Five armed members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and a government soldier died Thursday morning during a military raid of a known rebel location in Barangay Mainit, Brooke’s Point by the Force Reconnaissance Group (FRG) of the Philippine Marines.
Killed during the eight-minute encounter were two female and three male rebels, including a top local leader identified as Bonifacio Magramo, alias Boywan, Tuna, and Bonglay.
A marine soldier, identified as SSgt. Cesar Barlas, was also killed in action (KIA) during the operation. He was a Palaweño.
Magramo also goes with the name Salvador Luminoso, spokesman of the NPA’s Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC) in Palawan and the secretary of the NPA’s Sub-Regional Military Area (SRMA)-4E, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC), according to Brig. Gen. Nestor Herico of the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde), who led the neutralization operation.
In a separate post by the Palawan Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) also Thursday, the other three were identified as Andrea Rosal, alias Naya, Ram, Inlay who is said to be the daughter of the late NPA leader Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal.
Rosal was reportedly the secretary of the Kilusang Larangang Guerilla (KLG)-North.
The other three rebels were identified as Noel Siasico, alias Silnon or Celnon; Ren Manalo, alias Pandan, Lemon, Jona, and Amir, and a certain Ka Rj.
Magramo, Rosal, and Celnon were on the top list of several NPA members in Palawan who were long-wanted by law enforcement authorities because of their standing warrants of arrest. A wanted list was put out by the PTF ELCAC in November 2019 to urge residents to help locate their whereabouts.
“Since nakuha na natin ang Top 3, we encourage the locals who were deceived to join the armed struggle to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of the law and avail of the program of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Herico told Palawan News.
Herico said they confiscated voluminous subversive documents, a collection of communications materials, and high-powered firearms used by Magramo and his comrades.
“Ang aking pagdadalamhati at pakikiramay sa naulilang pamilya ni SSgt . Cesar Barlas, na siyang nagbuwis ng buhay sa naganap na engkwentro laban sa komunistang NPA. Ang kabayanihan ng bawat sundalong nakikipaglaban ay hinding-hindi kailan man matatawaran. Si SSgt Barlas ay isang Palawenyo at ibinuwis ang kanyang buhay para sa kanyang mahal na lalawigan,” said Herico.
Herico said the operation carried out to get Boywan was the result of “careful planning” since August 28 based on the shared information by the barangay network in the area.
Governor Jose Alvarez, chairman of PTF ELCAC, said the military’s success in southern Palawan will cripple the NPA’s BVC that has been sowing fear amongst residents in the area.
“Patuloy pa rin akong nananawagan sa rebeldeng grupo na hindi pa huli ang lahat at gumaya sila sa kanilang mga kasamahan na nagbalik-loob na sa pamahalaan upang maiwasan ang mga ganitong insidente at pagkasawi ng mga buhay,” he said.
(With reports from Ruth Rodriguez)