COMBINED elements of police and military neutralized a New People’s Army (NPA) leader in an anti-illegal drugs operation that turned into an encounter Monday in Negros Occidental.
Weann A. Sandag, Civil Military Officer (CMO) of the 15th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said the encounter occurred on Monday along Kilometer 109, Bgy. Dancalan, Ilog.
Sandag identified the high –ranking NPA leader as Mitchel Fat alias “TM”, “EPI”, and “LAKAS” Squad Leader, Squad 1, SYP Platoon, CN2, KR-NCBS and a known High Value Individual (HVI) of the Central Negros Front.
Fat was the leader of the group behind the slay of four cops in Ayungon, Negros Oriental last July 18, 2019.
“The neutralization of another Communist NPA Terrorist High Value Individual is another setback to the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist in Negros. The 15IB is steadfast in its mandate in defeating terrorists in Negros Island and being a more relevant ground force committed to end Local Communist Armed Conflict in the CHICKS area,” said Lt. Col. Erwin Cariño, commanding officer of the 15th Infantry Battalion.
BGen. Noel Baluyan, Commander, 302nd Infantry Brigade, lauded the 15IB troops for neutralizing the NPA leader and further directed the unit to sustain its anti-insurgency efforts.
Baluyan also reiterated his call to the remaining members of the communist-terrorist group to return to the folds of the law to avoid death. “You still have time to surrender. And, the best time to yield and start a new is now,” he said.