• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The top leadership of Army’s 3rd Infantry Division has vowed to aggressively pursue the New People’s Army remnants in Negros Island, following the death of another Army soldier on August 24 in Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said “we will hunt them and bring them (in)to the bar of justice, or otherwise to their grave.”
Cpl. Richard Rafols, a member of the Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion, died in a gun battle on Aug. 24 in Brgy. Milagrosa, Santa Catalina, against around 10 suspected NPA rebels, who are remnants of the dismantled South East Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor.
It also resulted in the death of one of the fleeing rebels identified by the Philippine Army as Ruby Almines, alias Kende.
Army soldiers recovered an M653 assault rifles with a bandoleer containing 11 long and short magazines with ammunition, two caliber .45 pistols, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) with accessories, a hand grenade, and two back packs containing personal belongings.
The twin encounters took place more than two weeks after a policeman was killed, while two of his colleagues were injured after being ambushed by remnants of the dismantled Northern Negros Front in Sitio Icogan, Brgy. Minapasok, Calatrava, Negros Occidental, on Aug. 9.
PCpl. Jaime Nuñez, a member of the Calatrava Police Station, who was killed in the ambush, was buried on Aug. 26 at a memorial park in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.
Sison further said “we will not rest until none of them remain to continue their futile and senseless armed struggle,” apparently referring to the NPA remnants in Negros Island.*