Army aids families of NPA rebels killed in Sorsogon

Immediate cash assistance, sacks of rice, and grocery items from the 9th Infantry Division (9ID) were given to the families of three New People’s Army (NPA) rebels killed during recent encounters in Sorsogon province.

Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9ID spokesperson, on Tuesday said assistance was given to Alex Mapula’s family last Nov. 23 and to Reynaldo Palmiano’s family on Nov. 28.

“The families of Alex Mapula and Reynaldo Palmiano gratefully received the said assistance from the Spear Division and implored the communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) to return to the folds of the law,” he said in an interview.

Belleza said tears streamed down the face of Alex’s father as he begged other communist terrorist group (CTG) members to come down from the mountains and avail of the various programs the government has for them instead of suffering the same fate as his son’s.

“Sa mga NPA, dapat magbagong-buhay na sila dahil naririnig ko sa balita na tinutulungan sila ng gobyerno upang maka pagsimula muli ng bagong buhay,” (To the NPAs, you need to come down and surrender because I hear news reports that the government is helping them start a new life),” the Army official said, quoting the elder Mapula.

Alex’s mother was at a loss for words to describe the heartbreak of burying her 42-year-old son. “Sa mga NPA, sana po wag na silang magrecruit para hindi na maulit kasi mahirap kung may mangyayari [gaya nito]. Mabuti na lang kung tutulong sila eh hindi naman,” (To the NPA, I hope they will not recruit anymore so that this will not be repeated. It would be good if they help. But they don’t),” she said.

“Malaking pasasalamat ko sa mga kasundaluhan sa mga tulong na naibigay ninyo sa amin,” (I’m truly grateful for the help you are extending for us) she added.

The slain rebel’s parents said they had no idea that Alex, who was a construction worker in Marikina City, joined the CTG.

A few days ago, Alex’s daughter gave birth to her first child and the new grandfather did not have the chance to see his grandchild.

Affected by the pandemic and the calamities that hit Bicol, his family had to borrow money just to give him a decent burial as the CTG did not even bother to assist them.

It also angered Alex’s parents that his supposed comrades simply left him to die alone as they scampered off in retreat.

Isidro and Tania Palmiano, Reynaldo’s siblings, shared the same sentiments after he was brought home lifeless.

“Talagang masama ang loob ko sa nangyari sa kapatid ko tapos wala namang naitulong ang NPA. Walang magandang naidulot ang pagrecruit sa kaniya. Tiisin na lang namin ang nangyari na namatay siya kasi wala na kaming magagawa (Truly we are angry about what happened to our brother. Nothing good happened when they recruited him. We just have to bear with his death because there is nothing more we can do),” they said.

Aside from them, the family of another CTG member who was also killed in an encounter with government soldiers received assistance from the Philippine Army.

Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) chief and 9ID commander, in a statement said “Sinong matinong tao ang kayang iwan ang kaniyang naghihingalong kasamahan? (Could a person in sound mind just leave a comrade who is dying?) This only proves the real face of the CTG — manggagamit (user)! Thus, we are once again warning the Bicolanos, not to allow this terrorist group to deceive any of you. Joining their useless cause will only ruin your life and the future of your family”.

Robinson also appealed to NPAs’ family members to convince their relatives to return to the fold of the law.

“Huwag ninyo silang konsentihin. Mas masayang uuwi sila sainyo ng buhay kaysa patay (Don’t give them your consent. It would be happier if they will come home alive than dead),” he said.

Source: Philippines News agency

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