ON February 10, at seven in the morning on Saturday, the 93rd Infantry Battalion under the operational control of the 802nd Infantry Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army clashed with rebels in Barangay Tinag-an, Albuera, Leyte.
According to the report from the 93rd IB, they have been receiving reports from civilians about the presence of NPA terrorists in Albuera, Leyte, engaging in extortion activities in the area.
The rebel terrorists are also allegedly killing their former colleagues who have surrendered to the government.
After tracking the location and movements of the rebels, the patrol troops of the 93rd IB immediately conducted an operation, resulting in a 15-minute exchange of gunfire.
The rebels then fled, leaving behind the lifeless bodies of their comrades.
The deceased rebels were identified as Rolando Caballera, alias “Chow,” a member of the Executive Committee considered a high-value target, and Crispolo Agunos Jr., alias “Brix,” a member of Team 2, Platoon 2, both under the IC-LEVOX, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee.
The Philippine Army also recovered two Cal 5.56 M16 rifles, a Caliber .45 Pistol, personal belongings, and several documents.
Caballera or alias “Chow” is considered the mastermind behind the killing of former rebels who surrendered to authorities.
There are criminal warrants for his arrest, including 15 counts of murder issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18 in Hilongos, Leyte.
According to BGen. Noel Vistuir, the commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, the death of the two notorious NPA terrorists is the result of the military’s firm dedication to prevent the recovery efforts of the remnants of IC-LEVOX in their community.
“The death of these two notorious NPA terrorists is a result of the firm resolve and commitment of our people to prevent the recovery efforts of the remnants of IC-LEVOX in their community,” according to BGen. Noel Vistuir Commander, 802nd IB, PA.
Vistuir also conveyed his condolences to the remaining families of the two NPA members and promised them a decent burial.
Meanwhile, due to the weakening of communist terrorist groups in the country, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is gradually shifting its focus to the external security of the Philippines.
This was declared by Comm. Roy Vincent Trinidad of the Philippine Navy, who serves as the spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea.
“We should understand what our president is saying that we are now shifting the orientation of the Armed Forces, from internally-oriented, to being externally-oriented. Why? Because our communist insurgency is really coming to an end. So we could now focus on the greater task of defense and security with an outward orientation,”Trinidad said.