NPA leader slain in encounter in Bukidnon

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 29 February) – An alleged high-ranking leader of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter around 3 p.m. Friday with government forces in Damulog, Bukidnon, the military said.

The 19th Infantry Battalion identified the alleged rebel as Eduardo Lembang Arnado alias Commander Choi, 58, who reportedly operated in Bukidnon and North Cotabato.

Arnado was a resident of Sitio Spring, Barangay Salasang in Arakan, North Cotabato, and was said to be the first deputy secretary of NPA Guerilla Front 53 of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Arnado also functioned as finance officer of the guerilla front, the 19th IB said.

Some civilians in Sitio Lamoro, Barangay Sampagar in Damulog town tipped off Arnado’s presence to the military, it said.

It added Arnado and 20 of his men went to Lamoro for a meeting about the construction of a dam in the area.

Elements from the 19th and 3rd Battalions then went to the area and engaged the rebels in a firefight. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)