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Man slain by rebels

The father of a former rebel was killed by alleged communist guerrillas inside his home in Special Barangay Dalimdim in Laak, Davao de Oro on Tuesday.

1Lt. Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the civil-military operations officer of the 60th IB, identified the victim as Roldan Geroche, who was shot to death by at least three gunmen, alleged to be members of the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 33.

Geroche was celebrating the birthday of a family member prior to the attack. Among the witnesses was Geroche’s daughter, Ronalyn, who identified one of the perpetrators to be Christian Pastor, known by his alias Khan, one of the leaders of WGF 33.

Ronalyn was a former member of the Asdang Kultura, which the military described as a pseudo-cultural theater group composed of children and teenage youths used by the CPP-NPA in protest rallies and public demonstrations.

Members of the said group, like Ronalyn, would eventually be integrated to the regular armed group and become full-time members of the NPA.

Ronalyn surrendered to the 60th IB in 2018 after she was raped by her former comrade and NPA recruiter Elmar Etol (alias ‘Wendel’). She and her family have been targeted by the guerrilla front since.

Recovered from the crime scene were five .45 caliber pistol cartridges.

Meanwhile, the 60IB and the 25th Infantry Battalion are currently conducting community support programs in several barangays in Laak (to include Special Barangay Dalimdim), and the municipalities of San Isidro and Asuncion in Davao del Norte.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Ronaldo Sarmiento, the 60th IB commander, said the attack is a clear sign of desperation.

“They are evidently being hurt by our government’s current thrust in curbing the insurgency that would eventually flush them all out of our communities. This is the reaction we get from a communist-terrorist group who is now being pushed to the corner and has nowhere to run or hide,” Sarmiento said.

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