The Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) of Midsalip town in Zamboanga del Sur has provided a decent burial to the two slain New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in that town, officials said on May 13, 2020.
The two rebels, who were killed in a firefight with government troops on May 11, 2020, in Sitio Pisyo, Barangay Balonai were buried on May 12, 2020, in Barangay Poblacion’s public cemetery in Midsalip.
Midsalip Mayor Elmer Soronio, MTF-ELCAC chairperson, said the municipal government “is always in close coordination with the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police in providing necessary assistance in all aspects concerning the peace and order situation of our municipality”.
“We have repeatedly disseminated that our doors are always open for those who wish to return to the fold of the law. And in this case, we will extend whatever help we can to provide such as a decent burial to these killed NPAs, abandoned by their comrades,” Soronio said.
Government troops belonging to the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion recovered two AK-47 assault rifles, two bandoliers with magazines and ammunition, and other items belonging to the rebels.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB commander, said the two slain NPA rebels have not yet been identified as of May 13, 2020.
“The unit is on its effort to identify the cadavers so that we can inform their families about their death,” Herrera said.
Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the NPA rebels would have been still alive “if they heeded the call of the government to lay down their arms and be with their families, especially in this time of health crisis”.
“Our deepest condolences to their families, whoever or wherever they are now and may the souls of the dead NPAs rest in peace,” Nicolas said. (Leah Agonoy/Ely Dumaboc, PNA)