NPA accuses Philippine Army of killing 3 civilian women in Masbate fire fight

Three civilian women were killed by the military in an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Madarag, Brgy. Jagnaan, San Jacinto, Masbate last Monday, August 21, the Communist guerrillas reported.

In a tribute to its casualty in the fire fight, the Jose Rapsing Command (JRC) of the NPA said troops of the Philippine Army’s 96th Infantry Battalion  (96th IBPA) killed civilians Jelyn Guis Dejomo (56), Sheryl Salazar Dejomo (29) and Divina Lubiano Ajitan (60).

“They were indiscriminately killed by the military despite the fact that they were clearly civilians,” JRC-NPA spokesperson Luz del Mar wrote in their statement published on the Communist Party of the Philippines website.

The report the three victims were civilians is part of its JRC-NPA’s tribute to Eddie Rosero, a member who was killed in the fire fight.

Del Mar added 13 96th IBPA troopers have also been killed in the encounter.

While silent on whether it suffered casualties, the 96th IBPA said in its own announcement that Rosero was a top leader killed with three others in the said encounter, referring to the three women.

The Battalion also said one other NPA member, a Ramon Bartolata, was captured and is being treated at the Ticao District Hospital.

The military unit added the August 21 clash was the third between themselves and the NPA since August 18.

NPA fighter all his adult life

The JRC-NPA said Rosero, who went by the name Ka Star, was a most respected Red commander of the revolutionary movement in the province.

“The enemy’s desperation to hound and malign his name is not surprising,” del Mar said.

Del Mar said Rosero was a Masbate native who opposed mining operations in their province.

Rosero joined the NPA as a full time member in 1998 and has led in several successful operations against the military and the police in his 25 years in the revolutionary army. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Reds in Masbate report successful attacks ahead of NPA’s 54th anniversary

GENEVA, Switzerland—The New People’s Army (NPA) in Masbate said its successful military operations in the towns of Placer and Dimasalang are its contributions to the celebrations of their 54th founding anniversary tomorrow, March 29.

The NPA’s Jose Rapsing Command (JRC) in the province said its coordinated guerilla actions last Wednesday, March 22, in Barangay Locso-on in Place and Barangay Gain in Dimasalang resulted in the deaths of 10 government soldiers and the wounding of not less than seven others.

The fatalities belonged to the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, augmented by troops from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

JRC-NPA spokesperson Luz del Mar in a statement said they belie Joint Task Force Bicolandia’s claims the government soldiers were ambushed near communities and civilian spaces, in turn accusing government troops of attacking schools “in a desperate attempt to cover up their defeat.”

Del Mar said JRC-NPA their offensive was a reaction to the ongoing focused military operations of their enemies using many drones, helicopters and soldiers.

She added that their coordinated attacks were meant to punish the Philippine Army for its attempts to recruit Masbate students to join the paramilitary Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).

In a post on its Facebook page, the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army said only two soldiers and two police officers were wounded in the firefights.

In a statement by Acting Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Isidro Purisima subsequently posted on the same military social media page, he said that a government soldier was killed while two others were wounded.

Meanwhile, the Inquirer reported that another soldier was killed in a firefight with the NPA in Masbate Monday, March 27.

Corporal Antonio Parreno Jr. was killed after the 2nd Infantry Battalion figured in a five-minute exchange of gunfire with some 12 communist rebels in Barangay Villahermosa in Cawayan town, the report said.

Del Mar said their series of attacks against government troopers is in defense of Masbate citizens suffering from the intense militarization of their province.

“These tactical offensives prove that the claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP and CAFGU of their strategic victory against the revolutionary movement are false,” del Mar added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NPA: 11 gov’t soldiers dead in Masbate ambush

The Jose Rapsing Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) claimed 11 government soldiers were killed in the ambush it conducted Friday, August 3, at Sitio Manga, Barangay Mactan, Cawayan town in Masbate Province.

In a statement, Luz del Mar, spokesperson of the rebel army command, confirmed an earlier Philippine National Police report that three were killed on the spot but said eight more died at a hospital in Masbate City.

Three more state troopers were injured, she said, adding NPA guerrillas recovered two assault rifles and ammunition as well as documents containing valuable information from the combined Philippine Army (PA) and Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) troopers.

“The fire fight lasted for 20 minutes and ended when the surviving government soldiers fled, leaving behind their dead and injured comrades,” del Mar said in Filipino.

Last Friday, the Masbate Provincial Police Office reported that soldiers of the Philippine Army detachment based in Barangay Del Carmen in Uson town were conducting combat patrol operations when they encountered NPA fighters in the area.

Del Mar said that their successful ambush was in defense of civilians who suffer human rights violations by soldiers of the PA’s 2nd Infantry Division and the 22nd CAFGU Battalion operating in the area.

She cited the case of of the four motorcycle drivers massacred on August 3, 2015 as among the atrocities allegedly committed by government soldiers in the area.# (Raymund B. Villanueva)