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Nation

AFP to help return Madlos’ body to kin

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is ready to assist in the turnover of the cadaver of slain New People’s Army (NPA) spokesman Jorge Madlos to his family in Surigao del Norte.

AFP spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala issued the statement after the rebel group asked that the remains of Madlos be returned to his hometown.

“Rest assured that the cadaver is being treated with respect as we turn it over to the Philippine National Police (PNP),” Zagala said.

As this developed, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana lauded the Army and the police for the successful operation in Bukidnon that resulted in the death of Madlos.

Lorenzana said the deaths of Madlos as well as of Salahuddin Hassan, leader of a Dawlah Islamiyah faction, dealt a major blow to the communist and terrorist groups in the country.

Lorenzana said the operations manifested the AFP’s commitment to secure the people against lawless elements, especially in Mindanao.

Madlos and an NPA guerrilla were killed in a firefight in Impasugong, Bukidnon on Saturday.

Hassan and his wife Jehana Minbida were killed in another encounter in Talayan, Mguindanao on Friday.

Hassan was tagged in a series of bomb attacks in Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

The NPA-NDF NorthEastern Mindanao Region denied the military’s claim that Madlos was killed in an encounter.

It said the government security forces ambushed Madlos and his doctor as they were on their way to a hospital.

The AFP insisted that Madlos was killed in a firefight, noting that he was a top NPA official who was always protected by 20 to 40 guerrillas.

“It was unlikely for him to roam around without these armed guerrillas with him as claimed by the NPA,” Zagala said.

Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol said Madlos’ death was a victory for peace-loving communities in Eastern Mindanao.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was a former PNP chief, said the successful campaign against insurgency and terrorism was a result of cooperation between civilians and the military. – Paolo Pomero, Gerry Lee Gorit, Ben Serrano

AFP
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