An alleged high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed while three other alleged rebels were captured in a firefight in Quezon, Bukidnon.

Joint forces of the 100rd Infantry Brigade and the Quezon Municipal Police Station engaged Maoist guerrillas in a gun battle in Purok 8 in Barangay Butong.

Authorities identified the slain rebel leader as alias “Rica” and those captured as alias “Sopia," alias “Kyle”, and alias “Joshua”. Another rebel identified as alias “Del” escaped but he surrendered later to government forces.

Recovered from them were two M16 rifles with an attached M203 grenade launcher, AK47 rifle, M1 Carbine rifle, caliber .45 pistol, anti-personnel mine, hand grenade, two 40mm high explosives, subversive documents, and personal belongings.

1003rd Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Marion Angcao, said they were believed to be remnants of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC). Alias “Rica” was said to be the leader of the Weakened Guerrilla Front 57.

Angcao added that alias “Rica” also has several arrest warrants for murder, multiple attempted homicide, and for alleged violation of the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

10th Infantry Division Commander, Major General Allan Hambala, extended his sympathies to the family of the slain rebel.

"It is truly tragic that they have been deceived by the CTG into participating in a false revolution. Nonetheless, the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army stands resolute and prepared to employ its force against threat groups perpetuating terrorism," Hambala said.