Nine persons believed to be members of the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) were killed when police units in Tapaz in Capiz and Calinog in Iloilo, served warrants of arrest against them.
Another 17 were arrested by the police force, also believed to be NPA members.
The operations were meant to serve 28 search warrants, said Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for Western Visayas chief Lt. Col. Gervacio Balmaceda in a press conference held in Tapaz municipal police station and carried live through Facebook by several local radio stations.
“They were alleged as members of the CTGs based on information gathered in the area even before the application of the search warrants. They were in possession of firearms in the area,” he said.
“The nine died when they fired at positions of law enforcement officers,” Balmaceda added.
Seven of those arrested were from Calinog. Three suspects were from Barangay Masaroy and four from Barangay Garangan.
In Tapaz, those arrested were from Barangays Roosevelt with four, Tacayan with two, and one suspect each from Lahug, Aglinab, Acuña, and Nayawan.
The suspects who died were from Barangays Lahug with three, two in Layawan and one each from Tacayan, Aglinab, Acuña, and Daan Sur.The operations were also part of the regular law enforcement activities, which aim to curb the proliferation of firearms and explosives in Western Visayas, he said. SOVEREIGNPH