Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Eastmincom Lambasts CNTs’ Barbaric Killings

The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) condemns in the strongest sense of the word the multiple atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) over the past week in Surigao del Sur, including the killing of an unarmed soldier, an Indigenous Peoples’ leader, and two CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) members on separate occasions.

Just as the world was commemorating the International Day of Non-Violence on October 2, the CNTs were also preoccupied in carrying out their outrageous acts and had mercilessly killed an unarmed soldier who was only doing community work.

The CNTs killed one of our troops from the 36th Infantry Battalion named Private First Class Ariel G. Maca, in an unprovoked shooting incident in the late afternoon of October 2 while he was on his way to the patrol base in Barangay Pakwan, Lanuza along with another soldier and five civilians.

Two unidentified CNTs armed with AK47 rifles suddenly blocked them along the way and opened fire. PFC Maca was hit in the shooting while his soldier companion managed to escape along with the five civilians who are now safe and unharmed.

Upon learning the incident, troops detailed at the Pakwan Patrol Base immediately responded to the scene and have successfully retrieved the body of PFC Maca who was found to have succumbed to four gunshot wounds on his back and each of his eyes. The act of killing in itself is already brutal but the CNTs had further shown their ruthless behavior by mutilating the eyes of our soldier and robbing his personal belongings including cash worth 40,000 pesos – a truly barbaric act!

PFC Maca sacrificed his life while serving the people. As we honor him for his bravery, we also send our condolences to his bereaved family. His sacrifices will never be forgotten.

In another incident, Eastmincom strongly decries the CNT’s killing of Datu Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, and two other CAA members, Albert Dela Peña and Artemio S Muldez, on October 4 at Sitio Mamprasanon, Brgy Banahao, Lianga Surigao del Sur.

Some 15 CNTs, believed to be members of Guerilla Front 19 under alias Tuloy, blocked the motorcycle convoy of Datu Bucales who was with four (4) CAAs and one (1) civilian and shot them down.

Datu Bucales was traveling with the group after attending IP activities in Brgy San Isidro, Lianga when the leading motorcycle noticed that banana trunks were laid, blocking the road. When they stopped to investigate, the CNTs fired at them resulting in a shootout that lasted for about 25 minutes.

Datu Bucales and CAA Dela Peña died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds while CAA Muldez was declared dead on arrival at Lianga District Hospital. The CNTs, meanwhile, managed to scamper to different directions during the clash.

The slain IP leader is the 17th IP member killed by the CNTs from 2017 to date. He was a former CPP-NPA commander who surrendered to the government because of the CNT’s abuses to the IPs. He later became an active supporter of the government’s counter-insurgency efforts in order to protect their tribes from CNT exploitation and was instrumental in the closure of CNT-linked IP Schools TRIFPSS and ALCADEV to save IP children from CNT recruitment.

This ruthless act of the CNTs only shows how they disrespect the Indigenous Peoples who are only trying to make a peaceful living. These criminal acts, on top of their other atrocities, also show how the CNTs disrespect the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Republic Act (RA) 9851 otherwise known as the "Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity."

The very organization that claimed to be the champion of the Indigenous Peoples and ordinary citizens, who has even labeled themselves as the New People’s Army, has been brutalizing them. These recent atrocities only proved that the CNT is made up of a bunch of hypocritical, bloodthirsty, and greedy terrorists who are eager to get hold of power even at the stake of the civilian population’s safety.

At a time when the country is still struggling to fight the dreaded coronavirus, the CNTs have also taken advantage of the situation by executing their treacherous act. The CNT’s continued atrocities and impunity have plagued the country for decades and hampered progress and development. Our nation has been overindulging the CNTs for too long.

As we express our condolences to the families of yet another victims of the CNT’s treachery, we also enjoin the LGUs in Surigao del Sur and the general populace to rally behind us in putting a stop on the CNT’s senseless murderous acts and anti-development tactics. Let us make sure that this time, they could not just simply get away with their crimes. Let us show to these terrorists that we are one in fighting to end the local communist armed conflict so our people will live in peace and prosperity.

We also reiterate our call on the IP representatives to condemn the recent atrocities of the CNTs and to give justice to the death of Datu Bucales and other victims.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr, the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, has already directed the military units in Surigao del Sur to pursue the perpetrators and to give justice to the slain IP Leader and other victims.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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