KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 15 February) – An alleged top female leader of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter with the Philippine Army and police in Makilala, North Cotabato on Friday, a police official said.
Makilala police chief Major Arniel Melocotones identified the suspected rebel as Juanita Gore Tacadao, also known as “Commander Ysay” and “Commander Mareng”.
She reportedly belonged to Guerrilla Front 51 of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee and operated in the mountains of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.
Melocotones said the operatives went to Sitio Lacobe in Barangay Malabuan, Makilala after receiving information of Tacadao’s presence in the area.
Around 10:50am on February 14, personnel from the Makilala police, together with some elements of the 39th Infantry Battalion under 2nd Lieutenant Alejandro Baliaga, went to Tacadao’s hideout to serve the warrants for her arrest for murder cases that happened in Matan-ao, Davao del Sur, sometime in 2015, he said.
The warrants were issued by Judge Magnolia Velez of Regional Trial Court Branch 20 in Digos City for Criminal Case Numbers 236, 237, 238, and 239 filed under NPS-XI-04-INV-14F-00202.
Melocotones said Tacadao and three of her companions attempted to escape upon seeing the raiding team. She allegedly fired at the raiding team while trying to flee.
The police official said Tacadao was hit in several parts of her body.
The operatives recovered from the scene a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, spent ammunition, a backpack containing several bomb-making materials and mines, a Winchester 7.62MM shotgun and an M14 Armalite rifle with serial number 1280702 with several rounds of ammunition.
Around 12:30 noon of February 14, police investigators arrived at the scene and later brought Tacadao’s body to the Collado Funeral Homes in Poblacion, Makilala where it underwent post-mortem examination.
Melocotones said a relative had claimed her body from the funeral parlor on Saturday.
He said Tacadao was the wife of a top NPA commander who also died in an encounter with government troops in Makilala sometime in 2017. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)