Military operation in Iloilo results in recovery of bodies, capture of CNT members

ILOILO. The military discovered weapons and various items at the site of an encounter in San Joaquin, Iloilo.
ILOILO. The military discovered weapons and various items at the site of an encounter in San Joaquin, Iloilo. (Photo by 301IB, PA)

A MILITARY operation on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, in the area near Barangays Lomboyan and Torocadan, San Joaquin, Iloilo, resulted in the recovery of three bodies and the discovery of two additional from the Communist New People's Army (NPA) Terrorist (CNT) of Southern Panay Front Komiteng Rehiyon – Panay (SPF, KR-Panay).

Following a clash between the 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion (61IB), the Philippine Army, and the CNT at 3:20 a.m., the Scene of the Crime Operatives of the Police Regional Office VI (SOCO, PROVI) secured the encounter site and ensured the area was clear of potential landmines.

Three CNT members were found dead at the location have been identified as Jonathan Sasi Sanogal alias Jeros, member of Squad SM, Puregold Platoon, from Barangay Langca, San Joaquin, Iloilo; Patrick Reovoca alias Kim, member of Squad Gaisano, Puregold from Barangay Alegre, Sebaste, Antique; and Mario Reovoca alias Mike or Jaguar, Squad Leader, RSDG Platoon resident of Barangay Alegre, Sebaste, Antique.

The remains of Jonathan were transported to Siscar Funeral Service in Miagao, Iloilo, while those of Patrick and Mario were brought to Arnulfo Sumagpao Funeral Homes in Santa Barbara for paraffin testing, post-mortem examination, and proper disposition.

Later, in Barangay Camabaan, San Joaquin, Iloilo, two members of the CNT, one wounded and one deceased, were found abandoned.

The 61IB troops gave medical assistance to the injured female CNT member, identified as Rosel Nabua Esmediana, also known as Michelle or Poleen, the deputy secretary for education of SPF, KR-Panay. She is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in San Joaquin Mother and Child Hospital, San Joaquin, Iloilo.

The deceased, Rena Rhea Camariosa, also known as Kira, was properly handled by local police. She is the 2nd Deputy Secrerary ED, SPF, KR-Panay in Barangay Manampunay, Leon, Iloilo, and Barangay Camabaan, San Joaquin, Iloilo

Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade, said that troopers were provided with air surveillance of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and artillery during the encounter.

During the encounter, there were approximately 20 to 30 CNT, Samson said.

February 29, at 10:15 a.m., the 61IB engaged in a second firefight with the SPF, KR-Panay in the remote area of Barangay Roma, San Joaquin, Iloilo. No report of the encounter as of press time.

Samson is closely monitoring the situation and expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

He emphasized the tragic consequences of involvement with CNTs and urged their members to return to mainstream society.

“What a waste of life we see today because of the deception done by the heartless Communist Terrorist Groups. If only the members of the CNTs heeded our call for them to go back to the mainstream society, this incident should not have happened,” Samson said. (SunStar Philippines)


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