Five persons believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), including two ranking officials, were killed in a firefight with government security forces on early Thursday in Baras, Rizal, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Brig. Gen. Alex Rillera, Army 202nd Brigade commander, said the firefight resulted after soldiers and police were sent out to arrest Antonio Cule alias “Dads,” the executive committee member and head of Sub-Regional Military Area 4A’s (SRMA 4A) finance staff
Identified as among those killed were an alias “Onli,” intelligence officer of the NPA’s SRMA 4A, and “Sandra,” a staff at the SRMA 4A’s “Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri.”
The identities of the three other slain persons are being verified, the military said.
The firefight took place after soldiers and policemen carried out an operation in Barangay San Juan at around 2:30 a.m. to serve an arrest warrant for frustrated murder against Cule alias “Dads.” However, a group of individuals opened fire at them, forcing the soldiers and police to return fire, the military said.
The latest firefight between soldiers and NPA rebels in Rizal comes after the Communist Party of the Philippines said it was not interested in a ceasefire with the government during the holidays. The CPP also ordered the NPA to be ready to fight back against government forces and be ready to celebrate its 52nd founding anniversary this December 26. SOVEREIGNPH