Davao City – A college student from one of the schools here was among those killed during an encounter between government troopers and the communists New People’s Army (NPA) in the Sarangani province last week.
Last Nov. 4, an encounter took place between the forces of 27th Infantry Battalion and the NPA rebels in Sitio Tubak, Barangay Nomol in the town of Maasim in Sarangani that resulted in the killing of three rebels and the confiscation of nine high-powered firearms and ammunitions.
10th Infantry Division information officer Captain Ernest Carolina, in a statement sent to the media here, said that last Nov. 6, a certain Marina Edpan Gacula, a resident of Davao City, went to the police station in Maasim town and introduced herself as the mother of one of the fatalities during the encounter.
Gacula positively identified one of the casualties as her son, Rendell Ryan Edpan Gacula, 23, and a college student. She even showed authorities the school ID of her son.
The other slain rebel was identified as Johnny Wata Camag, 28, of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. He was identified by his father Noel.
A third body remains unidentified.
10th ID commander Major General Eduardo Año lauded the efforts of the 27th IB in its recent operations in the area but also expressed grief over the death of NPA rebels.
“The series of successes is a result of massive support from the populace”, General Año said, adding that the people are now aware of developments that can bring in peace to their respective communities.
Meanwhile, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) commander Lt. General Aurelio Baladad has called on the rebels to surrender and return to their normal lives.
“While the NPA bandits were on the run trying to evade our troops, more information coming from the community led the troops to their location. It is for this reason that we are calling on our deceived and demoralized brothers to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law and live peacefully with their families,” Baladad said.