Six suspected New People’s Army rebels, including an amazon and two alleged child warriors, one of them a resident of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, were captured by 62nd Infantry Battalion troopers, following an encounter in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, Saturday.
The Negros Oriental Provincial Police Command filed criminal charges against the six before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office Saturday for having M-16 and M-4 rifles during the encounter in Sitio Tomonon, Barangay Luyang, Mabinay.
Captured and charged were Myles Cantal Albasin, 21, a Mass Communication graduate of UP-Cebu, and a native of Cagayan De Oro;JomarGarletIndico,29, and Randel Balasabas Hermino,19, both of Brgy, Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental; Joey Baylosis, 18, of Mabinay, Negros Oriental, and two minors, both 17 years old, from Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, and Mandaue City, Cebu.
They were charged with violation of Republic Ac No. 9516 and RA 10591 as amended for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and are now detained at the Negros Oriental Detention and Rehabilitation Center.
The six have requested for a preliminary investigation before executing a waiver for their detention.
Lt. Col. Darrel Banes, 62IB commanding officer, said yesterday that his troops responded to reports about the presence of about 20 NPA rebels engaged in extortion activities in Sitio Tumonon, Brgy. Luyang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental.
The firefight that lasted for about 45 minutes led to the capture of the six NPA fighters, the amazon and the minors who were recruited to join the CPP-NPA, Banes said.
Capt. Eduardo Precioso, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, yesterday said that Indico was identified as a squad leader, while Albasin was reported to be a political cadre.
In an interview while they were being booked at Camp Leon Kilat in Tanjay on Saturday afternoon, the alleged squad leader said there were about 27 in theirunit, split into three other groups. He said the firearms recovered from them were left behind by persons they don’t know.
Recovered from the captured rebels were four M-16 assault rifles with a M-203 grenade launcher, two M-4 assault rifles, assorted military war materials, food, subversive documents, and explosives
Banes said the recruitment of minors to join the armed struggle is a gross violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
Brig. Gen. Eliezer Losanes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday that they are still verifying if the captured rebels participated in the ambush-slay of the six policemen in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, in June last year, and in the series of liquidation activities in central Negros, including the recent burning of a farm tractor and a cargo truck in La Castellana and Canlaon City.
Losanes said the members of the rebel group encountered by the 62IB are believed to belong to the Regional SecurityForce, tasked to secure Frank Fernandez, secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros.
Before the encounter, Losanes said two rebel camps, were discovered abandoned in Brgy. Samac in Mabinay, and in Brgy.Panciao in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental.
Losanes lauded residents in the area for the timely information relayed to the 62IB on the presence of the CPP-NPA, which he said is a clear manifestation that they are already fed up with the extortion and harassment activities of the rebel group.
Despite the encounter, the capture of the six rebels who were unharmed, clearly shows the troops’ adherence to the principles of human rights, International Humanitarian Law and rule of law with its primacy of preserving human lives, Losanes added.*GPB/JG
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