MANILA - An alleged leader of the communist New People’s Army was killed in a clash with army soldiers Friday evening in Zamboanga del Norte, the military's Western Mindanao Command said.
The military identified the slain rebel as Leonardo Nabong, alias Otik/Berto/Bonie, a former secretary and current 1st Deputy Secretary of the rebel group's Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee.
According to 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Nabong was an Executive Committee member of the Komisyon Mindanao (KOMMID).
He also has existing warrants of arrest for multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property, and rebellion issued by the Regional Trial Court, 10th Judicial Region Branch 36 in Calamba, Misamis Occidental with a reward of P6.15 million.
Nabong’s identity, the military said, was confirmed by former rebels who surrendered to authorities.
Wesmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said troops from the 44th Infantry Battalion were conducting combat operations when they encountered around 10 armed fighters of the Guerilla Front Flex A of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee at Purok 2, Barangay ZNAC, Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte at 6:15 p.m.
A 45-minute exchange of fire ensued before the rebels withdrew.
Soldiers also recovered firearms, ammunition and other items. .