Wounded rebel captured by Army, now in police custody
posted 19-Dec-2012  ·  
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The Philippine Army’s 83rd Infantry Battalion last Sunday turned over to the Virac police station the captured New People’s Army guerrilla who was wounded in the Dec. 1 gun battle in the hinterlands north of the capital town.

Orlan “Ka Junie” Nogas, 21, a native of Kawayan, Masbate province, was advised of his rights under the law and temporarily placed in a holding cell pending proper action on his case.

Acting on a tip given at 10 A.M. of Dec. 15 by a civilian informant who claimed that a wounded rebel was hiding in the mountains of Dugui Too, 83rd IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Rodolfo Batang tasked the Bayanihan Team of “B’ Company under 2Lt. Monta to conduct combat patrol in the area.

Five hours later, troops led by Cpl. Rolando Bengoa captured Nogas at an abaca plantation on high ground above the hut (togod) where he had sought shelter. Nogas was nursing bullet wounds on his right hand and left ankle, making it difficult for him to run or walk quickly.

Bengoa told the Tribune that the area where the wounded rebel was found was about 18 kilometers from Dugui Too proper and was near the Virac-San Miguel boundary.

He added that Nogas, who was unarmed when surrounded, was hesitant to surrender as his comrades had told him he would be tortured and killed by Army soldiers once he is captured.

The captive NPA was brought to the Eastern Bicol Medical Center for treatment, given medicines by the 83rd IB before being brought back to the headquarters where he was invited join the battalion’s Christmas party, along with about 30 rebel returnees now residing at the Lictin camp.

In intermittent conversations with members of the local media, Nogas said he was recruited in Masbate sometime ago by a certain Ka Pinoy and was ordered to report to the Catanduanes NPA command a year ago, with his unit commander meeting him at San Andres port when he arrived from the mainland.

The fourth son of six children in the Nogas family, he said he was with the group of Jimboy “Ka Jayson/Ka Hogan” Lucero, also known as Emerson Capistrano, operating in Virac, San Andres, San Miguel and Bato when they had an initial encounter with government troops in Dugui Too on Nov. 25.

Prior to the second encounter, their group of eight guerillas had hiked to the Cauayan area where they slept the night amidst a bamboo grove. When gunfire erupted in the afternoon of Dec. 1, Nogas said he immediately dove to the ground and then escaped along with five others. Lucero’s wife, Liezel “Ka Ching” Isorena, was killed at the camp along with 16-year old Ronald “Ka Brian” Satairapan, while the body of another rebel, a fellow Masbateño Nogas knew only as Lito, was recovered two days later in an advanced state of decomposition.

Nogas said he was scheduled to return home last Dec. 10 after spending a year in Catanduanes but the Cauayan clash changed his plans.

Meanwhile, 1Lt. Rodel Balatbat told the media that the 83rd IB expects the NPA to increase their visibility at this time in preparation for their campaign to force local candidates to secure Permits to Campaign (PTCs).

He said that the Army will continue to conduct security operations and even expects the guerrillas to launch terroristic attacks at any time to avenge their losses in the Dec. 1 clash, even when the Armed Forces of the Philippines has already issued a Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) order to its units in the field.

The Army’s treatment of Nogas is in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARIHL), Balatbat emphasized, and should indicate to other NPA guerrillas who wish to surrender that they would likewise be treated fairly and allowed to return to the fold of society.

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