Philippines

Army troops bury suspected NPA guerrilla killed in battle

FINAL RESPECTS. Soldiers carry the coffin containing an unidentified communist guerrilla during his burial in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte on July 2. (Photos from the 97th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — After days of waiting for relatives to claim the body of a suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla who was killed in a battle with government troops, the military has decided to give it a decent burial.

Col. Manaros Boransing, commander of the Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion, said relatives who would want to claim the body could coordinate with the Sindangan municipal government in Zamboanga del Norte.

The body was buried on Thursday, July 2, at the public cemetery of Sindangan town.

The body was discovered by government troops in Barangay Piwan of Midsalip town in Zamboanga del Sur after a 25-minute gunfight with some 30 NPA rebels on June 28. He was slumped with his M14 rifle.

Also recovered from the clash site were four anti-personnel mines, one hand grenade, one rifle grenade, some magazines, and ammunition.

The body was brought to nearby Bayog and Midsalip so the locals could help identify him, but no one in those towns knew him.

This prompted the military to bring it to Sindangan town and ask its Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) to facilitate the identification of the body.

“The provincial and municipal task forces … are working to identify the cadaver so that we can inform the family about his death,” Boransing said.

He thanked the Sindangan government for giving the dead man a decent burial.

/atm

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