Raps filed vs. rebels in Ilog clash

The Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office filed five cases Friday, September 17, against three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who were arrested following an encounter with state troopers at Sitio Balik-Balik, Barangay Tabu, Ilog town, on September 14.

Cases for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9516 or Unlawful Possession of Explosives and violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition were filed against Ronel Bordago and Joebel Mabayag.

Violation of RA 9516, a non-bailable case, was also filed against Nilda Bertulano.

The gun battle between the army and the NPA members led to the death of four rebels, injury of two, and the arrest of one.

Col. Romy Palgue, provincial police director, lauded the troops for the “successful operation of liberating the residents.”

“We offer our prayers for the fast recovery of residents against trauma caused by this firefight” due to the presence of NPA in the area, he said.

Meanwhile, Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of the NPA’s Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, on Friday paid tribute to their four fallen comrades who died in the encounter.

Magbanua identified the four “martyrs” as Cheene “Ka Nikki” Dacalos, 30, Jeren “Ka Alvin” Vargas, 24, Jonard “Ka George” Alvior, and Ka Bobong.

“They gave their best to advance the revolutionary aspirations of the people to achieve national liberation and democracy,” Magbanua said.

He said Ka Alvin and Ka Nikki were fatally wounded while withdrawing from the gun battle and eventually commanded their comrades to leave them behind for quick maneuver.

Ka Alvin was a platoon leader of the NPA’s Armando Sumayang Jr. Command and Ka Nikki was a political instructor of the platoon,” Magbanua said.

He said the death of their comrades “brings grief to the entire revolutionary forces in Negros, nonetheless, grief will turn into far more daringness and inspiration to decisively continue the unfinished mission of liberating the people long oppressed and exploited.”*

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