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Bohol clash: Lady lawyer among NPA rebels killed in encounter

By: Leo Udtohan - Philippine Daily Inquirer | February 24,2024 - 07:45 AM

Bohol clash

CORDONED OFF Investigators seal off an area near a rice field in the village of Campagao in Bilar, Bohol, where a New People’s Army rebel died in a shootout with pursuing policemen and soldiers on Friday. —LEO UDTOHAN

BILAR, BOHOL—Five suspected communist rebels, among them a lawyer, and a policeman, were killed in an encounter in the village of Campagao here on Friday morning, police and military reports said.

Among those killed was Domingo Compoc, known as “Kumander Cobra” and “Silong,” and said to be the secretary of the New People’s Army (NPA) unit operating in Bohol.

Compoc, who had a bounty of P2.6 million, was included in the government’s wanted list for a string of charges including rebellion, homicide, attempted homicide, theft, multiple murder, frustrated murder and robbery.

READ: Bohol encounter: Police on full alert following clash with ‘NPA fighters’

Also slain in the Bohol clash were Compoc’s four companions, identified as Hannah Jay Cesista, whom police said was a lawyer from Cebu and was also known by the alias “Maya” and “Lean;” Parlito Segovia, alias “Aldrin,” the assistant squad leader and political guide of the NPA unit; Marlon Omosura, alias “Darwin,” a squad member; and another rebel identified only as Juaning.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines chapter in Cebu had yet to confirm Cesista’s affiliation but a check with the Supreme Court website showed that she passed the bar examinations in 2022.

A police officer was also killed in the Bohol clash while another policeman was wounded in the firefight although their names had yet to be released by authorities as of Friday afternoon.

Reports said a team from the Bohol provincial police office, accompanied by soldiers, went to a house in Barangay Campagao, about 5 kilometers from the Bilar town center, past 6 a.m. to serve a warrant to Compoc.

But the government team was met with gunfire as they were approaching the house, resulting in a firefight at 6:52 a.m. A suspected rebel tried to escape but was gunned down in a ricefield, about a kilometer away from the house.

READ: ‘Lumad’ leader among 6 slain in Bohol clash — AFP

Government troops recovered six firearms—an M653 assault rifle, an R4 assault rifle, an M16 rifle and three .45 caliber pistols—after the clash, said Lt. Col. Israel Galorio, chief of the public information office of the military’s Visayas Command.

Compoc had several standing arrest warrants for his alleged involvement in a series of killings, including of rebel returnees, in the province.

His son, Jingler, was also killed in an encounter in Bilar on Sept. 7 last year. Jingler, also known as “Keth,” was identified as the vice squad leader of the remnants of the dismantled Bohol Front Committee.

Friday’s firefight prompted at least 250 families (774 people) to evacuate to the Campagao covered court, at least a kilometer away from the clash site.

Candelaria Dapar, 63, said she was having breakfast when she heard gunshots. She, her children and grandchildren, immediately ran out of the house out of fear of being caught in the Bohol clash crossfire.

“We were so scared because our house was near the site of the encounter,” said Dapar when interviewed at the evacuation center.

Military ops in Negros

The series of encounters between NPA rebels and soldiers also triggered an evacuation of close to 1,000 residents of Escalante City and Toboso town in northern Negros Occidental.

READ: 3 battles between AFP, NPA in Negros Occ. kill 3 rebels, injure 3 troops

Two military helicopters conducted air strikes at Sitio Mansulao in Barangay Pinapugasan on Thursday night, lasting for about 45 minutes, said Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, spokesperson for the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

“The fleeing rebels from earlier encounters were located at a vantage point so it was risky for government soldiers to attack them by land, so air assets were called in to hasten the accomplishment of their mission,” Javines said.

The first encounter happened on Wednesday at Sitio Mansulao in Barangay Pinapugasan, where three rebels and three soldiers were killed. Seven more clashes followed until Thursday when air strikes were conducted. —WITH REPORTS FROM CARLA P. GOMEZ AND NESTOR CORRALES

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TAGS: Bilar, bohol, encounter, NPA rebels

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