MAGPET, Cotabato—The soldiers and local officials of Barangay Balite and Mahongcog, Magpet, Cotabato joined force to extend aid to the bereaved family of killed NPA member in Talian, Maragusan, Compostela Valley, Friday, August 30.

In can be recalled that the troops of 72nd Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Rey T Alvarado in coordination with the local officials provided appropriate assistance to retrieve the body of a certain Jefferson Villafuerte, 18 and transported it back to his home place.

Based on the report, the said personality was killed and abandoned by his comrade in an encounter with the troops of 66th Infantry Battalion in the said place last August 24. He was positively identified as a member of WGF18 and PBC 8, SRC 1, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee. 

In the testimony of a relative who requested not to be identified, he said that Jefferson was lured by the NPA to join the armed movement at a young age of 14. His recruiter capitalized his youthfulness and being adventurous to victimize him to their twisted ideology. Accordingly, he spent his last four years with the terror group before facing his death for a lost cause.

Meanwhile, the Army troops, barangay officials and the local folks of his birthplace expressed their sympathy and respect to the late Jefferson Villafuerte @Eric. 

In the statement of Col. Gabriel C Viray III, the Commander 901st Infantry Brigade, he said that, “It is our duty to help those who were victimized by the terrorist group to include the bereaved families of killed NPAs despite of their aggression against the government. It is also in our hearts that we respect a departed individual, as a human being dead NPA member also deservesa decent and peaceful burial.”

He added that the government is doing all the possiblemeans to resolve the decade long conflict. Through Executive Order No. 70 otherwiseknown as the institutionalizing the Whole Of Nation Approach in attaining inclusiveandsustainable Peace, a National Task Force to End The Local CommunistArmed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) was created to stop the NPAs terroristic act. This effort was also being reciprocated in the local setting North Cotabato so that there will be a dynamic partnership between local government units, government agencies and private entities in resolving the root causes of the problem.

He once again reminded the remaining members of the communist terrorist group to lay down their arms and be backed to the folds of the law. He stressed out that the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) offers opportunity for them to be reintegrated in the mainstream of the society.

“More than the monetary remuneration and livelihood assistance, this program provides an avenue for the former rebels to experience renewed life and redemption of their lost time” he added.