GOVERNMENT troops have retrieved the remains of two slain New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who died in a clash in the hinterlands of Zamboanga del Sur.

Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said the remains were abandoned by their comrades following a clash Thursday, April 22, in Guinlin village, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur.

Herrera said family members were able to identify the remains as that of Felimon Suazo, whose aliases were Jonathan Cruz and Nathan, and that of James Cordero.

Suazo was an executive committee member of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC), a political instructor and finance officer, as well as member of the Squad 1 of the Main Regional Guerrillas Unit (MRGU). Cordero was a member of the MRGU’s Squad 1.

He said the 53IB’s Charlie Company troopers under first Lieutenant Jonathan Cernitchez recovered the two remains after the firefight from the clash site and was turned over to Mayor Eleazar Carcallas of Tigbao.

Brigadier General Lionel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, earlier saidthe firefight ensued as the NPA rebels opened fire prompting the joint military and police operatives to retaliate while they were about to serve warrants of arrest against six NPAs, who belong to the MRGU of the NPA’s WMRPC.

“We feel very sorry for the families who lost their loved ones. We are sending back them back home as our way of respecting and recognizing that they were once with a member of their families before they were deceived by the wrong ideologies and joined the heartless group of CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army),” Herrera said

“We are all Filipinos and to counter this fight against our government forces is the very last thing we want to do. Our fight is not focused on winning a battle through barrels of guns, because we wanted more surrenders than body counts,” Nicolas said. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (