Bodies of 2 suspected rebels found 5 days after clash in Camarines Norte
LEGAZPI CITY –– The bodies of two alleged communist rebels were found on Wednesday near the site where state forces and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) fighters clashed in Labo town in Camarines Norte province.
Colonel Julius Guadamor, Camarines Norte police chief, said in a report that the unidentified male NPA members under the Armando Catapia Command were found a kilometer away from the Police Mobile Force Company base in Barangay Dumagmang at 7:24 a.m.
Guadamor said the remains were already decomposing.
Authorities also recovered improvised explosive devices and a backpack containing the personal belongings of the police officers killed in a three-hour clash on March 19.
The police identified the fatalities in the March 19 clash as Corporal Roger Estoy and Patrolmen Joey Cuarteros, Benny Ric Bacurin, Jeremy Alcantara, and Alex Antioquia.
Police Corporal Eric Hermoso and Patrolman Aldrin Aguito were wounded in that encounter.
The report said the police were in the area to provide security to a Labo-Tagkawayan Road construction that connects Camarines Norte and Quezon province.
Earlier, Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the construction company had informed the police that the rebels demanded 3 to 5 percent of the project cost as an assurance that they would not be harassed.
In a statement, Ma. Roja Banua, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Bicol, denied that they sent a letter to the construction firm for their demands.
“Mga impostor at lokal na ahente ng militar at pulis na hindi naambunan sa hatian ang gumagamit ng pangalan ng demokratikong gubyernong bayan para sa kanilang sariling ganansya,” Banua said.
(They were impostors and agents of police and military who want to gain profit.)
In his visit to Camarines Norte on Sunday, Eleazar conferred the “Medalya ng Kadakilaan” to the families of the slain cops and the “Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting” to the wounded police officers.
The families of the victims were also given financial assistance.
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