September 30, 2023

After a series of armed encounters that took place in the Cordillera, troops under the Northern Luzon Command ensured the remains of the three slain rebels were transported to their families as a display of empathy and respect for human rights.

According to the military, they verified the identity of cadavers with the help of their families and former comrades in arms.

They were identified as Baliwag Boccol alias “Ka Bombo”, a 67-year-old, member of Squad Uno of Komiteng Larangang Gerilya Baggas, Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee from Nambucayan, Tabuk City, Kalinga; alias Morga from Manila, a student from the University of the Philippines who was recruited into the armed movement; and alias Aldy, a resident of Isabela.

The collective effort of the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division, the Philippine National Police, and the Provincial Task Force Elcac has made possible the reunion of the cadavers to their families from the retrieval, identification, coordination, and communication with their respective families and local government units. 

Aldy was given a proper burial with the help of the local government of Buguey, Cagayan on May 8.

Morga was cremated upon the decision of his father and Boccol was brought to Tampco Funeral Homes, Dagupan, Tabuk City, Kalinga on May 4. 

Lt/.Gen. Fernyl G. Buca, Commander of Northern Luzon Command, conveyed his sympathies to the families of the bereaved.

Buca also highlighted to troops’ commitment to selflessly serve and protect the people.

“Despite the tension and hostility that often characterize such situations, our soldiers remained professional and respectful, even to their enemy who wish to cause harm to them and the communities which is a clear manifestation of our strict adherence to International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights as well as the recognition of the need to treat everyone with dignity, regardless of their beliefs or affiliations,” he said.

“I take pride in our soldiers who not only fight for our country’s freedom but also exhibit empathy and adherence to Human Rights even in the most challenging situations.”

Nolcom’s efforts in bringing the remains of the slain rebels to their families is a reminder that in the face of conflict, compassion and respect can go a long way in promoting peace and reconciliation. – Press release