DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 9, 2011) – The communist rebel group New People’s Army has claimed responsibility for the weekend killing of a village chieftain in the southern Philippines.
A rebel spokesman Dencio Madrigal said five government soldiers – an army lieutenant, two sergeants and two infantrymen - were also wounded in the ambush staged by the New People’s Army’s Alex Ababa Operations Command in the town of Malita in Davao del Sur province.
Madrigal said the rebels also disarmed pro-government militias in Datu Danwata village and seized from them about a dozen weapons. The village chieftain, Ramon Danwata, was killed by rebels after he resisted arrest and fought the gunmen.
“Killed in the disarming operation was village chieftain Ramon Danwata who resisted arrest and fought back,” he said, adding Danwata had ignored repeated warnings from the New People’s Army for him to stop supporting the military in its counterinsurgency operations.
Madrigal said the slain village leader was also a key figure in the recent capture of a rebel leader, Eliseo Tada, in the town.
Lieutenant Colonel Medel Aguilar, a spokesman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the rebels killed Danwata, a staunch military supporter, after holding his wife hostage in the village. He said only three soldiers were wounded in the ambush.
The New People’s Army rebels have been fighting for decades now to overthrow the democratic government and install a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)