Former rebels’ kids baptized

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Lt. Col. Erwin Cariño, commander of Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion, with former rebels Ritchell Oray and Albert Yanong and their respective families. 15th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army photo

The babies of two former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in southern Negros were baptized during the recent 47th Founding Anniversary rites of the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (IB).

Lt. Col. Erwin Cariño, commander of 15IB based in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, said that sponsoring the baptism of the former rebels children is a privilege for them.

“Family is the bedrock of society, and the 15IB is always ready to help them integrate into the community. Our former rebels are already part of the Molave Warrior family, and we are happy to see them transitioning to normal life,” he added.

Baptized were the 10-month-old baby and the second child  of Albert Yanong alias “Butsoy”, and the two-month-old baby and first child of Ritchell Oray.

Before they surrendered earlier this year, Yanong was a platoon leader of the NPA’s North Negros Front and squad leader of SYP/SDG Platoon   while Oray was a finance logistics officer of Squad 1, Platoon 1 of South West Front.

Yanong thanked the troops for treating them like family and standing as godparents to their children.

Meanwhile, the soldiers and  the community   planted 200 mahogany and 20 mango seedlings in the mountainous area of Barangay Tiling as part of the celebration. – NLG