KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato – A ranking leader of the New People’s Army and his four followers were killed in an encounter in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato last Tuesday.
Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, Army 601st Infantry Brigade commander, said military and police operatives were serving a warrant of arrest against Jaime Hebron, regional ordnance officer of the NPA-Southern Mindanao Region, at his hideout in Sitio Kibang, Barangay Ned, when they were fired at by the suspects.
A 20-minute gunbattle ensued, killing Hebron and four other rebels.
Troops recovered one M-16 rifle, Carbine rifle, .45 caliber pistol, 9mm caliber pistol, and several components for Improvised Explosive Devices.
Police said Hebron is facing string of criminal cases, including murder and extortion for his involvement in NPA-led atrocities in Bukidnon and Davao.
Police Col. Jemuel Siason, South Cotabato police director, said the suspects had sought refuge in the area to evade the ongoing military offensive in Bukidnon and Davao region.
He said the suspects disguised as farmers when they arrived in the area two months ago.
Police said Hebron was identified by former NPA surrenderees who immediately informed the authorities on his presence in the area.
Police said the suspects had planned to launch atrocities, including bombings and attacks, on government targets.