Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bicol’s Army Commander Presents Christmas Gifts to the Wounded

VISIT FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION. Major General Ruperto "Raffy" Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, visits Jason Brul a.k.a. Ka Butch, the Commander of Front Committee 79 of the communist terrorist movement operating in Sorsogon Province, who was captured after in an early morning clash with government troops in Barcelona town on December 7, 2010. Pabustan gave the wounded rebel some Noche Buena goodies and cash assistance for his hospitalization expenses. (Photo by Joel Cardel/9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

SORSOGON CITY – The Chief of all Philippine Army forces in the Bicol region visited the NPA commander who was wounded in a clash with government troops last week.

Major General Ruperto “Raffy” Pabustan, in a gesture of reconciliation, brought some goodies and financial assistance to the two wounded rebels during his visit in the hospital at around 9:00am yesterday, December 14 (Tuesday).

Last week, Pabustan ordered the speedy medical evacuation of the wounded rebels from a hinterland village in Barcelona town. He also ordered some soldiers to provide blood donation for the injured red rebels.

“I personally come here to tell you that I want to help you go back to the mainstream society by formally surrendering to the government. You can be our partners in our drive to convince your comrades to peacefully surrender,” said Pabustan during his brief chat with Jason Brul aka Ka Butch, the leader of the Front Committee 79 of the communist rebel movement operating in Sorsogon province.

For his part, Brul expressed his deep appreciation for the kindness of the soldiers. He said that he could not forget that the soldiers gave him another chance to live and for respecting their basic rights.

“I thank the soldiers for saving my life. This is probably the best Christmas for me with my family,” said Brul who is celebrating his 34th birthday on December 24.

Though hesitant to declare his intention to formally surrender, he said that he is asking for “more time to weigh in his options”. He said that his priority is his growing family.

“Perhaps this is a good lesson for me. With my arrest, I can probably find time to be with my four children who don’t recognize me as their father,” narrated Brul, with tears welling in his eyes.

“I don’t want my children to become NPA rebels someday. I want them to live normally in our village unlike my hardships as a red fighter,” he added.

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