By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) has identified the three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who were killed in two separate clashes with military troopers in Negros Island this week.
In La Castellana, Negros Occidental, Lieutenant Colonel J-jay Javines, head of the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) of 3ID, identified the fatalities as Bernard Torres Sr., 56, of Barangay Buenavista, and Dionisio Baloy, 67, of Barangay Linantuyan, both of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Their remains in a funeral parlor in Moises Padilla town were turned over to their families last Thursday.
These two alleged NPA rebels were killed in an encounter with the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Sag-ang last Wednesday when the government forces launched operations following reports on the alleged extortion activities and recruitment attempt of the NPA in the area.
Meanwhile, a localized peace engagement (LPE) was conducted in the town to enlighten 500 residents about the NPA. They were also given food packs, while the Municipal Health Office provided them with free medical check-ups and medicines.
The activity was also highlighted by an Oath of Allegiance by the participants led by Barangay Chairman Rolando Torres.
The other suspected rebel killed in a clash with the 11th IB in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental last Thursday, was identified as Edmar Pat Solano, alias “Meme/Maymay/Jane,” and alleged member of Squad 1, South East Front, Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS), according to the Army.
Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, extended his condolences to their families. “With a heavy heart, I extend my sincere condolences to the families of those NPA rebels, who lost their lives in the recent encounters. May their souls find peace,” Sison said in a statement.
He commended the efforts of the Task Force-to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) for facilitating the return of the remains of the casualties to their loved ones.