No claimants of remains of alleged rebels

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/07 December) — No relatives have come to claim the bodies of the three alleged communist guerrillas killed in an encounter with the Army in a town in North Cotabato a day after they were retrieved from the area, a military official said.

Lt. Manuel Gatus, chief of the civil military operations of the 57th Infantry Battalion, said the bodies of the alleged rebels were brought to the Torreda Funeral Homes in Poblacion, Makilala, around 11 o’clock, Tuesday.

“But none has claimed any of the rebels slain in the firefight,” said Gatus.

He identified those killed as Ka Bambu, Ka Rodel, and Ka Algen, all alleged members of Front 51 of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA).

Gatus said Ka Bambu hailed from Agusan del Sur, and headed the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda of Front 51.  Ka Rodel and Ka Algen, military reports said, were residents of Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.

The Army official called on the dead men’s relatives and their comrades in the armed movement to claim the bodies so they would be given proper burial in their hometowns.

The bodies were brought to the funeral parlor in Makilala town, around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, he said.

It took two days for the soldiers to transport the bodies of the alleged rebels to the town proper.

The terrain and the weather made it very difficult for the soldiers to carry the bodies down to the village center, Gatus explained.

On Sunday, about 60 elements of the Scout Ranger Company led by a certain 2nd Lt. Panganiban raided a suspected rebel camp in Sitio Ilitasan in Barangay Biangan, which led to the death of the suspected guerrillas.

Gatus said the soldiers were patrolling the area when they chanced upon a group of communist guerrillas. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)