Armed Forces of the Philippines

2 NPAs killed in Samar clash, AFP seizes high-powered firearms 

Ricky Bautista

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2 NPAs killed in Samar clash, AFP seizes high-powered firearms 

RECOVERED. Soldiers display the firearms and ammunition they seized from communist rebels during an April 14 clash in Samar.

Public Affairs Office 8th Infantry Division

The family and neighbors of Orbillo Gerellana deny the rebel tag and say he was just a farmer drying palay when the clash broke out

SAMAR, Philippines – Government military forces killed two suspected members of the New People’s Armyand seized assorted war material on Friday, April 14 in a clash in Basey, Samar.

Capt. Jefferson Mariano, chief of the Division Public Affairs Office of the 8th Infantry Division said on Monday, April 17 that soldiers brought the slain rebels’ bodies to the town proper for identification.

But shortly after the encounter, the family of one of the slain rebels denied their kin is a rebel and called out for justice.

The family of Orbillo Gerellana identified his body. They said he is just a farmer whose farm happens to be near the encounter area.

The clash broke out around 1:20 pm as troops of the 46th infantry battalion (46IB) and and the 63IB patrolled around Sitio Bagti, an interior hamlet of Barangay Mabini.

Mariano said soldiers stumbled on rebels having lunch in a nipa hut.

The two alleged rebels were killed in the 20-minute clash. The soldiers recovered one M16 rifle, two M653 rifles, assorted magazines and ammunition, three bandoliers, and other personal items.

Mariano said troops identified the 17-member rebel group as the NPA’s ‘Bugsok’ platoon. The group belongs to the Communist Party of the Philippines sub-Regional Committee Sesame.

Major General Camilo Ligayo, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division lauded the troops for their efforts of bringing peace to Samar. He urged soldiers to engage the community “and help them cooperate with the government and the armed forces.”

Family seeks justice

In calling for justice, “Roselyn” (not her real name), a sister of Orbillo said in the local Waray language: “My brother is not a member of the NPA, and neither was he involved in any of the activities of the underground movement, of whatever form.”

She said her brother, a father of 3 kids, was construction worker in Tacloban City but went into farming after marrying a woman from Sitio Bagti.

The family were shocked when they learned that Orbillo, whom they call as “Wendell” was one of the fatalities during the encounter.

His family said he was just about to dry palay when the clash occurred.

Acquaintances of the victim, and residents of Sitio Bagti, likewise vouched that Orbillo is not a rebel but “a homebody on days when he isn’t tending his farm.”

The fate of Orbillo’s children, aged 6, 3 and 1 year old, with his untimely death, is another worry for the Gerellana Family.


When reached for comment, Mariano said Orbillo was positively identified by an informer using the alias Jayson as a cadre belonging to the same platoon “Bugsok”.

“Hindi po ang military ang nagtatawag sa kanya na NPA sya (Orbillo) kundi yung mga dating kasamahan nya na nasa panig na ngayon ng gobyerno, hindi naman natin pwede ma-discount yun, kilala nila eh,” Mariano said. (It was not the military that called him an NPA but his former companion now siding with the government. We cannot discount that information since they know him.) –

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