• 2 dead NPA rebels tagged in militiaman’s killing

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    SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: Army troops on Saturday found the bodies of two communist rebels from a group that killed a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) in Arakan town, North Cotabato.

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    Captain Silver Belvis, spokesman for the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion, said the cadavers of the two New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas are now in a funeral parlor ready for release to claimants or next of kin.

    Belvis added that the slain NPA rebels, whose bags contained ammunition and subversive documents, belonged to the group that killed off-duty Cafgu member Joel Batawan in an ambush last September 21 in Barangay Santo Niño, Arakan.

    Local police investigators said the NPA guerillas were killed in an encounter late Thursday with pursuing soldiers and local militiamen.

    Probers said they were certain that the two NPA guerrillas were wounded in the gunfight with soldiers and Cafgu members and were left by their companions when they sustained fatal bullet wounds while being carried away from Barangay Santo Niño.

    Belvis said the attack left Batawan’s companion and Cafgu member Jonathan Lasoy wounded.

    They were riding a motorcycle en route to Arakan town proper when the NPA rebels attacked them.

    On Tuesday, another group of guerrillas ambushed Cafgu member Jeffrey Bitonio in Barangay Anapolon, also in Arakan.

    Bitonio was riding his motorcycle on his way home from his detachment when the rebels blocked his path and shot him dead with assault rifles.

    JULMUNIR I. JANNARAl

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