By Mike Crismundo
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – A proper burial was given to a slain New People’s Army (NPA) rebel by the Army troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion (8th IB), 88th IB, 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade and 901st Infantry Brigade together with the local government of San Fernando, Bukidnon on Saturday, January 12.
In a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin late Sunday afternoon, Capt. Marcelito C. Quijano, Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 403rd Brigade, said the Army led the coordination with the local government of San Fernando and Bukidnon province in order to help the bereaved family of the 19-year old rebel known only as Bert.
Quijanio said the parents of the slain rebel attended the burial and “begged for the NPA not to recruit minors anymore.”
“They are destroying their future,” the officer quoted the parents as saying.
The rebel’s mother also said that her son was recruited by the terrorist group in 2015 when he was only 16 years old, the 403rd CMO officer said.
“We are doing service even to our enemy in respect to IHL. He ceased to become an enemy at the time of surrender or death. So we take care of them even if he is already dead because we care also for his family,” also said Col. Edgardo Y. De Leon, commanding officer of the 403rd “Peacemaker” Brigade, in the same statement.
The young rebel was believed to be one of two NPAs who was killed in an encounter with Army troops in Barangay Binicilan, San Luis town, Agusan del Sur last December 31, 2018.