Rebel couple’s death ‘huge setback’ for CPP-NPA in central Negros

The Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) considers the death of rebel-couple Elbert and Jessa Quillano a “huge setback” for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) operations in central Negros.

Identified as the platoon leader and medical officer, respectively, of the NPA’s Sentro de Grabidad Platoon of Central Negros Front 2, the two died during a clash with soldiers in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on April 1.

Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commander of 94IB, urged the communist rebels to stop their recruitment activities and instead return to the fold of law as the troops will be relentless in pursuing them.

“We are determined to finish the insurgency problem and free the communities from the terroristic activities of communists in central Negros,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Elbert (alias Carding), who was also the deputy secretary of Central Negros Front 2, had three warrants of arrest from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 56 in Himamaylan City and Branch 56 in Bais City, Negros Oriental, based on the background investigation conducted by the Philippine National Police.

The arrest warrants were for three counts of homicide and two counts of crimes against humanitarian law, genocide and other crimes against humanity, both issued by acting presiding judge Walter Zorilla of RTC Branch 56 on Feb. 3, 2021, and one for anti-trafficking in persons issued by presiding judge Candelario Guillermo Valenzuela Gonzales of RTC Branch 45 on June 11, 2021.

Meanwhile, his wife Jessa was an NPA recruiter in Barangay Buenavista, according to the report of 94IB.

The bodies of the couple, who were residents of Sitio Lanap, Barangay Buenavista, were brought to Soledad Funeral Homes before they were laid to rest on Sunday at the Himamaylan City Public Cemetery.

The funeral rites, which were attended by the couple’s children, were arranged by the city’s Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict together with troops of 94IB.

The Quillanos were included in the group of NPA fighters engaged by the soldiers in a 20-minute firefight in Sitio Kulihaw on Friday afternoon after their presence was reported by the residents.

They were neutralized a week after two of their comrades also died in a clash with the 94IB troops in the neighboring village of Carabalan.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Related posts