The civilians who tipped off the Philippine Army (PA) on the presence of rebel leader Leoncio Pitao alias Ka Parago in Paquibato will get the P5.6-million reward put up for his arrest, capture or mechanization.
The 57-year-old Parago has been wanted by law for several atrocities he was reportedly responsible for that included the abduction of Army General Victor Obillo and Captain Eduardo Montealto.
The Army also accused Parago as responsible for the attack of a religious group in Paquibato that resulted in the death of 11 persons in the mid-'80s; the 1989 massacre of Zabala family in Paquibato; the killing of Mabuhay barangay captain Rogelio Bernal and a certain Cesar Cabungcag in Paquibato; the ransack of Davao penal Colony (Dapecol) in April 2007; and, a string of cases such as arson, illegal establishment of checkpoint, grenade throwing, liquidation, ambush and landmining.
Parago has 17 standing warrants of arrest for a string of cases filed against him.
Declining to name the persons who gave the Army information about Parago’s whereabouts, Año said the civilians cooperated with them and provided the necessary information.
Since December, Año said they have been operating to get Parago dead or alive. He said he even created the special Task Force Minion solely for the purpose. The Task Force were teams from the 69th Infantry Battalion of the 103rd Infantry Brigade; the 6th SBC of the 2nd Scout Rangers; Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); law enforcement operations that have been collaborating since many months ago.
Año said the last two weeks saw encounters with Parago’s Pulang Bagani Command 1 (PBC) in Purok Manga, Paradise Embac in Paquibato on June 9; Purok 7 in Paradise Embac on June 14 in the house of peasant leader Aida Seisa and Purok Manga where two rebels were killed on June 17.
On Sunday, Parago and his medic aid identified as Kyell Hermoso from Zamboanga, was killed in an encounter with the Task Force Minion.
Parago had only two gunshot wounds - one in the stomach and neck that exited to the right side of the head, dismissing speculations that there was overkill.
The Army had been chasing Parago in Paquibato after receiving information of sightings from the civilians since December.
Año lauded his troops, saying the death of Parago would definitely and adversely affect the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Command.
Parago hogged headlines in 2009 when his 20-year-old daughter, Rebelyn, was abducted and tortured. Her body was found later in a ditch in Carmen, Davao del Norte. The NPA accused 12 soldiers of having committed the crime.