TACLOBAN CITY – A slain member of the New People’s Army (NPA) got a decent burial on Sunday from local officials and the military in Pambujan, Northern Samar days after his comrades abandoned his body in a clash with government forces.
The unidentified rebel was laid to rest at the Pambujan public cemetery after a three-day wake at the town’s auditorium, said 2 Lt. Roxane Valenciano, civic military operations officer of the Philippine Army’s 43rd Infantry Battalion.
“Nobody claimed his body and no one recognized him during the three days of his wake at the auditorium,” Valenciano said in a phone interview Monday.
The rebel died on Feb. 15 in a brief gunbattle with soldiers in remote Cagbigaho village in Pambujan town.
He was one of the three rebels who fought with patrolling troopers. A soldier was injured during the clash. A bandolier and a notebook were recovered after the firefight.
Northern Samar is considered to be the NPA’s stronghold in Eastern Visayas due to poor road network, thick forest, high poverty incidence, and low level of education in upland communities.
The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)