Suspected NPA rebels gun down ex-commander

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – New People’s Army (NPA) rebels allegedly shot dead a former ranking official of the communist movement in Negros Oriental on All Saints’ Day. Colonel Marion Sison, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion, said that former NPA vice commander Elmo Taburada, succumbed to three gunshot wounds.

Taburada, from NPA’s Sentro de Gravidad Platoon of the Komiteng Rehiyon Sentral Bisayas-Southeastern Front in Negros Oriental, surrendered to the Army early in 2012 and subsequently lived a “normal life” with his family based in Avocado. Army officials condemned the attack by the rebels, calling it a “desperate move” by the insurgents who continue to threaten its former members and to inspire fear among residents, Sison said.

The incident, however, is an indication that the government is succeeding in its anti-insurgency campaign, the officials said. Sison said that the NPA rebels, who left a note at the crime scene, killed Taburada for turning over his firearm upon surrender, encouraging others to surrender and helping the Army in hunting down other members of the rebel group.

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