BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Orphaned children, who had witnessed the summary execution of their parents by suspected New People’s Army rebels on May 13 in Sitio Lower Budlasan, Brgy Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, received a cash grant of P50,000 from Cebu-based private groups Tuesday, the Philippine Army said yesterday.
The turnover of financial assistance by the City Social Welfare and Development Office, in behalf of Renault Lao, who organized the Heroes Adventure Challenge in Cebu, to the orphaned children of slain couple Rodrigo and Cerelina Lubay, was held at the office of Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge Roan Reyes.
The Lubay couple was among the four civilians killed by NPA rebels in the hinterlands of Guihulngan City, with the two other victims identified as Ronilo Quirante and Roger Fat, allegedly in retaliation for the death of 10 rebels during an encounter with the 62nd Infantry Battalion troopers in Sitio Agit, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, on March 23.
The encounter also resulted in the seizure of several high-powered firearms, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said, adding that the Lubay couple was shot dead by rebels in front of their children.
The assistance came from the proceeds of the Heroes Adventure Challenge, that was jointly organized by the Active Hub Fitness Center and the Bike and Brews, in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command.
It was a non-competitive virtual sporting event composed of run, bike distance, and bike elevation categories from July 10 to August 10 in Cebu City.
Dubbed as the “Hope of the Nation”, the first leg of the Heroes Adventure Challenge was intended for the scholarship program of the children affected by the armed conflict between the government forces and the rebels in Guihulngan City, the AFP said.
Reyes thanked the donors for their assistance to the orphaned children.
“May this initiative reach all parts of the Philippine archipelago and achieve its desired purpose of creating awareness in finally ending this senseless armed conflict that only destroys the lives of people,” Reyes said.
The scheduled second leg of the Heroes Adventure Challenge will benefit Army soldiers, who were injured while performing their duties in securing the Visayas region communities, the statement added.*