DAVAO CITY — Civil Military Operations (CMO) commander of the 10th Infantry Division (ID) Lt. Col Francis Sibal on Wednesday said “nobody can thrive as threatful as Parago.”
He said that after the death of the New People’s Army (NPA) commander Ka Parago, “there will always be a leadership vacuum and leadership crisis” in the area of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
“He is not the head of SMRC, but he is iconic. His leadership is really different. (With his death) SMRC will fall down,” Sibal said.
Ka Parago, whose real name is Leoncio Pitao, was killed in an alleged encounter with the 10th ID’s Task Force Minion last Sunday at Purok 9, Barangay Panalum at 2:30 PM. The NPAs, however, said it was a raid and not an encounter.
(Read related story: NPA confirms death of Ka Parago )
Sibal said that they are expecting an increase in the number of rebel returnees following the death of the NPA commander.
“After the death of Parago, we have monitored seven (returnees) already, and maybe there are developments as of this time,” he said.
Sibal said that they have recorded a total of 167 rebels who surrendered from January this year. He said that with the increase of rebel returnees, “the level of threat in Davao region is decreasing.”
Ka Parago, who was considered the most “elusive” NPA commander in the Davao region, has 17 cases filed against him and has a bounty of P5.6 million.
Meanwhile, the NPA in a statement to the press said, Parago has “led and trained so many young warriors in the art of guerrilla warfare.”
Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA-SMRC said “thousands of young revolutionaries will follow (Parago’s) footsteps.”(davaotoday.com)