Military clarifies issue on turnover of NPAs’ remains

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CAMP CAPINPIN, TANAY, RIZAL–The Philippine Army clarified the issue regarding the “false statement” from the group Karapatan – Southern Tagalog, that the government refused  to turn over the remains of five NPAs  who were killed last December 17 in an encounter while serving a Warrant of Arrest to Antonio Cule in Baras, Rizal.

Vilma Salabao, also known as “Ka Sandra,” is  one of the five slain NPA members and is known as a notorious revolutionary tax collector in Southern Tagalog.

The military annouced last Friday that the remains were properly turned over to Salabao’s sister, Thelma Glindo Solitario, after she presented complete documents.

Also, the cadavers of Niño Alberga and Jonathan Arias Alberga were properly handed to their immediate families last December 20, while the remains of Westly Obmerga and Carlito Simon were also turned over to their families on December 21 and December 29, 2020, respectively.

The Army ensures the remains of NPA casualties will be turned over to their legitimate families.

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Greg Almerol, Commander of the 2nd Infantry Disivion, said “we want our fellowmen to properly be laid to rest even if they fought for the wrong cause because we consider them victims of terrorism and we believe every Filipino is entitled to a decent burial, contrary to what the underground groups have been doing.”

He added, “The actions of these self-proclaimed human-rights advocates prove their desperation to sully the good intentions of the soldiers and police to rid our country of the evils of terrorism and bring peace and order to every Filipino. They have mastered the art of deception, but with the people now being aware of their true intentions, they are scrambling to create issues to deter the efforts of the legal authorities.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), he said, will never rejoice in the deaths of fellowmen who were deceived by terrorist groups, but are steadfast to uphold their mandate to advocate peace, serve the people, and defend the nation.

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