THE decomposing body of a suspected New People's Army rebel was found by troops of the 75th Infantry Battalion (75IB) on Road 1K, Barangay Bunawan Brooks, Bunawan town, Agusan del Sur on Wednesday afternoon, March 14.
The remains were found along with an AK47 rifle, five magazines, and rifle rounds.
Lieutenant Colonel Jaime Datuin, 75IB commander, said the residents told them about the body. Datuin said the body was accorded a decent burial by the troops.
Colonel Andres Centino, commander of 401st Infantry Brigade, said he suspects that the body belonged to one of the NPA casualties in an encounter last February 18 in the same area, where three communist insurgents were believed to have been killed.
A series of encounters has been happening in the area since last month, which resulted to the recovery of an improvised explosive device, subversive documents, detonating cord, switch, and blasting cap, 50 meters wire, a magazine for an AK47 rifle, and 30 rounds of ammunition.
Major General Ronald Villanueva, commander of Army's 4th Infantry Division, criticized the NPA for abandoning the bodies.
"This is not the first time that the NPA terrorists left the dead body of their cohorts. As a matter of fact, a month ago, they already left 3 bodies of their cohorts after the series of encounters with our troops in 401st Brigade," Villanueva said in a statement.
“NPA terrorists actually had time to recover the body and inform the family. But they did not do it! To the members of the NPA, think twice, if you still wanted to pursue your failed armed struggle or live a normal life away from fear and hunger. Government still has Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) that surrenderees can take advantage of. Go back to the folds of the law, the government is waiting," he added.