A grave containing the remains of unidentified New People’s Army rebels was uncovered in Bobon, Northern Samar last week. The rebels were said to have been killed in recent encounters with government troops in the area. PHOTOGRAPH BY ELMER RECUERDO FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE
Army troops conducting perimeter patrol to search the reported remains of New People’s Army (NPA) members who were killed in recent military encounters chanced upon another buried skeleton in the vicinity of Barangay E. Duran, Bobon, Northern Samar on 17 July 2020.
The body is believed to be that of an NPA cadre who was killed during a series of encounters by the unit in Barangay Cag-amesarag, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar in 3 and 4 August 2019.
Capt. Allan Jay Buerano, civil-military operations officer of the 43rd Infantry Battalion based in Lope De Vega town, said the troops from the Charlie Company were conducting a search in the community when they discovered the remains.
He said the troops immediately secured the location, documented it and turned over the said remains to Philippine National Police-Scene of the Crime Operatives of Catarman, Northern Samar for proper disposition.
The discovery marks the second time a burial ground of suspected rebels was unearthed, one week after the remains of NPA member Emma Termo was found in the same village on 10 July.
A composite team of police and military troops discovered the burial grounds of Termo and three other civilians identified as Cesar Bantasan, Menang Nordan and her child.
Bantasan was said to have died of natural causes while Nordan died while she was giving birth.
Termo’s body was found after a rebel returnee told authorities that, sometime in 2009, NPA members who died in clashes with government troops were buried in the site, prompting the police-military team to check on the location, and eventually got the verification.
Col. Reynaldo de la Cruz, director of the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office, ordered the conduct of a decent burial of the remains and urged the locals to provide the authorities with any information regarding NPA activities so they will help the government in eradicating terrorism in the province.