Friday, August 28, 2015

1st Special Forces Battalion Troops Massacred Samia and Somina Families in Pangantucan, Bukidnon

From the Website of PRWC CPP-NPA-NDF / NDFP BICOL

1st Special Forces Battalion Troops Massacred Samia and Somina Families in Pangantucan, Bukidnon

1st Special Forces Battalion troops massacred Samia and Somina families in Pangantucan, Bukidnon

The butcher unit from the 3rd Special Forces Company of the 1st SF Battalion under Capt. Balatbat mercilessly slayed five members of Samia and Somina families in Brgy. Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon last August 18, 2015.

Lt. Col. Jesse Alvarez, commanding officer of the 403rd Brigade himself, boastfully pronounced to the media the victory of their men in killing the hapless victim peasants namely: Herminio Samia (70 years old) and his son Joebert Samia (20), Norman Samia (13), Elmer Somina (17) and Emir Somina (19). They were peppered even though they raised their hands in surrender. Their dead bodies were sent by members of the Pangantucan police station to a Funeral Parlor in Valencia City and there they were claimed by their relatives the day after. Col.Alvarez and 4th Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Martinez repeatedly stated that they were NPA members.

At around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon of that day, almost simultaneous with the massacre, an NPA guerilla unit encountered troops from the 3rd SFC on the mountainous spot which is more or less four kilometers from the victim’s hut. On this firefight, 2nd Lieutenant Alvin Cantala Balangcod was killed and Private First Class Virgil Soto Rubantes was gravely wounded. On the other hand, two NPA fighters were wounded and a firearm was left behind.

This year, it is fitting for the 1st Special Forces Battalion based in Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon to be decorated with the skull medal due to their brutal record in civilian killings. Last March 28, soldiers of the 1st SFB massacred a group of peasant claimants in Bugna, Brgy. Casinglot, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. Four farmers were killed and three suffered wounds in the incident. Like the Samia and Somina families, they were suspected to be members of the NPA. Last February 13, 2015, a local tourist guide, carrying a camera tripod, was wounded when SF troopers strafed a seven-man group of foreign bird watchers trekking in Sityo Damitan, Brgy. Dalwangan, Malaybalay City proceeding to Mt. Kitanglad. The Special Forces transmitted that they encountered the NPA in that area.

Being herein assigned, the 1st SFB and other AFP forces clearly manifested their unwavering mercenary stance in serving the interests of the imperialist plantations and otherenterprises of the ruling class. This killing of the farm dwellers aims to terorrize the peasants and Lumad in order that their wide plains on the foot of the Kitanglad and Kalatungan mountain ranges be grabbed as augmented land for plantations expansion.

The NPA-Mt. Kitanglad is in unity with the relatives, neighbors and friends of the Samia and Somina families in their grief of this tragedy that even up to the victims’ funeral, the fascists were still present on guard. With this situation, they must remain steadfast in standing up to their rights, in preserving their ancestral domain and for demanding justice.

It is proper that the murderer troops of the 1st SFB should answer to the crime. Col. Alvarez of the 403rd BDE and the high officials of the 4th ID should also shoulder the responsibility for the deaths of these poor taxpayers who were the ones providing their salary.


Mamerto Bagani
NPA-Mt. Kitanglad Sub-regional Command