LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Government troops captured a suspected leader of the New People’s Army in Catanduanes in an encounter Friday morning, an Army commander in the Bicol region said Saturday.
Colonel Arthur Ang, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, identified the alleged NPA leader in a telephone interview as Lorenzo Jimenez “alias” Enzo, 33, a native of Gigmoto who was believed operating in the eastern side of Catanduanes. Friday’s encounter occurred on the outskirts of Gigmoto.
Ang said that at around 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jimenez and five other NPA rebels were cornered after a five-minute firefight with troops from the 83rd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Sioron, six kilometers away from Gigmoto and 52 kms from Virac, the provincial capital.
Captain Edmar Gambot, leader of the government troops, said in his report that the captured rebel had raised his hands in surrender. “I instructed my combat medics to check for wounds upon his capture,” said Gambot.
Troops seized an Uzi sub-machinegun from Jimenez while an M16 armalite rifle was recovered during clearing operations.
Ang directed pursuit of the five fleeing rebels and turned Jimenez over to the Gigmoto Municipal Police Office.