CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 14, 2012) – Three people were killed on Saturday in a fire fight between security forces and communist rebels in Bukidnon province in the southern Philippines, officials said.
Officials said New People’s Army rebels killed a tribal leader, Melody Delamansi, and a wounded a policeman in an ambush in the town of Cabanglasan.
Delamansi was with four policemen when rebels opened fire on their vehicle at around 9.30 a.m. in the town’s East Poblacion village, according to Major Eugenio Osias, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division.
He said troops and policemen sent to rescue Delamansi’s group caught up with the fleeing rebels two hours later and a running gun battle ensued that killed two NPA gunmen.
“Troops killed two rebels and recovered their weapons, including an automatic KG9 machine pistol and a fragmentation grenade,” Osias told the Mindanao Examiner.
He said the NPA had targeted Delamansi in the past because of her anti-communist advocacy and that two of her brothers were murdered by rebels.
“She was a strong anti-communist advocate and who was also the tribe’s peace officer and mediator. She had been threatened in the past by the rebels who already murdered her two brothers in previous attacks,” Osias said.
There was no immediate statement from the NPA, which has been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)