New People’s Army leader killed in Mindoro clash

SECURITY troops yesterday morning shot dead a ranking New People’s Army leader in a gunbattle in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro.

Slain during the clash in Sitio Uraray, Bgy. Waygan in Mansalay municipality around 5 a.m. yesterday was Rustom Simbulan alias “Ka Bobby/Silang/Bayani”, 48, a platoon leader of the NPA’s Kilusang Larangang Guerilla Central.

Simbulan had a P500,000 bounty for his capture.

Police Regional Office 4-B director Brig. Gen. Tomas Apolinario Jr. said Simbulan was killed in an encounter between the insurgents and members of the PRO4-B Regional Mobile Force Battalion led by Col. Rome Estepa and the Oriental Mindoro Police Provincial Office under Col. Thomas Frias Jr.

Apolinario said Simbulan was wanted on multiple murder and frustrated murder charges. Warrants for the suspect’s arrest were issued by the Calapan  City Regional Trial Court.

According to Apolinario, Simbulan was wanted for his involvement in the burning of heavy construction equipment of the Sta.  Clara Hydro Electric Power Plant in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro last February 26 and the foiled raid at the PMI Aggregates in Gloria, Oriental Mindoro, which resulted in the death of a police personnel.

Recovered  from the slain suspect were one cal. .45 Colt pistol, two magazines with 15 live ammunition, one cellular phone and a bag containing assorted medicines, a hammock and  clothes.

Troops are tracking down the other guerrillas.

The official said a technical analysis and investigation of the recovered cellphone will also be conducted by experts.