Updated Dec 31, 2018, 4:34:00 AM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 30) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said six members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) were killed, while a former town mayor and 23 others were arrested during law enforcement operations of the military and the police in Negros Oriental from December 27 to 29.
Reneboy Fat, Demetrio Fat, Dondon Isugan, Constancio Languita, Jun Cubul and Jaime Revilla were killed after they allegedly resisted arrest. The AFP said they were brought to the nearest district hospital, but were pronounced dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, former Guihulngan Mayor Cesar Macalua, two former barangay officials and 21 others were nabbed in the operations.
Authorities seized from Macalua a caliber .45 pistol and a 9mm pistol and assorted ammunitions, while firearms and pieces of ammunition were also found with the two former village officials.
The military and the police confiscated 65 firearms, including M203, M-16 and M-14 rifles, grenades and grenade launchers.
The AFP said the operations were conducted to serve arrest warrants to 103 target personalities who were suspected of involvement in illegal drug activities in Guihulngan City and the municipalities of Mabinay, La Libertad and Sta. Catalina.
However, the AFP said 30 of the targets turned out to be NPA regulars and militia members based in Barangay Trinidad of Guihulngan City.
"The communist terrorists' illegal activities in the area indicate that the NPA survives with huge help from the illegal drug trade. Big-time drug lords operating in Negros Oriental and nearby areas are being protected by the NPA and other terrorist front organizations," the AFP said in a statement.
Negros Oriental is among the provinces where the Malacañang ordered the deployment of more policemen and military troops in Memorandum Order No. 32 to "suppress lawless violence and acts of terror."