Army commander tells left, CHR: condemn NPA for death of boy

THE COMMANDER of the 67th Infantry Battalion is calling on the progressive groups to also condemn the killing of 10-year-old boy reportedly at the hands of the New People’s Army in Caraga, Davao Oriental.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at Royal Mandaya hotel, Lt. Col. Jake Obligado said the brutal action is really condemnable.

“I want to call the (Commission on Human Rights) to investigate this incident, and also for Karapatan. We really cry for justice for Justin,” he said.

He described the death of Justin Padao, who succumbed to 10 gunshot wounds on the head and body, as “very brutal.” “This also shows that the NPA is no longer conscious of the rule of law because, as a result of their action, an innocent was killed.”

The boy and his companions were sleeping when the rebels attacked the house in the Mandaya community of Barangay Pacifico Moralison Sobrecarey, Caraga, Davao Oriental around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Padao, a member of Mandaya tribe, was a student of PM Sobrecarey Elementary School in Caraga.

The NPA has yet to issue a statement owning up to the attack on the house of Leo Padao, reportedly a military informant.

Meanwhile, Obligado said that after the termination of the peace talks last Feb. 3 until today, almost 40 who members of the New People’s Army (NPA) already surrendered to authorities.

“Very significant was the killing of the Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 8 leader in Davao Oriental and another political officer who surrendered two weeks ago,” Oblligado said.

More than 30 surrendered and the rest were killed and captured, he said. They have also recovered three high-powered firearms from the NPAs. They are also in the process of clearing affected barangays under the area of operation of the 67th IB.

“They were all duped into joining, especially the youth whose ages ranged from 16 to 17 years old,” he said, adding that 3 in 4 NPA fighters come from the IP communities who were promised better lives.

Posted in under_HEADLINES2