Residents of Barangay Puso in the central Negros town of La Castellana honored their kin who were victims and survivors of an ambush perpetrated by the New People's Army (NPA) in rites that commemorated the seventh year of the massacre on Thursday.
During the incident on Jan. 27, 2013, eight civilians and a policeman were killed while 12 others were injured. The victims were on their way home from a fiesta in a neighboring village when they were ambushed by NPA rebels, who later claimed responsibility for the deaths of civilians and apologized.
Municipal officials led by La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan and troops of the Philippine Army led by Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, commanding officer of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, and personnel of the Philippine National Police joined the village officials and the victims' families during the event.
After seven years of the tragedy that brought painful memories, we are here coming together in our desire to bring peace and order to our municipality, Nicor-Mangilimutan said.
She added that through the assistance of the government, nine children of the victims were able to graduate from college and are now professionals.
Nicor-Mangilimutan said having peace and order would bring La Castellana progress and development.
The commemoration rites were held at the site of the massacre, where a Holy Mass was celebrated and wreaths were offered by the families and relatives of the victims.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, commended the municipal government for honoring the victims of the massacre.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines are one with the families of the victims in seeking justice against the communist-terrorist NPA. We will continue to hunt down the armed group and stop them, their relentless killing of innocent civilians, he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Source: Philippines News Agency