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NPA official killed in gun battle

BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte—The secretary of  the New People’s Army (NPA) Guerrilla Front 8, Joseph Cainong, was one of the 13 guerrillas killed in a gun battle with Manobo tribesmen in the town of Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur last week, the commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division said on Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya said Cainong, alias Malik, was killed last July 15 when the NPA raided the residential compound of Datu Calpito Egua, a staunch anti-communist chieftain, in Barangay Sta. Irine and met strong resistance from Manobo tribesmen.

“Cainong was a native of Barangay Calaitan in the nearby town of Bayugan, Agusan del Sur,” Visaya said.

Four bodyguards and a soldier assigned to guard Datu Calpito died in the fighting but they killed 13 NPA rebels and forced them to withdrew. The bodyguards were close relatives of Calpito, who was slightly injured.

The Manobos have apparently been alerted of the NPA raid and were waiting in ambush inside the compound. The rebels used two pick-ups and an Elf truck to ram through the gate, but abandoned the vehicles when they withdrew.

Visaya said Cainong led the attack on the Calpito compound and was one of the highest ranking NPA rebels to be killed in the area in the past several years.

Another rebel and three soldiers were also killed separate encounters in the province on that day, Visaya said.

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