Army battalion helps slain rebel’s family

PILI, Camarines Sur --- The 22nd Infantry (Valor) Battalion of the Philippine Army under Lt. Col. Henrito G. Managay has extended financial assistance to the family of slain communist rebel Jessica Clotario Altarejos of Salvacion, Irosin, Sorsogon.

In a press statement issued by 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), its spokersperson, Capt. John Paul Belleza said Altarejos was among the New People’s Army (NPA) members who was killed during the 45-minute gun battle between government troops and NPA members in the early morning of July 30, in Barangay Daganas, Bulan, Sorsogon.

Jesus Altarejos, Jessica’s father, said that his 20-year old daughter, whom he described as a silent type, obedient and kind person, was swayed by the NPA to join the rebel movement.

Before Jessica joined the NPA, she was able to finish her Senior High School at Gallanosa National High School. She dreamed to be an agriculturist someday to help her family and lift them from poverty.

Jessica was abandoned at the encounter site by people she believed to be her comrades until she heaved her last breath.

Upon learning of Jessica’s story, Lt. Col. Emerson P. De Vera, decided to give financial assistance to her bereaved family in Irosin, Sorsogon.

Belleza lamented the fact that Jessica became one of the many unfortunate young recruits who lost her chance to have a bright future because of the wrong notion of camaraderie.

Army troopers belonging to the Valor Battalion also gave up their meal allowance just to add up to the financial assistance extended by the Philippine Army to Jessica’s family.

(LSMacatangay, with reports from JPBelleza, DPAO PA/ PIAV-Camarines Sur)