Government accords communist rebel decent burial; gives ash to family

by Chari Santos

Setting political and ideological conflicts aside, the local government of Tanay, Rizal and the Philippine Army gave a proper burial to a New People’s Army rebel who was killed when they attacked government troops last March 28.

Moreover, the 2ID, based in Camp Capinpin, faciltated the turned over the ashes of Noel Levanta after his remains were cremated to his relatives.

Rodriguez, Rizal Mayor Dennis Hernandez took care of the cremation expense for Levanta’s remains.

LtCol. Rimrad Feraer, Commanding Officer of the 80th IB, and LtCol. Benjamin Pajarito Jr., Commanding Officer of 65th IB, took all efforts to contact Levanto’s next of kin to update them on what happened to him.

 

Levanta was a high-ranking official of the Metro Manila Regional Party Committee of the Commnunist Party of the Philippines. He was killed in an encounter with government forces in Barangay Puray in Rodriguez, Rizal.

The Philippine Army was able to contact Levanta’s parents who are both senior citizens from Mindanao. They asked their nephew Ramil Levanta to claim his remains on their behalf.

“After confirming his identity and obtaining a joint affidavit from the parents, our team together with the PNP helped him reach out to Mayor Hernandez who granted Ramil’s request for the immediate cremation of Noel’s body so that health concerns during this pandemic will finally be addressed and his ashes sent home to his parents for proper disposition”, added Lt Col Feraer.

Police Colonel Renato Alba, Director of RIzal Provincial Police Office, said that prior to the cremation, “an autopsy was performed by the PNP’s crime laboratory to officially determine the former NPA’s cause of death whose body was left behind by his comrades who did not even consider giving him a decent burial.”

“We owe it to the families of these NPAs to ensure that their remains will only be handed over to those legally authorised to claim and that they will be given the last respects that every human being deserve instead of being desecrated”, Alba added.

Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, lauded the joint AFP and PNP forces in RIzal “for going the extra mile and exhausting all available means to ensure that the disposition of the body of NPA Leader Noel Levanta will be handled according to the wishes of his bereaved family.”

He added that the government’s display of compassion in handling the body of the dead NPA leader “supports our earlier statement that we do not rejoice in killing our fellow Filipinos, however, we have a solemn duty to protect the greater number of peace loving citizens of our country.”

 ~Photos courtesy of 2ID, Philippine Army

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