Tuesday Mar, 05 2024 07:37:20 PM

Soldiers kill senior NPA official in South Cotabato

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 16:15 PM Tue Feb 21, 2023
John M. Unson
Items recovered by Army Special Forces from Martin Min Fay. (5th SF Battalion)

COTABATO CITY --- Soldiers shot dead a recalcitrant regional official of the New People’s Army in a bungled attempt to arrest him peacefully in T’boli, South Cotabato on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Martin Min Fay, vice chief of the NPA’s self-styled Front Organizational Command for Central Mindanao-Far South Mindanao Region, died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds.

Fay, an ethnic T’boli tribesman, was wanted for 13 criminal cases, including arson and multiple murder, pending in different courts in the adjoining South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces in Region 12.

Brig. Gen. Pedro Balisi Jr., commander of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Brigade, said Tuesday personnel of the 5th Special Forces Battalion who had surrounded Fay’s hideout in Sitio Lembed in Barangay Laconon first convinced him to yield, but neutralized him instead when he pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and opened fire.

Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division that has jurisdiction over South Cotabato, said Tuesday the supposedly peaceful attempt to arrest Fay was carried out after residents of Barangay Laconon reported to the 5th SF Battalion his presence in the area.

Units of 6th ID in Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and Sarangani had killed 19 senior leaders of the NPA in encounters from November 2022 to December 2022.

Fay led a group that the police had tagged as responsible for the burning of no less than P200 million worth heavy equipment of construction firms in the three provinces whose owners had refused to shell out “protection money” on a monthly basis. 

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