BACOLOD CITY, (PNA) — The two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) captured by elite police forces during an encounter Saturday morning in Toboso, Negros Occidental have been turned over to the police, the military said Sunday.
The two rebels were identified as Rene “Juan” Villarin, 45, of Sitio Nabutaan, Barangay Jonob-Jonob, Escalante City and Richard “Jamil” Gallego, 36, of Barangay Magticol, Toboso town.
The 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army said that Villarin and Gallego’s group engaged in a firefight with members of the Philippine National Police’s 6th Special Action Force Battalion at around 4:45 a.m. in Sitio Magtuod, Barangay Bug-ang.
Also involved in the armed engagement were troopers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion and 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company of the 3rd Infantry Division.
The two rebels underwent a medical check-up at Barangay Bato Public Hospital before they were placed under police custody for inquest proceedings and filing of illegal possession of firearms charges against them.
Authorities found in Villarin and Gallego’s possession three caliber 5.56 M-16 rifles and two caliber .45 pistols, along with subversive documents and other war materials.
Lt. Col. Efren Morados, commander of the 62nd IB based in Escalante City, said the captured NPA members were allowed to exercise their human rights.
“I have clear instructions to all our soldiers conducting security operations, to respect human rights at all times. We are very serious in abiding with the International Humanitarian Law and the rule of law,” Morados said.