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Troops battle NPA in known hideout of rebel spokesman Rosal

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:55:00 06/12/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Army troops clashed with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas in Kalayaan town, Laguna province, a known hideout of communist rebel spokesman Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal,” a regional military commander said.

The encounter happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday in sitio (sub-village) Kulot. Troops were dispatched to the area in response to reports of rebel presence, said Colonel Tristan Kison, chief of the 201st Infantry Brigade.

“We don’t know if Ka Roger was there. But the area had two layers of security [from the rebels], meaning a VIP [very important person] was there,” Kison said in a phone interview.

Kison, former deputy chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) before he assumed command of the 201st Brigade several weeks ago, said intelligence indicated Rosal was “sick, unable to walk and was being carried around.”

Rosal has not granted live interviews in recent years, sparking speculation he is either seriously ill or has died. However, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) continues to issue statements attributed to him.

Kison said he has not received reports Rosal was wounded in the Kalayaan town encounter, contrary to reports.

During the same encounter, Kison said Reynaldo Lagunoy, a coordinator of the leftist party-list Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) was arrested.

Kison said Lagunoy was armed and fought alongside the rebels.

Earlier, the human rights group Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) claimed Lagunoy, 38, was snatched by military agents in Cavinti town in Laguna.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-06-12T14:47:26+00:00UTC06bUTCThu, 12 Jun 2008 14:47:26 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm06

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