CEBU CITY – The families of the five New People’s Army (NPA) rebels killed in an encounter with government troops in Bilar, Bohol on Tuesday morning claimed the bodies of their kin early Wednesday.
1st Lt. Elma Grace Abulencia, 47th Infantry (Katapatan) Battalion civil military operations officer, said the five communist terrorist group (CTG) members were identified as Joseph Bautista alias Bryan, 33 of Inabanga; Romeo Nabas alias Marlon, 54, from Batuan; Marvin Terig alias Chris, 22, from Danao; Junrey Bucar alias Justin, 20, from Bilar; and Edionela Nuera alias Mia, 18, from Trinidad, all in Bohol.
“After the encounter, the 47th Infantry (Katapatan) Battalion immediately took the corpses to a funeral home in Sagbayan so that they will be given a decent and proper arrangement for burial before being given to the family,” Abulencia said in a statement.
She said the local government units (LGU) were also informed so that they can give immediate assistance to the bereaved families.
Even though they were considered as enemies of the state, the government troops took care of the remains of the five CTGs who were abandoned by their comrades as they fled from the pursuing soldiers, Abulencia said.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Central Command commander, Lt. General Roberto Ancan, commended the local government of Bohol and the residents of Barangay Cabacnitan in Bilar for supporting military efforts to eradicate CTGs in the province.
“We also recognize the invaluable support of the local government unit of Bohol for their unwavering support and commitment to sustain the Peace and Security of the province. Same gratitude goes to the local residents of Barangay Cabacnitan in reporting the presence of the Communist NPA Terrorists, which resulted to the success,” Ancan said in a statement posted on its official social media page Tuesday afternoon.
Ancan also praised the government forces under the “Joint Task Force Spear” of the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division and the 47th Infantry “Katapatan” Battalion for successfully neutralizing and recovering the remains of the five NPAs.
The troops from 47th IB recovered from the clash site two M16 rifles; five .45-caliber pistols, a bandolier, three short magazines of M16 with 30 rounds of ammunition, six cellular phones, a laptop, a grenade, a hand-held radio, and various subversive documents with high intelligence value.
In 2010, the AFP through its Civil Relations Service, declared Bohol as insurgency-free, along with Cebu, Siquijor, Guimaras, Biliran, Marinduque, Romblon, La Union and Aurora.
The military made such declaration if the communist movement became non-existent or too insignificant to affect the lives of residents in a certain area.
However, in September 2020, former Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatious Ferro observed a rise in CTGs’ activities in Bohol during the past three years.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)