By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
An alleged leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) linked to the murder of four police officers in Negros Oriental’s Ayungon town last year was shot dead following a shootout with members of the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) and Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOrPPO) at Barangay Dancalan in Negros Occidental’s Ilog town, Monday morning.
Police identified the fatality as Mitchel Fat, an alleged squad leader of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda Platoon of the NPA’s Central Negros Front.
Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson Major Cenon Pancito III said Fat is using multiple aliases and is also known as TM, Epi and Lakas.
Based on information forwarded by both NOPPO and NOrPPO, they tracked down Fat’s location and were serving him an arrest warrant for violating the RA 9851, or the Act defining and penalizing crimes against international humanitarian law, genocide, and other crimes against humanity.
Fat then allegedly pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and opened fire prompting the army and police to retaliate, mortally wounding Fat in the process.
Fat was immediately rushed to the Lorenzo Zayco District Hospital in Kabankalan City but he was declared dead on arrival by medical staff.
Police recovered a .45 caliber pistol with a magazine containing for live ammunition, two fired .45 caliber cartridges, a hammock, two magazine pouches, military uniforms, a handheld radio with charger, a mobile phone, acupuncture needles, and subversive documents./DGB, WDJ