MANILA - The Philippine military on Thursday said it recovered the body of a New People's Army (NPA) member in Siay town, Zamboanga Sibugay on Thursday morning, a day after the rebel group allegedly launched an attack in the area.
The slain NPA member was identified as Elmar "Junmar" Sumasay, a member of Feleciano A - Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, the Philippine Army's 44th Infantry Battalion said in a statement.
Two M-16 assault rifles were also recovered from the site in Barangay Balagon.
According to the 44th Infantry Battalion, military troops were resting in the area after conducting "community visitation and information dissemination on COVID-19 pandemic in far-flung areas" when they were attacked by the rebels.
"This is a clear manifestation of the duplicitous tactics and insincerity of the CTG (communist terrorist group) on their declaration of ceasefire,” said Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade.
This is the second attempt of the NPA to launch an attack in the province, the military said.
“Our troops on the ground will continue to observe the ceasefire during this COVID-19 crisis but rest assured that all units remain alert and vigilant in protecting the communities from any atrocities by the CTG,” he added.
President Rodrigo Durterte earlier called for ceasefire with the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines, and other affliated groups due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CPP founder Jose Maria Sison agreed to the temporary truce.