Saturday, April 1, 2023

66 NPA rebels surrender in Zambo Sur, Sibugay

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 31, 2023): 66 NPA rebels surrender in Zambo Sur, Sibugay (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Sixty-six New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces as they withdrew their support from the communist group, a top police official said Friday.

Brig. Gen. Neil Alinsañgan, director of Police Regional Office-9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), said 57 of the rebels surrendered in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, and the remaining nine in Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay.

During a combined surrender ceremony on Wednesday, they took their oaths of allegiance administered by Zamboanga del Sur Governor Victor Yu at Camp Abellon which houses the provincial police office in Pagadian City.

Alinsañgan said the NPA surrenderers belonged to the Guerrilla Front Big Beautiful Country of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee.

They turned over two .38-caliber revolvers and a Garand rifle.

Alinsañgan said the PRO-9 and Army’s 1st Infantry Division facilitated the surrender.

3 NPA leaders killed in separate military ops in Agusan Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 31, 2023): 3 NPA leaders killed in separate military ops in Agusan Sur (By Alexander Lopez)

END OF THE LINE. The photo of New People’s Army leader Emmanuel Balano “Salem” Anub Sr. who was killed in an encounter in Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur on Thursday (March 30, 2023). Two other top leaders, identified only as Dano and Zig, also died in a skirmish in the same village on March 27. (Courtesy of 4ID)

BUTUAN CITY – Communist rebels operating in the Caraga Region lost three of its key leaders during a series of military operations by the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) on March 27 to 30.

The military operations were conducted to protect the communities in the region from the atrocities of the outlawed New People’s Army (NPA) that celebrated its 54th founding anniversary on March 29.

In a statement Friday, the 4ID identified the high-ranking NPA leader killed as Emmanuel Balano “Salem” Anub Sr., secretary of the NPA Sub-Regional Committee Westland who served in a concurrent position as the secretary of the Weakened Guerrilla Front 21 under the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Anub was killed during an encounter on Thursday in Sitio Hugmakan, Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

“Based on the report of the 401st Infantry Brigade based in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, the troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion encountered around 20 NPA rebels at the mountainous area of Sitio Hugmakan,” the 4ID said.

The skirmish lasted for 25 minutes which resulted in the death of Anub and the seizure of an AK-47 rifle with ammunition, the statement added.

Meanwhile, an encounter in Sitio Vertudazo, Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City on March 27 also led to the killing of two ranking NPA leaders in the region.

They were identified only as a certain Dano, the regional finance officer, and Zig, the regional medical staff.

Recovered at the encounter site were an M4 carbine rifle, a modified Carbine rifle, ammunition, and other war materials.

"The ever-increasing support that we are gaining from the local government units, other government agencies, and the communities is the key to this enormous achievement,” Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, the 4ID commander, said.

He stressed that the 4ID will continue their operations against the remnants of the NPA in their area of responsibility without letup.

Abu Sayyaf bandit nabbed in Zambo manhunt op

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 1, 2023): Abu Sayyaf bandit nabbed in Zambo manhunt op (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

CAUGHT. Suspected terrorist Salip Yusop Habibulla is arrested in Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City on Friday (March 31, 2023). The suspect is believed to be a member of the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group. (Courtesy of Naval Forces Western Mindanao)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – An Abu Sayyaf involved in the 2017 kidnapping of a son of a town mayor in Zamboanga del Norte was arrested on Friday, a top military official said.

Rear Admiral Donn Anthony Miraflor, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said on Saturday Salip Yusop Habibulla was arrested in Mangal Drive, Barangay Baliwasan, this city.

Seized from Habibulla, a member of the Sulu-Based Abu Sayyaf Group, were a cellular phone and an identification card bearing the name "Murhan Alih Ismael".

Miraflor said Habibulla, 30, a resident of Barangay Pasil, Indanan, Sulu, was involved in the September 2017 kidnapping of Jelster Ed Quimbo, son of then-mayor Eddie Quimbo of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte.

Jelster Ed was released on Dec. 31, 2018, and is now the incumbent mayor of Labason town.

Miraflor said Habibulla was turned over to the custody of the local police.

He added that Habibulla’s cellular phone will be subjected to mobile forensic analysis to determine why he was hiding in Barangay Baliwasan.

Habibulla was arrested by joint operatives of NFWM, Task Force Zamboanga, Zamboanga City Police Office, and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.