From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 12): Body of 17-yr-old suspected NPA rebel recovered – military
DAVAO CITY – The body of a 17-year-old alleged communist guerrilla was recovered on Monday, a day after a clash with government troops and New People’s Army rebels in an upland village here, military officials said.
Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, said a relative identified the slain insurgent as John Paul Cabase alias Joshua.
Cabase, a resident of Sitio (sub-village) Quarry, Malabog, Paquibato district, was the lone fatality from the NPA side during a firefight with soldiers from the Army’s 16th Infantry Battalion at nearby Sitio Bajada, Paradise Embac village, also in Paquibato district on Sunday morning.
Unidentified persons had turned Cabase’s body to the village chair of Paradise Embac and a relative came forward to identify and claim it.
Balagtey said the 16th IB, which was responding to reports about a group of rebels massing outside the village, lost two soldiers in the fighting.
Six other government troops were also wounded and are now undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
Maj. General Noel Clement, commander of the army’s Joint Task Force Haribon, slammed the communists for using minors as fighters.
“It is a contradiction to their claims as human rights protectors. We challenge them to spare the children and allow them to explore their potentials in schools, not in (a) terrorist armed group that encourages violence,” Clement said.
An M-653 assault rifle with ammunition, backpacks and bomb-making paraphernalia were recovered in the encounter site.