3 NPA, BIFF members killed in clashes with troops

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 1) — Two members of the New People's Army (NPA), and one member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed in separate operations during the Holy Week.

A statement from the Army's 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade said the NPA members were killed in separate incidents on March 30 in Misamis Oriental and March 31 in Bukidnon.

As of posting time, authorities have yet to release the names of the fatalities.

"We offer our sincere condolences to the families and relatives on the death of the two NPA terrorists. This could not have happened if they heeded our call of surrender," said Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, Commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade.

He called on NPA members to lay down their arms and "return to mainstream society."

Meanwhile, four NPA members surrendered to authorities in Sultan Kudarat on March 28.

The NPA members, former rebels of Guerilla Front 73, voluntarily surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Jose Marie Santos, Commanding Officer of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2.

They were identified as Ariel Udas Apang, 29 years old; Iyoy Lebeg Nayam, 31; Nicanor Nayam Apang, 38; and Ariel Matog Apang, 36.

In a statement, Major General Arnel Delavega, commander of the Joint Task Force Central, said they will continue to intensify combat operations and information dissemination to encourage more NPA members to surrender.

"We will continue to welcome those who wish to embrace peace. The President's guidance to immediately accept and process those who surrender is very clear," he said.

BIFF member killed

A statement from the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said a BIFF subleader was also killed in an operation in Aleosan, North Cotabato on March 29.

Buds Basilan, a bomb expert, was killed during a brief exchange of gunfire after the subject resisted arrest and engaged the authorities, the military said.

Delavega said authorities had been tracking Basilan and was about to apprehend him when he shot at authorities, resulting in the encounter.

"Basilan who is under the BIFF's Karialan Faction, was responsible in the manufacture of bombs and IEDs, which affected the areas of Aleosan, Midsayap and Carmen of North Cotabato. His neutralization will definitely weaken his subgroup that is operating mostly in the Province," Delavegan added.

Wesmincom chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr. said they would step up efforts to defeat "all threat groups especially those that are connected with identified terror groups."