An alleged leader of the outlawed New People's Army was killed on Sunday during an encounter between government security forces and communist rebels in Toril District, Davao City.
According to Captain Jerry Lamosao, chief of the Army 10th Infantry Division's (10ID's) public affairs office, soldiers belonging to the 3rd Infantry Battalion had a 30-minute firefight with around 25 members of the NPA's Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 3 after obtaining information from a concerned citizen that rebels were extorting money and recruiting new members in Barangay Baracatan.
The killed NPA commander was identified as Viva Albert "Ivy" Abenua, 37, resident of Ilang-Ilang, San Mariano in Agusan del Sur.
No casualties were reported on the side of the government troops.
The military was able to recover one M16 rifle, one AK47 rifle, four units of detonator switch, five magazines of AK47, two magazines of M16 short full loaded, one magazine of M16 long full loaded, one stethoscope, one blood pressure monitor, one bandoleer, one box of medicine, six bottles of Efficacent oil, one vial of valium, one vial of tramadol, one vial of anespin, two vials of anticholinergic, two wallets, two cedula, assorted identification cards, notebooks, subversive documents and Palawan receipt in the area.
Authorities have brought Abenua's body to the funeral home.
Meanwhile, Major General Noel Clement, commander of the 10th ID, hailed the soldiers for doing their duty of maintaining peace and order in the community.
"I commend the troops for their untiring commitment to duty in bringing peace in our area of responsibility and weakening enemy's will to fight," Clement said.
"The CNT's leadership is collapsing through the death of alias Ivy, commanding officer of Pulang Bagani Company 3. His subordinates no longer care for him upon his death," he added.
Clement also expressed gratitude to the residents for their support to the government forces. — Anna Felicia Bajo/RSJ, GMA News