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Clash in Eastern Samar Claims High-Ranking NPA Official

A deadly clash in the mountains of Eastern Samar has resulted in the death of a prominent figure in the communist New People’s Army (NPA). Identified as Martin Colima, alias Moki, Colima served as the secretary of the sub-regional committee (SRC) Sesame of the NPA’s Eastern Visayas regional party committee.

The Philippine Army reports that Colima died during a firefight with government troops in the remote village of Barangay San Gabriel, Borongan City, on Saturday. This encounter followed ongoing reports from concerned civilians regarding NPA activity in the area. These reports detailed extortion attempts and harassment of local militia units and former rebels.

Lieutenant Colonel Allan Tria, commander of the Army’s 78th Infantry Battalion, credits the bravery of residents for providing crucial information. “Details of their locations, movements, and activities” allowed troops to track the NPA rebels, culminating in the deadly encounter.

Authorities recovered a handgun and backpacks from the scene, along with the weight of a dark history. The military accuses Colima of masterminding the 2019 ambush on a major highway in Libuton village, Borongan City. This attack claimed the lives of a policeman and three civilians, injuring another twelve, including minors.

While expressing sadness at the loss of life, Brigadier General Noel Vestuir, commander of the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade, issued a call to remaining NPA members. He urged them to abandon the armed struggle and reintegrate into society peacefully.

Vestuir further believed that Colima’s death would significantly impact the local NPA unit. He anticipates a loss of direction and morale among remaining fighters, undermining their capacity for continued violence.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing fight against insurgency in the Philippines. It also highlights the crucial role of local communities in providing information that aids in dismantling these armed groups. As the situation in Eastern Samar unfolds, one thing remains clear: the pursuit of peace continues.

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