NPA commander killed in Bukidnon clash
Christopher Tingkayan, 23, was killed in a fierce gunfight with troops from the 8th Infantry ‘Dependable’ Battalion operating under the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army.
According to reports, he [Tingkayan] was a high-ranking leader of the New People Army’s Regional Operations Command, Headquarters Force NEO.
Lt. Col. Anthony Bacus, commander of the army’s 8th Infantry Battalion based in Impasugong, Bukidnon, said the government forces launched focused military operations following a civilian report indicating Tingkayan’s frequent supply runs into NPA territories.
He said Christopher Tingkayan, also known as Mojen/Gamot, was killed in a 10-minute firefight with the 8IB soldiers on August 23.
All soldiers were unhurt, the Battalion Commander said.
Jimboy Tingkayan alias Jovan, the slain NPA commander’s half-brother who recently surrendered, identified the body at the scene of the early morning clash in a rugged forest of Lagaslasan subvillage in Barangay Kulaman, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Reports indicated that “Mojen” was with 10 fellow rebels when the firefight erupted, but his comrades fled during the encounter.
“The troopers confiscated a total of two M16 Rifles, two M653 Carbine Rifles, two M203 Grenade Launchers, an anti-personnel mine, along with various terrorist materials, medical paraphernalia, and assorted personal belongings,” Bacus said.
He pointed out that Mojen’s group had once been considered the stronghold of the so-called Regional Sentro De Gravidad of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (RSDG-NCMRC), highlighting the significance of the operation’s success in dismantling this faction.
Brigadier General Michele Anayron Jr., commander of the 403rd Brigade, emphasized that the communist terrorist groups’ (CTG) presence in the area is an indication that the dwindling criminal group is on a desperate move to recruit and extort resources from the people and continue their income generation scheme, especially with Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections drawing near.
“It is unfortunate that the CTGs continue to sacrifice the lives of its members to pursue their criminal agenda. Once again, we are saddened by the loss of fellow Filipinos’ lives. We want the people of Bukidnon to know that their Army will not permit criminals to threaten communities and extort their hard-earned money. We are committed to maintaining peace and security in the area,” added BGen. Anayron Jr.
Notably, in the third quarter of this year alone, 4ID troops have neutralized 21 CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs). Among them, five were killed in encounters, and 16 voluntarily surrendered. The troops also apprehended 36 high-powered firearms and five low-powered firearms. Noteworthy in this achievement was the elimination of the CTG’s top leader, Dionesio “Muling” Micabalo, the Regional Secretary of NCMRC. This incident occurred during an encounter with 4ID troops on July 26, 2023.
In a statement, Major General Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II, the 4ID commander, commended the swift response of the troops from the 8IB and 403rd Brigade in promptly securing the Malaybalay area against planned CTG atrocities.
He emphasized that the loss of another CNT member serves as a reminder of the unfortunate consequences of opposing our government.
While highlighting 4ID’s accomplishments as a testament to the people’s unwavering support and the sustained collaboration among various agencies under the whole-of-nation approach, the 4ID Commander underscored that this strategy serves as the game-changer in ultimately resolving the country’s insurgency problem. (CMO, 8IB/403Bde/4ID, PA/PIA 10-Bukidnon)