By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) released yesterday the names of the two alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in clashes with military troopers at Sitio Cambaga, Barangay Yao-Yao, Cauayan, Negros Occidental last Tuesday.
Lieutenant Colonel J-jay Javines, head of the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), identified the fatalities as Jovy Basia Moreño alias “Christian,” 28, of Barangay Agboy, Candoni town; and Warren Briones Cadarin alias “Omar,” 30, of Barangay Manlucahoc, Sipalay City.
Javines said that Moreño and Cadarin were both alleged members of Platoon 3, Southwest Front (SWF) of the Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (KR-NCBS).
Moreño was positively identified by his father, while Cadarin was identified by his brother.
Their remains are still at Sola Gracia Funeral Homes in Barangay Hilamonan, Kabakanlan City, and will be turned over to the families once the post-mortem examination is completed.
The 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) engaged in two consecutive encounters with the said rebel group when the soldiers acted on the report on the alleged presence of armed persons in the area.
In a statement, Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, commended the persistent support and cooperation of the people.
Likewise, he expressed his sympathies and ordered the 15th IB to extend any support whenever possible to alleviate the burden of the bereaved family of the fatalities.
“We are saddened by the fact that lives had to be wasted because of the false ideologies and beliefs impressed on them by the NPA,” Sison said.
Meanwhile, a total of eight alleged NPA rebels and two militiamen have voluntarily surrendered to the 15th (IB) and turned over high-powered firearms at Battalion RCP, Barangay Tiling, Cauayan town.
In the first semester of the year, the unit conducted intensified Community Support Program (CSP) operations in the areas of Sipalay, Cauayan, and Candoni, as part of the unit’s continuous support efforts.
As a result, five alleged NPA leaders and members, and one militiaman surrendered to the CSP teams.
These included a 23-year-old man who held the position of Finance Logistic Officer (FLO); a 32-year-old man who was a squad leader; and members aged 24, 49, and 32; and a 61-year-old member of the Yunit Militia (YM), according to the 15th IB.
The leads provided by the former rebels, coupled with the continuous CSP and focused military operations, led to an increase in the number of NPA members surrendering to the unit during the following quarter.
They were 20-year-old vice squad leader, 26-year-old squad leader and FLO, 22-year-old platoon medical officer and FLO, and 54-year-old YM member.
All of them were affiliated with Platoon 3 of the SWF, which was active in the mountainous areas of the sixth district of the provice, according to the 15th IB.
They are presently undergoing interviews, along with various assessments and documentation procedures.
These measures are crucial in preparing them for enrollment in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), wherein they will receive the necessary support and assistance to aid their reintegration into society, allowing them to begin anew within their respective community.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Cuarteros, 15th IB commander, lauded them for making the decision to surrender.
“May this moment in time serve as a powerful moment to the remaining NPA members to have the courage to lay down their arms, surrender to the government authorities, and reintegrate into society. May they draw inspiration from the wise choices made by their former comrades,” he said.
Cuarteros vowed to continue their focused military efforts to ensure the safety of the people in their area of operation, and work towards the dismantling of the NPA, while helping those who are willing to give up their anti-government activities.