Six of the so-called “Morong 43” health workers have “rejoined” the New People’s Army (NPA) upon their release from detention two years ago, the Philippine Army said Thursday. This, the Army added, bolstered the military’s contention that they were communist rebels.
The commander of the Philippine Army’s 202nd Brigade, Colonel Ivan Samarita, said the six released members had since joined up with their comrades in the Southern Tagalog region.
“They are really NPA,” he told reporters at Camp Nakar in Lucena City.
He identified the six as Janice Javier, Franco Remoroso, and Yolanda Macaraig, now allegedly operating in Batangas; and Myrna Olarte, Romeo dela Cruz and Pearl Irene Martines, now allegedly operating in Rizal.
Samarita said the six were mostly working as medics in the health bureaus of the units they were assigned to, but “they are also becoming combatants.”
Asked if the government erred in releasing most of the Morong 43, he replied: “It’s really a political decision that we in the Armed Forces will have to abide by because it was already the President who said so, that the government wants to negotiate.”
The Morong 43 were health workers arrested in a military raid on a resort in Morong, Rizal, on Feb. 6, 2010. The military said they were communist NPA cadres training to make bombs.