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PIA Press Release

NPA commander wounded, captured in Laak

Davao City (2 February) -- A New People's Army commander wanted for multiple murder, frustrated murder, robbery with homicide and theft was wounded Saturday, January 30, at around 5 pm in the afternoon in an encounter with Army troops in Compostela Valley Province.

Elements of the Army's Special Forces Team were on their security patrol at Barangay Sarmiento, Laak, Compostela Valley Province when they chanced upon a group of armed men believed to be members of the NPA. An exchange of fire ensued immediately resulting to the slightly wounding of one Army trooper on the government side, and the death of two and seriously wounding of two armed NPAs.

One of the wounded rebels expired while being treated by government troops in the area, while the other rebel, identified as Elizalde Caņete a.k.a. Jinggoy, was brought out of the area by helicopter to the government hospital in Davao City. Three high powered firearms, one hand grenade, one handheld Kenwood radio and documents were also recovered from the possession of the rebels.

Information obtained by this Command states that Caņete, the leader of the Sub Regional Guerilla Unit 3, SMRC is facing several criminal charges. He was also reported to be responsible for other atrocities in ComVal area.

"I would like to commend our troops for their gallantry in action, their discipline, and their strong adherence to the International Humanitarian Law. They fought fearlessly but after the firefight, as true professionals of the Army, they showed their compassion to help and save the lives even of those who were trying to harm them," Major General Carlos Holganza commander of the 10th Infantry Division said in a statement.

In a press statement released to the media, Maj. Gen. Holganza said "We commiserate with the death of the three misguided NPA rebels and we will reach out to their families so that they would be given a decent burial. We have reached out to the local government authorities to assist us in this. This incident could have been avoided if only they have chosen the peaceful path to attain their personal objectives.

The government values human lives hence, the best medical attention is being provided to save the life of the wounded NPA. Consistent with our message, you have a professional Army that cares. It knows when to fight and when to stop fighting. Finally, we call on the Communist Party of the Philippines to stop recruiting and arming civilians to fight for their political objective so that no more lives will be wasted." (10th ID) [top]

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