Military says Mindanao's top communist rebel killed in Davao de Oro

Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2022 08:09 PM

MANILA - The top leader of the New People's Army in Mindanao has been killed in an encounter with government forces in Davao de Oro, the military said Thursday.

Menandro Villanueva, alias "Bok", died during a clash Barangay Libudon, Mabini town on Wednesday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command said.

Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, EastMinCom chief, said in a statement that Villanueva was the longest serving and most wanted communist rebel in Mindanao, being one of the founding members of the NPA.

Villanueva was wanted for such charges as multiple murder, double frustrated murder, arson, robbery with intimidation, and rebellion, said Almerol.

His death is a major blow to the NPA and it will take the communist rebel group time to replace such a seasoned leader, added the military commander.

"As a result of this, we expect more communist terrorists to either yield to the troops or continue to suffer defeats under an inexperienced leader in the coming days," Almerol said. 

The EastMinCom said it had so far neutralized 17 top NPA members and recorded 545 surrenders since the first quarter of 2021. 


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