CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-The 96th Infantry Battalion (96IB) with the help of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) facilitated the recovery of the body of a communist NPA terrorist (CNT) killed in an armed encounter in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur last April 10.
Since there is yet no claimant, the cadaver was turned over by the government troops to Mayor Delfin Pilapil III of Lagonoy for proper disposition.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Lonogan, Commanding Officer of 96IB expressed his condolences to the family of the casualty, “A life that is lost, either of our soldiers or of the enemies is heartbreaking. But this could have been prevented had these CNTs heed our call for them to return to the fold of the law.”
Thus, Col. Jaime Abawag Jr., Brigade Commander of 902nd Infantry Brigade encouraged the relatives of the remaining CTG members to help the government in its fight against insurgency which only has led to the loss of precious lives.
“Tulungan n’yo kaming pababain sila sa mga kabundukan dahil ayaw naming dumating sa puntong iuuwi namin sainyo ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay na pantay na ang mga paa. Hindi ba’t mas magandang isiping uuwi sila sainyo ng humihinga at maaari pa ninyong makasama ng mas mahabang panahon?” Col. Abawag said.
The Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) commander MajGen Henry Robinson stressed that it is part of the soldiers’ duty to respect the body of the enemies killed in an armed encounter and even give them decent burial.
“To die for a greater cause is heroic, but to die for a terrorist group which turns its back from its members when they are helpless is tragic. Ito ang totoong kulay ng ng mga teroristang komunista – iniiwanan nila ang kanilang mga komrads kapag tumumba o nasugatan na ang mga itona ang mga ito,” adds Robinson.
It can be recalled that the Army’s on-going pursuit operation against the CTG members responsible for the production and stockpiling of several anti-personnel mines last April 9, resulting in the killing of one of the rebels and the capture of his M16 rifle.