BACOLOD CITY – The body of a Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel killed in a clash with government troops in central Negros on August 10 has already been claimed by his family, the Philippine Army confirmed on Monday.
In a report, the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) identified the fatality as Anthony Tebio Ariola, 21, a resident of Sitio Bugo, Barangay Buenavista in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental province.
On August 11, Ariola’s kin came to the Soledad Funeral Services, where his cadaver was brought by soldiers after the encounter in Sitio Bulasot, also in Barangay Buenavista.
“We grieve with the family of the fallen NPA rebel. The communist-terrorist groups should stop destroying the dreams of the youth and the families of isolated communities in central Negros,” said Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commander of 94IB.
He urged the CPP-NPA rebels anew to stop the senseless armed struggle and allow peace to be their option.
Almonte earlier said his unit dispatched troops to Sitio Bulasot after residents reported the presence of armed rebels demanding money and food.
Troops of the 94IB engaged the rebels and later recovered Ariola’s body along with various weapons left behind by the rebels.
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.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) has also been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)