Google map of Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Army's 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) turned over Friday the body of a communist New People’s Army (NPA) squad leader to local authorities following a clash in the hinterlands of Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

1Lt. Vincent Mark Maddul, the 58IB's civil-military operation officer, identified the slain NPA rebel as Toto Gendina, of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental.

"He was positively identified by other former rebels who surrendered. His body is now in the local government in Gingoog City, and his family will be informed so that he is given proper burial," Maddul said in an interview.

Maddul said 58IB troopers encountered Gendina's eight-man group in a 20-minute firefight on Thursday in Barangay Alagatan, Gingoog City.

"We thanked the community for giving us information about their hideouts, the area where it happened was about 300 meters from the nearest community," Maddul said.

Lt. Col. Christian C Uy, 58IB commander, lamented that "another life has been lost because of a failed ideology."

“I am reiterating our call to the remnants of the CTGs (Communist Terrorist Groups) who are still hiding in the hinterlands to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law while they still have the opportunity," he said.

"Avail the different programs of the government that are enough for them to start a new life. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” the Army official said. (PNA)