The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade yesterday offered medical treatment to members of the New People’s Army reported to have been injured, when they harassed a temporary military outpost on Feb. 17 in Sitio Aniya, Brgy. Winaswasan, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said many of the rebels, who were previously injured in encounter with government forces, had died due to inadequate medical treatment.
One of the rebels who had participated in the harassment of 62nd Infantry Battalion Bayanihan Team Monday last week, was killed during a brief firefight, Aying said.
The cadaver of Lorfe Bagaforo, alias Trese, vice-squad leader of the Sentro De Grabidad Platoon of the Northern Negros Front, that was positively identified and claimed by his mother, Dormitiya, was found in a sugarcane field in Sitio Guinpungtan, Brgy. Hilub-ang, Calatrava, three days after the incident.
The sad thing, Aying said, is that they (injured rebels) died in the jungles without being accorded proper burial.
Aside from Bagaforo, Aying said they are still confirming reports that two more rebels were killed, and several others injured in the brief and sporadic gunbattle.
Bagaforo, who succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, was believed to have been hit, when members of the 62IB Bayanihan Team retaliated, when they were fired at by about 16 rebels, Lt. Col. Efren Morados, 62IB commander, said Friday.
Found in the abandoned positions of NPA were heavy traces of bloodstains, a live round of an M-203 grenade launcher, 17 rounds from an M-16 assault rifle, a magazine of an M-14 rifle, 25 empty shells of carbine, a backpack containing subversive document, a PhilHealth identification card of a certain Joseph Jolum, and an ICOM radio battery.
Newly-promoted Capt. Jimrhic Obias, 303rd Civil Military Operations officer, said the harassment of Bayanihan team members came two days after Victor Tapang, a former key leader of the Northern Negros Front, who has a pending arrest warrant for murder, was arrested in Silay City.
The capture of Tapang was followed by the apprehension of Romulo Bitoon, another rebel leader, in Talisay City, also for murder, Obias said.
Aying said he noted that top leaders of the NPA have been discouraging and threatening their members who wish to surrender.
He said they are afraid that they will lose the power and other perks they are enjoying now at the expense of the people, if their group collapses.*GPB