GOVERNMENT troops have safely brought home on Friday, December 29, the remains of the four New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to their respective families for proper and decent burial.
In a statement Saturday, December 30, the 97th Infantry Battalion (IB) said the four NPA rebels, including two ranking leaders, were killed in separate clashes in Wilben village, Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte, on Wednesday, December 27, and in San Jose village, Sergio Osmeña, on Thursday, December 28.
The NPA’s identity was confirmed by the Army troops and quickly informed the immediate family members of the tragic event, according to the 97IB.
The slain NPA rebels were identified as follows: Charlie Hintapa of Upper Dimurok village, Molave, Zamboanga del Sur; Mary Ann Nabecis of Capitan Bayong village, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon; Jerome Albios of Sitio Barabug in Lantay village, Pangantucan, Bukidnon; and, Maria Luz Ranan of Sitio Mahaba in Poblacion village, La Paz, Agusan Del Sur.
Hintapa is a team leader of the Guerrilla Front (GF) Sendong while Ranan is the secretary of GF Sendong of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Sanz, 97IB commander, lauded the combined efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and local government units (LGUs) for going the extra mile and ensuring the cadavers will receive proper funeral service and handled with respect.
“We do not take pleasure in the death of our fellow Filipinos. However, it is our sworn duty to protect every square inch of our country and act in the best interests of every peace-loving citizen of this nation,” Sanz said in a statement.
He urged the remaining NPA members to lay down their arms, return to the folds of the law, and live a peaceful and normal life, avoiding unnecessary death.
He said they remain committed to respecting human rights and following international humanitarian law.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased rebels and hope that they may find closure and peace during this difficult time,” Sanz said.
“Let us strive for a future, where no more lives are lost to violence, and where every family may celebrate this Holiday season in peace and harmony,” he added. (SunStar Zamboanga)