>A suspected ranking leader of the New People’s Army in the Bicol Region was killed following a clash with government security forces in Camarines Sur early Friday morning, the chief of the Philippine Army said.
Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz identified the rebel fatality as Elmer Estrillado alias Ted/Poldo, reportedly the commanding officer of the regional headquarters of the Bicol Regional Party Committee.
The clash erupted 6:30 a.m. when government forces conducted strike operations in Barangay Bulwang in Bato town, Ortiz said.
The body of Estrillado was left behind by his comrades who fled at the height of the firefight, Ortiz added.
The Camarines Sur clash was the latest of a series of incidents involving communist insurgents after the week-long ceasefire between government and rebel forces ended midnight of February 21.
Other incidents involved a previous encounter also in Camarines Sur on Wednesday where a wounded female NPA fighter was captured by Army soldiers and separate attacks on civilians in Bukidnon and Davao City. — RSJ