Army accords funeral rites to slain NPA rebel in Zambo Sur
By Teofilo Garcia, Jr. / Philippine News Agency
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Despite being an enemy of the state, the Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (IB) facilitated the funeral of a slain communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist in a remote village of Zamboanga del Sur, a military official said Saturday.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB commander, said James Cordero was interred Friday in a Barangay Datagan, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur.
Cordero, a Squad 1 member of the NPA’s Main Regional Guerrilla Unit (MRGU), was killed in a clash with government troops together with Felimon Suazo and a certain Ka Nathan on April 22 in Barangay Guinlin, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur.
Suazo was an executive committee (Execom) member of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC), a political instructor and finance officer, as well a member of the Squad 1 of the MRGU.
“Your Army ensures that the integrity of the victims of the NPA’s wrong ideologies would not experience the same misfortune in the hands of the heartless communist terrorists who used them out of personal motives,” Herrera said.
Merlyn Cordero, rebel’s mother, earlier said if only her son heeded their advice to come home and surrender, “he could be living a different life.”
She said James left home sometime in 2015 at the age of 17 after he was recruited by unidentified persons to join the NPA.
Herrera reiterated that the military "follow the principle of humane treatment in International Humanitarian Law, as it requires that those who fall into the hands of the enemy will be treated with respect for their dignity as human beings."
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (With reports from Leah D. Agonoy/PNA)