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6 killed rebels named

AUTHORITIES named on Thursday six suspected New People's Army (NPA) members killed in Monday's encounter with the government troops in Barangay Malinawon, Mawab, Compostela Valley.
The fatalities were identified as Romeo T. Vender, 34; and Mario Ocay, 37, both residents of New Corella in Davao del Norte; Ener Rosquetes Etol, 22, and Vicente P. Libre, 40, residents of Asuncion in Davao del Norte; Juan Paloma, 27, resident of Monkayo in Compostela Valley; and Jose M. Elac, 50, resident of Montevista in Compostela Valley.
Superintendent Jose C. Carumba, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao Region, said the suspects were identified after the families claimed the bodies at the Landa Funeral Parlor in Mawab.
Brigade General Ricardo Rainer Cruz, assistant division chief of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said soldiers chanced upon the rebels who were planning to attack a banana plantation of Sumifru Philippines in Mawab.
Cruz said the rebels' plan to attack the banana plantation has been thwarted after several concerned residents reported the presence of armed men onboard a carnapped Sadam truck on their way to the area.
Carumba said based on Mawab police investigation, the green Sadam truck with plate number LGE-862 was registered under the name of one Wilmar Maraat Contreras, resident of Nabunturan in Compostela Valley.
Carumba added four other rebels were tagged in the foiled attack. He, however, refused to identify them.
"But we already filed charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms before the Provincial Prosecution Office against the four rebels who are still at large," Carumba said.
Government troops also recovered six high powered firearms – a machinegun, a caliber .45 pistol, two M14 and two M16 rifles – and other personal belongings of the rebels.
Major Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, chief of the 10th Infantry Division's Civil Military Operation Battalion, said they do not celebrate the death of the six rebels because the latter are victims of lies of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
"Those killed who fought for lost and unlawful causes were all Filipinos. They could have been more productive citizens had they not fallen into the lies and empty promises of their recruiters," Obligado said.
Obligado estimated a total of 316 rebels neutralized in 2011. Of the 316, 19 were killed in clashes, 16 were captured, and 237 surrendered.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 20, 2012.


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