BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The New People’s Army Apolinario Gatmaitan Command yesterday issued a statement strongly condemning what it calls “brutal murder” of Florida “Ka Kelly” Ceballos and her companion allegedly by Army soldiers on December 16 in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.
Rebel spokesman Ka Juanito Magbanua alleged in his issued statement that Ka Kelly and her companion, Wilfredo Fuentes, were waylaid and captured by 94th Infantry Battalion soldiers, while on their way to Kabankalan City.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, however, said that Ceballos, secretary of the Central Negros (Front) 2, and Fuentes, both died in an encounter with 94IB soldiers in Sitio Belo, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City.
Pasaporte said that 94IB soldiers also recovered firearms and explosives, aside from subversive documents at the encounter, aside from the cadavers of two rebels left behind by their fleeing comrades.
Prior to the incident, Magbanua claimed that Ceballos was missing, while she was conducting social investigation on the current situation of farmers and farm workers in the haciendas of Himamaylan City and Kabankalan City, particularly the land holdings of Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. on December 8.
The rebel spokesman said that the encounter, as reported by the military, was a cover up.
Ka Kelly, according to Magbanua, is the tenth revolutionary in Negros within 2021 whose rights as hors de combat was violated along with others in Negros Island since early this year.
Pasaporte had said that Ceballos was the third CPP-NPA front secretary in Negros Island neutralized by government forces, which was an offshoot of series of gun battles.
The revolutionary movement in Negros will not rest until justice is achieved for Ka Kelly and all the victims of atrocities and human rights abuses of the AFP, Magbanua said.*