IN A tragic turn of events, Private First Class Rodelo Alfanza of the 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion of the Philippine Army died following a firefight with armed members of Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) in Barangay Igpaho, Tubungan, Iloilo around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 17, 2024.
Alfanza was declared dead on arrival at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao District, Iloilo City.
The Hunter troopers were responding to information provided by a concerned citizen about the presence of an armed group conducting extortion activities and demanding support from residents.
Upon arrival at the suspected enemy location, members of Southern Panay Front (W), KR Panay, led by Nahum Camariosa alias Bebong or Rod, a firefight ensued and lasted for around 12 minutes before the enemy withdrew toward the east.
The firefight resulted in two soldiers who were wounded in action (WIA) and the death of Alfanza.
The 61IB extended its heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the fallen soldier.
Lieutenant Colonel Arturo Balgos Jr., commanding officer of the 61IB, called on the public to unite in honoring the bravery of the fallen soldier and to stand together in the ongoing pursuit of lasting and genuine peace.
“His ultimate sacrifice is a solemn testament of his commitment to serving the Filipino and our country,” he said.
“Let his sacrifice add to our motivation and stimulus to pursue and intensify our efforts to end insurgency and attain just and lasting peace,” he added.
Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade, said: “We extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of our comrade who made ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our people and nation. Another hero sacrificed his life to give peace a chance. Hence, the death of our companion does not terrify us but instead, it reminds us to give our very best to put an end to the decades-long cruelty of the CNTs.” (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)