Remains found in Quezon mass grave include a pregnant rebel—Army execBy Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LUCENA CITY—A New People’s Army amazona who was pregnant when she was killed could be one of the buried skeletal remains in a newly discovered mass grave in San Francisco, Quezon, an Army official said.
Citing information from a former NPA rebel, Colonel Eduardo Año, commander of the Army’s 201st Infantry Brigade operating in Quezon, said the skeletal remains found in a mass grave site in Barangay (village) Pagsangahan could have possibly included a pregnant communist guerilla, three male teen warriors and three regular armed cadre.
“According to the rebel returnee, the NPA unit then operating in San Francisco area killed an estimated 50 persons, mostly civilians during their implementation of Operation Missing Link (OPL) and one of their victims was a pregnant comrade,” Año told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He said they were still verifying the name or aliases used by the pregnant rebel to avoid confusion to her relatives.
The infamous OPL was initiated by Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA in Southern Tagalog in 1980’s in a massive purge of suspected government spies within their ranks.
“The mass grave is another chilling testament of NPA atrocities and the evil acts that they are capable of doing,” Año said.
San Francisco town lies in Quezon province 3rd district or the Bondoc Peninsula area, known in 1980s as the hotbed of communist insurgency in Southern Tagalog region.
On Saturday morning, farmers Rommel Malinao and Herminio Dauba found the grave with piles of skeletal remains while working in a farm in a mountainous field in Sitio Irrigation.
The farmers informed the village chieftain who immediately relayed the discovery to the local police and Army soldiers assigned in the area.
Police Officer 2 Joel Razo Sanao, San Francisco police investigator, said samples of skeletal remains were collected for physical examination at the Quezon police provincial crime laboratory in Camp Nakar here.
Año called on residents in San Francisco and neighboring towns with missing relatives to coordinate with local policemen for the identification of the skeletal remains.
He said after documenting the remains, the government will bury the bones and skulls in a decent mass burial ground in the poblacion.
The government maintains a memorial site of NPA victims located inside the police headquarters of the Quezon Provincial Public SafetyCompany in Candelaria town.
The mass graveyard has 25 white crosses representing the hundreds of victims of the infamous communist purge in Quezon.
The buried skeletal remains were discovered by government forces in different mass graves of NPA victims particularly in the mountain village of Piyapi in Mauban town.