A MOST wanted New People’s Army (NPA) member in Bicol region was killed in a gunfight with agents of the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group (PNP-IG) out to arrest him in Barcelona, Sorsogon shortly after noon yesterday, said PNP-IG director, Colonel Warren F. De Leon.
In a report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas, de Leon identified the slain suspect as Michael Bagasala alias ‘Ka Teban/Mike,’ an active member of the CPP-NPA Bicol Regional Party Committee operating in Region 5.
De Leon said that following a month-long surveillance, members of the Regional Intelligence Unit 1, with the support of the Police Regional Office 5, served a warrant of arrest for murder issued against the suspect in his residence in Bgy. San Antonio, Barcelona at 12:50 p.m. yesterday.
However, the suspect fired shots at the officers who were forced to retaliate, killing the later on the spot. Recovered from the slain suspect was a .45 caliber pistol with several live ammunition.
De Leon said the suspect has been identified as a member of an NPA group headed by one Pedro Estrabella. The suspect’s family is said to be known for supporting the rebel movement with his father Domehina killed in a military operation in 2018.
The slain suspect’s brother and brother-in-law were also identified as active NPA members in Bicol.
De Leon said the suspects were believed involved in the killing of an Army soldier in Bgy. San Antonio in 2018 as well as two clashes with troopers from the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion in Bgy. San Ramon in Barcelona and in Sitio Anahawan, Bgy. Togawe, Gubat.
De Leon said a warrant of arrest for murder with no bail recommended was issued against the suspect by Judge Leonor Romeo of the Gubat Regional Trial Court Branch 54 on November 4, 2004. The same suspect is also accused of killing of a local resident identified as Ricardo Esteves on June 7 last year, the official added.