THE New People’s Army (NPA) rebel slain in a clash with government troops on November 30 turned out to be the missing 16-year-old elementary student from Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, military officials said Tuesday, December 3.
Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) information officer, said the slain NPA rebel was identified as Litboy Talja Binongcasan , 16, and a resident of Sitio Shiohan in Malinao Village, Gingoog City.
Balagtey said his identity was established through the help of his brother.
Binongcasan was a Grade 6 pupil of Sitio Siohan Elementary School in Barangay Malinao, Gingoog City.
The military officer said they were informed by the brother that the student went missing sometime February, this year.
The troops recovered the rebel’s remains following a clash on November 30 at Sitio Salvacion in Manila de Bugabos Village, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. The troopers figured in a 15-minute firefight against the armed group.
The troops recovered of two AK-47 rifles, one M16A1 rifle, one M16A1-RMC rifle, five backpacks, two bandoleers, subversive documents, and other personal belongings at the clash site.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Felimon Santos, Jr., Eastmincom chief, expressed grief on the fate of the student and condemned the NPA’s continuous use of children in armed struggle.
“We are saddened with the fate of Litboy. His case is a clear violation of children’s rights. He was deceptively recruited for the ideology he does not even understand. This act is being condemned in the highest form. It paints the true color of the NPAs who disregard the concern and human rights of the people, particularly the children,” Santos said. (SunStar Zamboanga/With Juliet C. Revita, SunStar Davao)