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3 suspected NPAs killed in Laguna encounter

Three suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed during an encounter between communists and police forces on Tuesday in Kalayaan, Laguna. 

Information from CALABARZON police on Wednesday identified the killed rebels as Dioscorro "Ka Termo Cello, the supposed platoon leader of Platun Laguna-Quezon, Melito Glor Command; a certain Ka Omar/Efren; and one Ka Danny/Mar/Rey. 

Authorities said Cello, who is also the alleged secretary general of Cesar Batrallo Command, was the subject of an arrest order with a P3.8 million reward for anyone who could provide information that will lead to his capture. 

Police said the firefight transpired in Sitio Balat Kahoy in Barangay San Antonio. Authorities encountered more or less 40 communist rebels while they were scouting for a sheltering area. 

Authorities were able to seize at the encounter site three M16A1 rifles, one M16 baby Armalite with M203 grenade launcher, an improvised explosive device Claymore mine, a 20-meter firing line and blasting cap, 16 long and 12 short M16 magazine with ammunition, a rifle grenade, two improvised explosive device small cylindrical hand grenades, eight large battery series, three jungle bolos, five ammo rigs, a Communist Party of the Philippines flag, one National Democratic Front flag, one NPA flag, a handheld radio with charger, a flashlight, some mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, external hard drive, and some subversive documents. 

CALABARZON police chief Police Brigadier General Vicente Danao vowed that the police would continue to be persistent in their operations against communist rebels.

Danao also stressed the importance of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which aims to give former rebels who will surrender to the government a chance at a better life.

“Take advantage of the programs of our government for the former rebels. Kakampi niyo po kami. Tama na, nawa'y magising na kayo sa mga mali at baluktot na idelohiya na pinapalaganap ng komunistang CPP-NPA," Danao said.

Following the incident, Phiippine National Police chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa directed a hot pursuit operation against NPA rebels in Laguna. 

"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," Gamboa said. 

Gamboa also reminded all police regional offices to be more vigilant and  conduct preventive and proactive operations in coordination with the military against communist groups. —KG, GMA News