From the Sun Star-Bacolod (Dec 17): Guv calls on rebels anew to surrender
GOVERNOR Alfredo Marañon Jr. renewed his call to rebels to surrender and return to the folds of the government. “Let’s fight poverty, not each other,” said Marañon, who led the distribution of relief goods to families affected by the encounter last Thursday morning between government troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay San Agustin, Isabela. "It is about time to end insurgency which has been ongoing for 40 years already," Marañon said. He said the government has been addressing the complaints of the NPA rebels. Marañon said 74 rebels in Negros Occidental who had surrendered since last year have availed of assistance from the Provincial Government, as well as from the National Government through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. "If there are problems or complaints, let’s talk about them because killing each other will not solve the problem," the governor said.....
.... Meanwhile, Major General Mabanta, commander of Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, awarded First Lieutenant Shamon Pamittan, Sergeant Romeo B Castillano, Private First Class (PFC) Justino Esquibel Jr. and PFC Nesty Deniega with the AFP Wounded Personnel Medal at the Riverside Hospital, Bacolod City last December 15. The AFP Wounded Personnel Medal is a medal granted to soldiers wounded in action against the enemy of the country or as a direct result of an act of the enemy. The wounded soldiers also received P20,000 cash benefit. “Our soldiers’ morale and welfare are our primary concern. We are instituting means and ways together with the nearest civilian medical facility in Western Visayas to immediately address wounded soldiers in the battlefield,” Mabanta said. The four wounded soldiers were among the members of Alpha Company 11th IB who clashed with rebels around 8 a.m. last December 14 at Isabela, Negros Occidental where two soldiers and two NPAs were casualties.