BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – An elderly man, 60, from Himamaylan City and a man and woman, both in their early 20s, were among the six dead rebels whose bdies were found after an early evening clash last week, 21 September 2023, in an upland community more than 100 kilometers south of here.
Days after the significant battlefield win of the Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion, the propaganda machinery of the Communist terrorist New People’s Army is in overdrive, with some of its allied groups claiming the September 21 incident was not an encounter but a massacre.
Some local news outfits reported the Mt. Cansermon Command had claimed one of the dead rebels was a pregnant woman while another was a civilian who drove the tricycle bearing the six armed guerrillas who were found to be bearing handguns and a hand grenade.
DNX has not received any statement from the rebel underground and usually refrains from publishing these as it is impossible to ascertain if the signatories to these releases who use nom de guerres or codenames, are real persons.
The eldest dead rebel was identified by the 47th Infantry Battalion to be a man from Candoni town aged 60.
Except for identifying his home village as Cabia-an, the Army did not release any details about Mario Fernando Mollon.
The younger rebels are in their 20s – Melisa Hiro Dela Pena, from Inayawan, Cauayan town; Bobby Totin Pedro, 28, from Tabu village in Ilog town; and Janesa Malasabas Romano, 22, reportedly from Sitio Paloypoy in Buenavista village, Himamaylan City; and Ruben Gaitan, 31, from Sitio Lumbia, Barangay Camansi in Kabankalan City.
Tabugon village chief Ramil Cepeda told DNX the rebels were only “passing through” Tabugon and could have come from the villages of Camansi or Tampalon, both mountain villages in Kabankalan City.