BACOLOD CITY – The babies of two former rebels of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in southern Negros were baptized during the recent 47th founding anniversary rites of the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (IB).
Lt. Col. Erwin Cariño, commander of 15IB, said on Monday sponsoring the baptism of the children is a privilege for them.
“Family is the bedrock of society and the 15IB is always ready to help them integrate into the community. Our former rebels are already part of the Molave Warrior family, and we are happy to see them transitioning to normal life,” Cariño added.
The unit, which is based in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, reported the Holy Mass and christening were among the activities during the celebration held on November 13.
Baptized were the 10-month-old baby and the second child of Albert Yanong alias “Butsoy”, and the two-month-old baby and first child of Ritchell Oray.
Before they surrendered earlier this year, Yanong was a platoon leader of the NPA’s North Negros Front and squad leader of SYP/SDG Platoon while Oray was a finance logistics officer of Squad 1, Platoon 1 of the South West Front.
Yanong thanked the troops for treating them like family and standing as godparents to their children.
Meanwhile, the soldiers and the community planted 200 mahogany and 20 mango seedlings in the mountainous area of Barangay Tiling as part of the celebration. (PNA)