MANILA – A ranking Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) leader was killed in joint police and military operation in Baguio City early Friday.
Julius Soriano Giron, head of the National Military Commission of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and his two companions were killed after resisting arrest, prompting authorities to retaliate in a search warrant operation in Barangay Queen of Peace in Baguio City around 3:30 a.m.
Sketchy reports identified one of his companions as one Lourdes Tan Torres/Ma. Lourdes Dineros Tangco, a member of the CPP Executive Committee and while the other who remains unidentified is allegedly a security aide of the rebel leader.
Recovered in their possession were an M-16 rifle, a .45 caliber Colt and a .45 caliber Rock Island pistols, three hand grenades and a long magazine for the M-16.
The suspects were found in Giron’s property which was reportedly acquired and paid for in cash, a rare privilege reserved for NPA leaders and front organization heads.
Giron, who is wanted for rebellion, arson, and frustrated murder, is the overall chairman of the CPP-NPA, the position vacated by Benito Tiamzon when he was arrested in 2014.
In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. said the neutralization of Giron will further weaken the communist movement.
“The death of Giron will further rattle the communist terror group and its dwindling force for losing its strategic leader. Giron is much closer and more relevant in NPA operations than the absentee Jose Maria Sison and is thus more influential to their ranks. We commend our troops for the successful neutralization of this notorious NPA leader, landing a serious blow against the CTG (Communist Terror Group) and bringing us closer to our goal of ending the local communist armed conflict in the country,” he said. (PNA)