Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

Nine siblings who were orphaned after their parents were killed by suspected Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army members in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, have received P50,000 cash assistance from the government.

(photo courtesy: http://www.pna.gov.ph)

The children of the late Rodrigo, 46, and Celerina Lubay, 44, of Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, have struggled with their day-to-day existence, aided by relatives while also fending for themselves, after their parents were killed on May 14.

The Lubay couple, along with Ronelo Quirante, 56, and Roger Fat, 46, were murdered by suspected members of the Leonardo Panaligan Command-NPA in Central Negros, at Sitio Agit in Barangay Trinidad.

The victims were accused of being military informants.

Army 1st Lt. Roselyn Balean, acting Civil Military Operations Officer of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB), said in an interview Tuesday that eight of the siblings are in Barangay Trinidad while the eldest is in Cebu.

The youngest among the orphans, composed of six males and three females, is aged seven, Balean said.

They have a farmland while the younger ones strive to attend school despite the hardships, she said.

Reneboy, 24, second to the eldest, said aside from farming, he also picks up his siblings’ modules so they can continue their studies, a media release from the 62IB, said.

He was quoted by the Army as saying they hate the “heartless” NPA rebels for killing their parents in their presence.

The Guihulngan City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, in partnership with the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Civil Relations Service of the military, and the Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division and 62IB, provided assistance to the children after they were orphaned.

Just recently, P50,000 from the proceeds of “Heroes Adventure Challenge” were turned over to the children.

Renault Lao, a military reservist and co-owner of Bikes and Brews shop, handed over the assistance from Cebu-based groups and the Active Hub Fitness Center and Smarties, organizers of the run, bike distance, and bike elevation event that started in July and will end with the third and final leg in November.

It event aims to raise funds to support the scholarship of children affected by the armed conflict in Guihulngan.

“Every Filipino is a hero. We are grateful to the organizers of Heroes Adventure Challenge. Despite (the) pandemic, they were still be able to initiate activities that will help our countrymen, especially the victims of (NPA) atrocities. It is just a demonstration that we Filipinos care about each other. I hope they will be imitated by other organizations who always say they are for the people. Relatedly, I also call on our local residents to continue to be vigilant and not hesitate to report any presence of armed NPA,” 62IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Melvin Flores said. 

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