Rebel returns home in a casket

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/12 December) –  Juanito “Junjun” Bustamante, a resident of Barangay Zone-1 in Sta. Cruz town, Davao del Sur left his village seven months ago join the New People’s Army in Maragusan town in Compostela Valley.

He returned home on December 8 in a casket.

No one among his relatives knew he would join the NPA, Lt. Col. Medel Aguilar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, said.
Aguilar said Bustamante used to work as a helper of a public utility jeep plying the Sta. Cruz-Digos City route.  When the owner sold the jeep, Bustamante moved to Toril district where he worked as a  bamboo cutter.

Bustamante told his cousin Rolando that he would go to Manila to look for greener pastures last May 15.
He died in an encounter with the Army’s Scout Rangers on December 5.

Aguilar said the soldiers brought rebel’s body to the nearest funeral parlor in Maragusan town and coordinated with the local police and the local government unit for proper disposition.

Sta. Cruz Mayor Joel Ray Lopez has assured Bustamante’s family of financial help and burial expenses. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)