The two suspected New People's Army rebels, who were killed in a recent encounter with government troopers in Brgy. Damutan, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental, were buried Saturday, after examinations by police Scene Of the Crime Operatives.
Senior Inspector Robert Indiape, Hinobaan police chief, however, said that one of the slain rebels was identified by a barangay kagawad but his identity had been withheld, as Joemar Alperto, 28, of Sitio Bugtong Lubi, Brgy. Damutan, where the encounter took place.
Indiape said Mayor Ernesto Estrao decided to bury the cadavers, since no relatives had come out to claim them.
Lt. Col. Harold Pascua, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, yesterday denied claims that those killed were a barangay official and a member of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade.
Those are manufactured allegations, Pascua said.
He thanked the residents of Sitio Bugtong Lubi for timely information they relayed to 79IB troopers, who were being targeted for an ambush.
The 15-minute gunbattle between 12 suspected NPA rebels and 79IB troops headed by 2Lt. Alex Bunagan, claimed the lives of two insurgents, and led to the recovery of an M-653 baby armalite rifle with a magazine containing ammunition, two rifle grenades, personal belongings and subversive documents.
An Army soldier was also killed in the firefight, and his colleague sustained injuries.
Pascua said the planned ambush of his men, that was foiled, may also be part of the tactical operations of the NPA remnants, in line with the 47th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Dec. 26.
Last week, the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command claimed responsibility for the raid of a cock farm in La Castellana, and the abduction of a member of the RPA-ABB.
Pascua said there will no let-up in the operations against the armed NPA members.
On Saturday PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez reminded Chief Supt. Conrado Capa, regional police director of Negros Island Region, to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in securing vital installations, with the celebration of the CPP founding anniversary.
“It is normal for them, that during their anniversary, they make some noise and attack some stations and facilities,” Marquez said.
Asked if such incidents are alarming, he replied “The best judge will be the community and how the PNP is able to protect the community, and installations in Negros Occidental.”*GPB.
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