BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Two weeks after his death in an encounter with communist New People’s Army rebels in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, Army Cpl. Rodney Luces was buried yesterday at a public cemetery in Alimodian, Iloilo, with full military honors rendered by the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.
Luces, a member of the 62nd Infantry Battalion stationed in Isabela, Negros Occidental, was killed in Sitio Cunalom, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City on June 9.
Family members and colleagues of Luces gathered to pay their last respects, and to honor his bravery and heroism in serving the country, Maj. Cenon Pancito II, spokesperson of the 3ID, said.
The Philippine Flag, that had been draped over the casket of Luces, as soldiers carried his remains to his final resting place, was handed to his wife at the end of the ceremony, Pancito said.
The two encounters in Himamaylan City also claimed the life of an NPA member and injured another soldier.
Major General Eric Vinoya, 3ID commander, in a statement issued by the Division Public Affairs Office, said the 3ID salutes the courage of Luces, who offered his life in the pursuit of genuine peace and development in Negros Island.
“We are saddened by your loss, but rest assured that we will always reminisce your fearlessness and boldness in serving and securing the people of Negros. Your story will not end here. It will serve as our guiding motivation in ending the decades-long insurgency,” Vinoya said.*