CAMP MAJOR NELSON GERONA, Murcia, Negros Occidental – Afterbattle Report OOA 150231H of the 79th Infantry Battallion reads in part: “Result of encounter:
a.) One (1) enemy killed body count,
b.) Two (2) captured CNTs,
- Two (2) Cal .45 pistol;
- Five (5) cellular phones;
- One (1) multicab color maroon with plate number LNF 297;
- One (1) hard drive; and
- Voluminous subversive documents with high intel value.”
The photos sent by the Army, particularly the one below showed other recoveries after the 79th Infantry Battalion’s strike operation in Malasibog village, Escalante City on 21 July.
On the right side is a large can of what appears to be a large can of a popular brand of mixed fruit cocktail.
On top of that can were two tetra packs of a well known brand of cream.
Army officials suspect it could be ingredients for a fiesta food: fruit salad, a fare ordinary Negrenses get to eat only during Christmas or weddings.
Or anytime. If one is rich.
The foodstuff were seized from rebels who were doing a supply run or buying of essentials when they were hit by soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion on a “strike operation” in the village of Malasibog in Escalante, the northern Negros city where the rebels used to hold sway.
Division spokesperson Cenon Pancito III told DNX the Communist Party of the Philippines could have been attempting to re-establish the Northern Negros Front of the New People’s Army that had earlier been dismantled due to what the military described as a combination of battlefield losses, capture or killing of leading cadres, and winning back of areas sympathetic to the rebels.
Cenon did not elaborate, however, why the rebels were gathered on that day in Escalante.
A rebel front covers roughly the area of several towns and cities equivalent to a political district of the Philippine government and has an armed force of at least 30 regular fighters, according to rebel standards.
Newly-promoted Brigadier Gen. Innocencio Pasaporte told DNX it has not yet been established why the supply run of the rebels in Escalante City included new women underwear.
He also took note of the fruit cocktail and cream and laughingly said “there could be a birthday party.”
The 303rd Brigade chief turned sullen, however, when he noted that July is the month when the tiempo muerto or the dead season starts to peak.
“That only goes to show that while (the rebels) are saying that they are pro-people, they live quite differently from the ordinary folk,” he said.
Pasaporte also added that while ordinary Red fighters are told to meticulously account for their expenses, leaders are at liberty on how to use Party funds.