One New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur as Army troopers advanced to exhume and retrieve the remains of an 18-year-old female rebel killed by her comrades two years ago.
Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade (103rd IBde) based in Marawi City, said on Sunday troops of the 5th Infantry Battalion (5IB) were securing a composite team for an “exhumation mission” of Hope Capangpangan when they encountered the armed men in a firefight around 4 p.m. on Saturday which lasted for an hour.
Once brought down from the encounter site, the cadaver will be brought to Amai Manabilang town for burial.
“We will give the cadaver a decent burial in Amai Manabilang. We are coordinating with the LGU (local government unit),” Cuerpo said.
Capangpangan, who hailed from Bukidnon, was recruited by the NPA when she was 16.
Another former colleague, who surrendered to the military, provided the information including the burial site, and Capangapangan’s family asked the help of the military to retrieve the cadaver.
As to the dead fighter, Lt. Col. Romulus Rabara, commanding officer of 5IB, confirmed one cadaver was left behind by the fleeing NPA armed group after the fierce engagement with the troops.
The government forces retrieved the cadaver and recovered several war materiel composed of two M16 rifles, two M79 grenade launchers, a KG9 9mm PCR, hand grenade, assorted ammunition and packs of personal belongings.
No casualty was recorded on the government side after the firefight.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, 1st Infantry Division Commander, lauded the troops for the accomplishment and the civilians who reported the existence of the armed group.
“The encounter is another significant blow to the communist terrorist group that definitely demoralized their ranks and we are hoping that they will abandon their senseless and irrelevant armed struggle,” Ponio said. SOVEREIGNPH