Thursday, March 15, 2012

Only 212 NPA rebels operate in Negros Occidental


THERE are only about 212 members of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who are still operating in Negros Occidental, a military official said Wednesday.
Colonel Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Battalion commander, said in the 1980s, the number was more than 1,000. It dwindled to 500 in year 2000 and now it is only 212.
He said the defeat of the rebels not only in the province but nationwide is an irreversible thing. “It is just a matter of time, as our people become educated and our economy developed.”
He said the NPA’s downfall is a trend that is irreversible.
Lactao cited in northern area of Negros Occidental, there were about 80 to 90 NPA members.
Meanwhile, regarding the recent ambush killing of 2nd Lieutenant Jose Angelo Esquera, Lactao said he salutes the slain Army officer and considers him as a hero.
He said Esquera was assigned in Negros Occidental to assist the peace and development work of the province.
Esquera was shot and killed recently by about nine suspected NPA members at Sitio Manluy-a, Barangay Tuyom, Cauayan, while he was leading his troops to conduct peace and development work in Barangay Basak.
“Esguera doesn’t have any agenda here in Negros Occidental. He does not own land or any interest here, as he was a resident of Taguig. Yet he gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice for peace,” Lactao said.
Lactao hoped that the sacrifice of Esquera will be a seed, which will sprout into peace and development in Negros Occidental.
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