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NPA leader killed in Baguio clash

MAP of Baguio City

MAP of Baguio City

BAGUIO CITY – A ranking Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army leader and two other communist rebels were killed in a joint police and military operation in Barangay Queen of Peace here yesterday.

Authorities identified two of the fatalities as Julius Soriano Giron, head of the National Military Commission of the CPP, and Lourdes Tan Torres or Ma. Lourdes Dineros Tangco, alias “Tita,” a member of the CPP Executive Committee.

The third was unidentified and is allegedly a security aide of Giron.

Giron and his comrades resisted arrest while being served a search warrant at around 3:30 a.m., secured following information from a CPP-NPA member, prompting authorities to retaliate and resulted into the death of the trio.

Recovered from them were an M-16 rifle, a .45 caliber Colt and a .45 caliber Rock Island pistols, three hand grenades, and a long magazine for the M-16.

They were gunned down in Giron’s property which was reportedly acquired and paid for in cash, a rare privilege reserved for NPA leaders and front organization heads.

Giron, wanted for rebellion, arson, and frustrated murder, is the overall chairman of the CPP-NPA, the position vacated by Benito Tiamzon when he was arrested in 2014.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. said the neutralization of Giron will further weaken the communist movement.

“The death of Giron will further rattle the communist terror group and its dwindling force for losing its strategic leader. Giron is much closer and more relevant in NPA operations than the absentee Jose Maria Sison and is thus more influential to their ranks. We commend our troops for the successful neutralization of this notorious NPA leader, landing a serious blow against the Communist Terror Group and bringing us closer to our goal of ending the local communist armed conflict in the country,” he said. (JJ Landingin and Zaldy Comanda)