Army pays last respects to soldier killed in NegOcc clash
By Nanette Guadalquiver / Philippine News Agency
BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army has paid its last respects to Cpl. Rodney Luces, the soldier who died during an encounter with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) terrorists in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental earlier this month.
Luces, a native of Iloilo Province, was laid to rest at Alimodian Public Cemetery on Thursday.
In a statement. Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), said he salutes the courage of Luces in offering his life in pursuit of peace and development in Negros Island.
“We are saddened by your loss. Rest assured, we will always reminisce your fearlessness and boldness in serving and securing the people of Negros. Your story will not end here. It will serve as our guiding motivation in ending the decades-long insurgency,” he added.
The Philippine flag, which had been draped over Luces’ casket, was given to his wife at the end of the interment rites.
Luces was among the troops of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) who engaged nine communist-terrorists during the first of two encounters in Purok Galaupan, Barangay Carabalan at 9:20 a.m. on June 9.
The 303rd Infantry Brigade, which supervises the 62IB based in Barangay Libas, Isabela town, also honored the bravery and heroism of Luces.
“He paid the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of genuine peace and development for the people of Negros and our nation as well,” the unit said.
During the second clash on that day, a CPP-NPA fighter was also killed, and troops recovered seven backpacks containing personal items at the encounter site.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)