BACOLOD CITY – The remains of the two Philippine Army soldiers who died in a clash with communist-terrorists in central Negros on Nov. 3 were brought home by their colleagues on Saturday afternoon.
Corporal Biencent John Trero and Private Cesar Ian Eleuterio of the 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) based in Sagay City were deployed alongside the members of the 62nd Infantry Battalion in an operation against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.
In a statement on Sunday, Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, commanding officer of 79IB, extended his sympathies to the bereaved families and said their deaths will serve as motivation and inspiration for the military to accomplish their mission.
“Both will be given full military honors befitting of a hero during their wake and on interment,” he said. “We vow to be more relentless in our peace and development effort to end the local armed conflict not only in Moises Padilla, but in Negros Occidental as a whole.”
The fatalities and four wounded soldiers were airlifted from Cebu City and to the Visayas Command Headquarters in Barangay Apas following the encounter, according to 1st Lt. Dansan Camua, civil-military operations officer of the 79IB.
Trero’s remains arrived at Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City and brought to the family home in Barangay To-oy, Himamaylan City while Eleuterio’s body was flown to Roxas City Airport en route to his residence in Barangay Jaena Norte in Jamindan, Capiz.
During the arrival, they were accorded military honors by troops of the 79IB and 12IB, respectively.
Trero, 35, has two sons, aged 5 and 2, with wife Erlyn, while the 27-year-old Eleuterio was unmarried.
Camua said the four wounded soldiers are now in stable condition in a private hospital in Cebu City.
The troops launched a combat operation on Wednesday afternoon to foil the CPP-NPA’s planned extortion activities and destruction of the farm-to-market road at the boundary of Moises Padilla and Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)