.8 million reward for his capture.
Danao said recovered at the scene of the clash were four assault rifles, a grenade launcher, several improvised explosive devices with triggering device, radio transceivers and hundreds of rounds of assorted live ammunition.