A POLICE operation at a beach resort in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur yesterday morning ended up in a shootout which left a top New People’s Army official in Mindanao who is carrying a P6 million bounty on his head and his unidentified companion dead, Philippine National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas said.
Sinas, citing a report from Police Regional Office 13 director, Brigadier Gen Romeo M. Caramat Jr. identified the slain suspect as Alvin Luque alias ‘Joaquin Jacinto/Joaquin Cordero,’ said to be the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front Mindanao as well as member and former spokesman of the CPP-NPA-NDF’s Executive Committee in Mindanao.
Sinas said that at around 1:15 a.m. yesterday, police and military troops raided Hermenia’s Resort in Bgy. San Agustin Sur, Tandag City where they encountered the suspect who remains the subject of a P6 million monetary reward offered by the Department of National Defense and Department of the Interior and Local Government.
“Our troops were out to serve a warrant of arrest issued against the suspect but were met with a volley of gunfire prompting them to retaliate,” said the PNP chief.
Luque and a still unidentified male companion died on the spot. Recovered following the shootout were a chamber-loaded caliber .45 pistol with a loaded magazine, fragmentation grenade, 40mm high explosive, 500 rounds of cal. 7.62 ammunition for AK-47 rifle, a blasting cap, one battery, several improvised explosive device (IED) firing mechanisms, about a 15-meter long electric wire and several NPA flags and subversive documents.
The gunbattle came as Sinas said the PNP will strongly support the pronouncements of Duterte there would be no more Yuletide truce with the communist rebels. Thus, the PNP chief ordered a sustained offensive operation against the rebels during the period, including the service of warrants of arrests and search warrants of wanted NPA personalities and an all-out offensive against the guerrillas in their mountain hideouts in full support of the Armed Forces.
Sinas said they will be fully supporting Duterte’s decision to end the traditional Christmas and New Year truce with the CPP/NPA/NDF which has been accused by the Armed Forces of showing “incapacity for sincerity and being unfaithful to a covenant.”