Remains of former student turned NPA amazon recovered in Cagayan after 3 yrs

Published January 25, 2021, 2:25 PM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

BAGGAO, Cagayan – The remains of a 25-year-old New People’s Army (NPA) amazon was recovered by police and military elements from a shallow grave in Sitio Kapanisuwan, Barangay Bitag Grande here, on Saturday, January 23.

 Photo courtesy of 5TH ID/ MANILA BULLETIN

Soldiers from the 501st Infantry Brigade (501st IB) and police personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 2 were led to the burial site of Justine Bautista, alias Aira, by a former comrade, who had already surrendered to authorities.

Aira, a former student of Cagayan State University and former member of the Kabataan party-list and College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), was a medical officer and political guide of the Northern Front Region-Cagayan Valley Committee.

The informant revealed that Aira’s comrades hastily buried in a shallow grave after she was killed in an encounter on June 25, 2017 in an NPA raid on a military camp in San Jose, Baggao.

The military and police are also trying to locate the remains of Aira’s mother, also an NPA rebel, who was killed in an encounter last year.

According to Division Public Affairs Office Chief Maj. Jekyll Julian Dulawan, Aira’s mother was identified only as “the wife of Edgar Edra Bautista, active commander of the West Committee”.

“Dahil sa mga lumalabas na kwento na may mga nawawalang bata/estudyante nakonsensiya ang dating rebelde kung pano nila basta nililibing mga kasamahan nila (With the reports of missing children or students, the former rebel said his conscience bothered him on how they hastily buried their comrade),“Dulawan told The Manila Bulletin.

 “Kaya siya ay nagbigay ng impormasyon regarding dito para malinawan ang mga tao sa totoong nangyayari sa mga kagagawan ng CPP-NPA (That’s why he gave the information to show what is being practiced in the CPP-NPA),” he added