Slain soldier’s service firearm seized in La Castellana clash

The Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) recovers a stolen .45 caliber pistol service firearm of their colleague following a clash with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental Wednesday, barely four years after the ambush-slay of the soldier in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental in July 2020. (Photo courtesy of 303rd IBde)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A government-issued firearm of a slain soldier was recovered by government forces in an encounter at Hacienda Gomez, Barangay Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental last week, barely four years after their colleague was ambushed by the New People’s Army (NPA) in 2020.

Military troopers recovered a .45 caliber pistol owned by the late Corporal Mark Anthony Quiocson, a resident of Himamaylan City who was a member of the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB).

Quiocson was serving at the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-2019) Community Control Point and extending assistance to barangay development programs when he was ambushed by the rebels at Sitio Compound, Barangay Luz, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on July 21, 2020.

The firearm was identified and verified by the Police Investigation Team, according to the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde).

Quiocson’s firearm was among the recovered items in the January 17 encounter in La Castellana town that killed two suspected NPA rebels, in a report released by the 303rd IBde last Saturday.

In a statement, Brigadier General Orlando Edralin, 303rd IBde commander, said these NPA rebels should pay for all their evil acts, especially in claiming the life of a dedicated army personnel while performing his duty in securing the peace and safety of the Negrosanons.

“More than three years after the murder of the 62nd IB and CSP operator, justice is served and the remaining NPA rebels will also be made answerable for this heinous incident,” he added.

Edralin said the NPA rebels can’t deny the truth with the identification of the firearm being owned by Quiocson. “It is clear evidence that they were behind the gruesome murder,” he added.

Major General Marion Sison, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID), in his message, said the recovery of Quiocson’s stolen firearm will provide significant aid to the authorities in legally holding accountable the NPA members responsible for the killing of a Covid-19 frontliner.

“We hope that with the recovery of Quiocson’s firearm, those responsible for his killing will be brought to justice, providing the rightful justice to his family,” Sison said.