Troops belonging to the Philippine Marines are seen near the encounter area in Barangay Tinitian, Roxas municipality. (Palawan News photo)

The body of a suspected New People’s Army (NPA) member killed in a clash with government troops in Barangay Tinitian in Roxas town on Friday afternoon has been recovered.

Remil Padilla Rodriguez, alias “Azumi”, was positively identified by his uncle, Gilbert Rodriguez, based on a cut toe from a snake bite on his left foot. He was a resident of Brgy. Magara.

He was reportedly killed in an encounter with troops belonging to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) headed by Maj. Ryan Lacuesta around 4:30 p.m. on December 10, only a kilometer from the national highway in Maumbong, Brgy. Tinitian.

An M14 and three M16s with m203 were retrieved by the Marines in the vicinity where the encounter took place.

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Magara barangay chairman Bernie Valdez in an earlier interview with Palawan News said Remil’s uncle is in Brgy. Tinitian to identify his body.

“Wala pa kami sa area, pero ngayong umaga din patungo tayo sa lugar kasama nga ang tiyuhin ng sinasabing NPA na napatay sa engkwentro. Kasama natin ang tiyuhin nito, para siya ang mag-kumpirma, kung ito nga si Remil, na sinabi niya na umalis para mag-trabaho, at umuuwi lang paminsan-minsan dito sa pamilya niya,” Valdez said.

Roxas mayor Dennis Sabando, meanwhile, appealed to local rebels reportedly operating out of the municipality to surrender.

Video from Roxas taken after Remil Padilla Rodriguez’ body was retrieved.

“Sana mapag-isipan na nila na maayos na ito, at kung maaari sana, sumuko na sila,” he said.

“Ang ating mga kasundaluhan talagang gusto rin nila na wala ring mapahamak, at saka wala ring mamatay ano, kaya ginagawaan nila ng paraan na [mapasuko],” he added.

Sabando said the family had thought that Gilbert had a job and was away because of it.

“Ang pamilya daw ay kinausap na nila, kaya lang ang akala daw ng pamilya, ang isinagot daw sa kanila ay akala ng pamilya ay may trabaho at hindi alam kung anong nangyari,” he added.

Sabando said that when Gilbert, the uncle, was in the process of identifying Remil’s body, he almost did not recognize him. “May palatandaan lang yong bata na kinagat ng ahas yong hinliliit niya, naputol. Yon lang yong palatandaan na yon siya naalala ng uncle niya”.

Meanwhile, a military source said Remil belonged to the team of rebel leader Ka Miggy, who operates around the Tinitian area.

Previously, three troops from the Philippine Marines apprehended three members of the NPA in Sitio Karatong in Tinitian, including two minors, one of them a pregnant 14-year-old. (with reports from Arphil Ballarta)

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.