NPA mass grave uncovered in Bukidnon

DAVAO CITY- Security forces uncovered on Thursday a mass grave of New People’s Army rebels in a hinterland village in Kitaotao Bukidnon, a military official reported on Friday.

Lt. Col. Silas Tasmontero, commander of 89 Infantry Battalion, said Army troops and personnel of the PNP-Scene of the Crime Operation, exhumed three cadavers believed to have been summarily executed and buried by communist rebels in a mountain village in Barangay Digongan, Kitaotao located in the tri-boundary Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte.

He said local villagers had earlier reported to military authorities the mass grave of NPA rebels who had previously established a shadowy government in the area.
Authorities identified the exhumed victims as Army Sgt. Reynante Espana, Rey Galendez, a retired police officer and tribal chieftain Camarullo Havana who were abducted by NPA rebels while traversing along the highway in Barangay Kalagangan on August 22, 2017.

Evelyn Galendez, the sister of Galendez and Aida Espana, wife of Sgt. Espana said the NPA abductors had demanded money from their families in exchange for the release of the captives.

They alleged that they kept on sending money to the NPA captors until last July when they decided to stop giving money after the NPA rebels failed to provide proof of life of the captives.

The village of Digongan was once a rebel stronghold until early this month when local and village officials declared the NPA rebels persona non-grata in their village.
Lt.Gen. Felimon Santos, commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, condemned the inhuman acts perpetrated by the NPA rebels which are in violation of the International Humanitarian Law.

Meanwhile, two NPA rebels yielded to military authorities in Sarangani Province to evade the ongoing offensive launched by security forces against the Mao-inspired communist rebels operating in the provinces of Sarangani and Davao Occidental.

Lt. Jerry Maborrang, civil military operations officer of 73rd Infantry Battalion, identified the NPA surrenderees as Tiara Sinama, a resident of Barangay Kinam, Malapatan, Sarangani and Marvin Bok of Barangay Paraiso, Alabel, Sarangani, who both surrendered to 73rd IB personnel under Lt.Col. Ronaldo Valdez.

The NPA rebels, who belong to NPA Guerilla Front 71 operating in the provinces of Sarangani and Davao Occidental, yielded one M-16 Armalite rifle, a Garand rifle and one .38 caliber revolver.

The NPA surrenderees said they opted to surrender following the intensified crackdown launched by the government forces against the NPA rebels in their mountain strongholds in the boundary of Sarangani and Davao Occidental.
Mabborang said some 30 former NPA rebels had surrendered to 73rd IB since last May.


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