Three civilian women were killed by the military in an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Madarag, Brgy. Jagnaan, San Jacinto, Masbate last Monday, August 21, the Communist guerrillas reported.
In a tribute to its casualty in the fire fight, the Jose Rapsing Command (JRC) of the NPA said troops of the Philippine Army’s 96th Infantry Battalion (96th IBPA) killed civilians Jelyn Guis Dejomo (56), Sheryl Salazar Dejomo (29) and Divina Lubiano Ajitan (60).
“They were indiscriminately killed by the military despite the fact that they were clearly civilians,” JRC-NPA spokesperson Luz del Mar wrote in their statement published on the Communist Party of the Philippines website.
The report the three victims were civilians is part of its JRC-NPA’s tribute to Eddie Rosero, a member who was killed in the fire fight.
Del Mar added 13 96th IBPA troopers have also been killed in the encounter.
While silent on whether it suffered casualties, the 96th IBPA said in its own announcement that Rosero was a top leader killed with three others in the said encounter, referring to the three women.
The Battalion also said one other NPA member, a Ramon Bartolata, was captured and is being treated at the Ticao District Hospital.
The military unit added the August 21 clash was the third between themselves and the NPA since August 18.
NPA fighter all his adult life
The JRC-NPA said Rosero, who went by the name Ka Star, was a most respected Red commander of the revolutionary movement in the province.
“The enemy’s desperation to hound and malign his name is not surprising,” del Mar said.
Del Mar said Rosero was a Masbate native who opposed mining operations in their province.
Rosero joined the NPA as a full time member in 1998 and has led in several successful operations against the military and the police in his 25 years in the revolutionary army. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)