Wednesday, May 13, 2020

2 slain NPAs given decent burial in Zambo Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2020): 2 slain NPAs given decent burial in Zambo Sur (By Leah Agonoy and Ely Dumaboc)

DECENT BURIAL. Officials of the Zamboanga del Sur town of Midsalip provide a decent burial for the two slain communist New People's Army rebels on Tuesday (May 12, 2020). The rebels were killed in a clash on May 11 with the Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion troops in Barangay Balonai, Midsalip. (Photo courtesy of Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion)

The Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) of the Zamboanga del Sur town of Midsalip has provided a decent burial to the two slain New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in that town, officials said Wednesday.

The two rebels were buried Tuesday in a public cemetery in Barangay Poblacion, Midsalip, after they were killed in a firefight with government troops on Monday in Sitio Pisyo, Barangay Balonai in the same town.

Midsalip Mayor Elmer Soronio, MTF-ELCAC chairperson, said the municipal government “is always in close coordination with the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police in providing necessary assistance in all aspects concerning the peace and order situation of our municipality".

“We have repeatedly disseminated that our doors are always open for those who wish to return to the fold of the law. And in this case, we will extend whatever help we can to provide such as a decent burial to these killed NPAs, abandoned by their comrades,” Soronio said in a statement Wednesday.

Government troops belonging to the Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion also recovered two AK-47 assault rifles, two bandoliers with magazines and ammunition, and other items belonging to the rebels.

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB commander, said the two slain NPA rebels have not yet been identified as of Wednesday.

“The unit is on its effort to identify the cadavers so that we can inform their families about their death,” Herrera said.

Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the NPA rebels would have been still alive “if their heed the call of the government to lay down their arms and be with their families, especially in this time of health crisis”.

“Our deepest condolences to their families, whoever or wherever they are now and may the souls of the dead NPAs rest in peace,” Nicolas added.

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