A FORMER student leader is one of the three fatalities in the encounter between state troopers and suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) last Nov 7, 2017 in Cuartero, Capiz.
Brigadier General Pio Diñoso, commanding officer of the 301st Infantry Brigade, identified one of the fatalities as Remy Beraye, a resident of Barangay Baldoza, La Paz, Iloilo City.
Beraye used to be the chairman of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) at West Visayas State University-Main Campus in La Paz, Iloilo City.
He later became the vice chairperson of the WVSU University Student Council sometime in 1995.
Beraye married lawyer Geobelyn Lopez, also a former chairman of LFS-WVSU chapter and WVSU-USC president.
The couple had two daughters.
Diñoso said Beraye’s identity was not immediately known because he was not on their list of suspected rebels.
“It’s either he’d been using a different name while with the group or he just joined his comrades in the mountains,” he added.
NPA surrenderers, Diñoso explained, sometimes just knew fellow rebels based on aliases.
“And maybe, his real name was not really known to some NPA combatants.”
But Diñoso is certain that Beraye was an NPA member and he was with the group when the armed encounter happened between the alleged rebels and a composite team of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion.
Aside from Beraye, also killed in the clash were Fedirico Diaz of Barangay Mahabang Sapa, Cuartero, Capiz; and Allan Lerona alias Felizardo Cerilo of Mambusao, Capiz.
The three were alleged members of the NPA’s Nonito Aguirre Sr. Command.
Diaz (alias Val/Bansoy) and Allan Lerona (alias Bong) are believed to be the vice commanding officer and finance logistics officer, respectively, of the Sangay Partido sa Platon (SPP) of the NPA’s Eastern Front Committee-Komiteng Rehiyon Panay.
The Army said they recovered an AK-47 assault rifle, an M16 armalite rifle, and five backpacks.
Diñoso said the clash between the 61IB soldiers and more or less 30 communist terrorists from SPP-EFC happened at Sitio Tigpaka Gamay, Barangay Puti-an, a hinterland village around 10 kilometers from the town proper.
Reports claimed that Diaz led the group.
The firefight lasted for about an hour. The rebels then retreated towards Barangay Bongbongan, Maayon.
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