Duterte warns gov't: Expect NPA to hit back after Pitao's death

DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned the military and the police of possible retaliation from communist rebels after the killing of its top commander on the island Leoncio Pitao, better known as "Kumander Parago."

The Davao City mayor disagreed with the statement of the Philippine military that the death of Mindanao's oldest and most wanted New People's Army (NPA) commander would translate to a weaker communist movement in the region.

Pitao had a P5.6-million bounty on his head.

"I asked the military, the police, the government, and everyone to be ready. After his death a new leader is expected to shine," said Duterte, known to be friends with the slain NPA commander.

Pitao's son, whom Duterte said could take the father's place in the movement, is in his early 30s. He is known to be more brutal that than his father. 

"Mas isog na siya kaysa iyang papa, ug mas brutal, sya man ang nanimalos pagkamatay sa iya manghud nga si Rebelyn," said a source. (Ryan is more aggressive than his father, more brutal, he took revenge for the death of his younger sister Rebelyn.)

Still, Duterte assured Davao City residents that peace and order will not be affected by possible retaliatory attacks from the NPA. 

'We are friends'

"I will help his family in whatever way I can because I know he is a family man," Duterte told reporters on Monday, June 29, before convening the City Peace and Order Council.  

"My relationship with Parago is a different one. We are friends. I don't know with the new leader, let's just be ready and we are ready and maybe Kumander Ryan, his son will be the next in line," Duterte added. 

The news of Pitao's death reached his wife, Evangeline, through Duterte's executive assistant.

Pitao, along with a female companion, identified by police sources as Kyle Limpas, who is believed to be his medical aide, were killed in Purok 9, Barangay Pañalum, Paquibato District Sunday afternoon (READ: NPA commander killed in Davao)

Duterte ordered the transfer of Pitao's remains from the Rivera Funeral Home to the Cosmopolitan funeral parlor.  Rappler.com