Friday, June 21, 2013

NPA Kills 5 Civilians in Renewed Atrocities in Agusan del Sur

From the Website of AFP

NPA Kills 5 Civilians in Renewed Atrocities in Agusan del Sur

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Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:12
Written by PAO, AFP
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CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The communist rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) killed five innocent civilians and burned five heavy equipment to include farm tractors and bulldozers in an attack at Esperanza Town, Agusan del Sur, yesterday morning.

In a report by the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, more or less 40 armed men believed to be members of the NPA put ablaze the heavy equipment 9:30 AM, in Sitio Kamarangan, Barangay Milagros, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

The burned heavy equipment were owned by Shannalyne Corporation that was reportedly hired by the Esperanza Local Government Unit (LGU) for the land preparation in the planting of Acacia Mangium trees over a land awarded through the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) granted to the Higaonons in the area.

Two Infantry Companies of 26IB that are undergoing COPD Training at Headquarters, 26thInfantry Battalion in San Nicolas, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur were immediately utilized to conduct pursuit operations. Another Infantry Company that is presently consolidated at Headquarters, 402 Brigade in Bancasi, Butuan City was alerted to supplement the pursuing troops.

Likewise, two UH-1H Helis that were pre-positioned at Headquarters, TOG10, Philippine Air Force in Lumbia Airport in Cagayan De Oro City were dispatched to Headquarters 401st Brigade in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur to facilitate aerial troop insertion.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) condemned such act of violence perpetrated by the NPA citing that “the incident is not a form of armed struggle but an outright criminal act. Their armed struggle has degenerated to criminal acts which put innocent civilian lives in danger, and cause serious damage to their livelihood.”

This recent attack by the NPA is a heinous crime, and violates human rights, R.A. 9851, and International Humanitarian Law. It is in these atrocious violations that the people of Agusan have been clamoring for the NPA to end their armed struggle.

The AFP has recently denounced the attacks against civilians perpetrated by the NPAs, projecting themselves as a pro-people armed movement, following an ambush that killed eight civilians and a policeman in La Castellana town, Negros last January 27.

The incident in Agusan del Sur describes another brutal, anti-development and anti-people terroristic act by the rebel group. It did not only left grieving relatives crying for justice for their dead but also left jobless communities whose mainstay in surviving their families are jobs offered by the firm, and also cutting short the progress and development in the area.
Shennalyne Corporation is a non-government organization and private venture that grows Acacial-Mangium tress, a project that greatly benefited at least two hundred Higaonons in the area.

For its part, the AFP assured that it will not allow incidents like this hinder peace and development in the area. Collaboration between LGUs, government agencies, non-government organizations and other stakeholders is still the best resolution to these unproductive and inhumane atrocities by the New People’s Army rebels.

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