BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Mt. Cansermon Command – New People’s Army (MCC-NPA) hailed its four slain members as “revolutionary martyrs,” insisting that they died in a massacre and not in encounter, contrary to reports by Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Police.
Rebel spokesman Ka Dionesio Magbuelas identified them as Roel “Ka Jack” Ladera, Nikka “Ka Chai” dela Cruz, Alden “Ka Rocky” Rodriguez and Roel “Ka Caloy” Deguit.
The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade and the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office issued separate statements, maintaining that it was a legitimate encounter, and that four high-powered firearms were recovered from the slain rebels.
The four slain rebels were also linked by the Philippine Army to the ambush of Binalbagan policemen who responded to a shooting incident early this year.
Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, in a statement published by the 94th Infantry Battalion on its social media account, said “The Local Government Unit of Binalbagan is very grateful for the efforts of our soldiers and police that greatly contributed in maintaining the peace and security in the municipality.”
Mirasol also applauded the full cooperation of the residents of So. Amelis in Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, that paved the way in locating the threat group in the place.
In a statement, Magbuelas said that Ladera served as a military cadre of the MCC-NPA South Central Front, for six years.
He also lauded the contribution of dela Cruz, a Journalism graduate and a former radio reporter, to the revolutionary movement, as a political officer and a propagandist who later joined the NPA.
Magbuelas also said that Ladera and Rodriguez joined the NPA, because both were allegedly victims of military abuses, while Deguit was an active leader of a mass organization prior his entry to the revolutionary movement.
He claimed that the deaths of what he called “Binalbagan 4” will serve as an inspiration to them.*