• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Abandoned by comrades and unclaimed by family members, the suspected New People’s Army combatant who was recently killed in an encounter with Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion soldier in Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, was given a decent burial on July 10.
The slain rebel was only identified through his alias, Chan or Bambam, based on a tattoo on his right arm, according to Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94IB commander.
Almonte believes that the slain rebel was among those critically injured when his group of about 10 armed men clashed with Army soldiers on July 7. His comrades consequently abandoned him to avoid slowing down their escape from pursuing military troops, he added.
A Remington R4 assault rifle, two backpacks containing extortion letters, and personal belongings were recovered by Army soldiers from three encounter sites, aside from a homemade 12-gauge shotgun and a fragmentation grenade also retrieved by troopers of the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, commanding officer of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, criticized the CPP-NPA-NDF for forsaking their injured comrade, resulting in his demise. At the same time, he also commended the Himamaylan City TF-ELCAC for their efforts in organizing the burial of the abandoned NPA.
“These terrorist group have once again revealed their true nature as ruthless human rights violators, demonstrating a complete disregard for the sanctity of life, even towards their fellow members,” Edralin said.*