NPA intel officer killed in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 17 Aug) – A fugitive intelligence officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) who was tagged as behind a string of attacks in parts of Mindanao was killed in a joint law enforcement operation in Polomolok town, South Cotabato on Monday afternoon.

Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commanding officer of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, said Tuesday suspect John Nebris Omega – also known as “Parts,” “Bords,” “Albay,” and “Pards” – was slain in an encounter with Army and police personnel around 1:15 p.m. in his house in Block 4, Londres Village, Barangay Cannery Site.

He said the brief firefight ensued after the suspect opened fired at the operatives who were about to serve an arrest warrant for kidnapping, serious illegal detention and robbery issued on April 22, 2019 by the Regional Trial Court Branch 14 in Davao City.

The operation was led by elements from the Army’s 5th Special Forces (SF) Battalion, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and Polomolok municipal police station.

“[He] was tracked down by intelligence operatives hiding in his house,” Galido said in a statement.

Lt. Col. Zandro Alvez, commanding officer of the 5th SF Battalion, said Omega was fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire, was then rushed to a hospital but failed to get there alive.

Recovered from the suspect was a caliber .45 pistol loaded with five live ammunition, while various “terrorist propaganda materials” were found at scene, he said.

A report from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) said the suspect was an intelligence officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA’s Komisyon Mindanao, a former member of the Regional Operations Command-R2, an intelligence unit of the NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), and served as the squad special operations group of SMRC.

He was allegedly involved in various crimes, among them the raids on Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA) detachments in Sitio Kamaruyan, Brgy Tagugpo, Lupon, Davao Oriental in 2004 and 2005; Magpet police station in North Cotabato in 2005; Dangcagan police station in Bukidnon in 2007; and Banay-Banay police station in Davao Oriental in 2008.

The suspect was also listed as part of the groups that had attacked a police station in San Isidro, Davao Oriental; CAA detachment in Luz Village, M’lang town in 2010 and a detachment in Luna Sur in Makilala, North Cotabato; the police stations of Governor Generoso and Lupon in Davao Oriental and New Corella in Davao del Norte; and against Army personnel securing a packing house of Sumifru Corporation in Luna Sur, Makilala, North Cotabato.

He was reportedly involved in the attack on the Tampakan municipal police station in South Cotabato in 2009, and the abduction of Lingig, Surigao del Sur Mayor Henry Dano in 2011.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of 6ID and Joint Task Force Central, said the operation was part of their efforts to curb lawlessness, criminality, and terrorist threats in the region.

“The death of John Nebris Omega is a big loss to the communist terrorist group. Not only will it add up to their leadership vacuum but will also have an adverse effect on the already dwindling morale of their members,” he said.

Uy added that the NPA rebels in the area have long been “on the run” following the series of setbacks suffered from government operations. (MindaNews)