Charged for arson

• NPA commander, several others sued for Black Saturday attack

Criminal charges have been filed against a commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) and several other subordinates in connection with the Black Saturday attacks where armed men burned 10 heavy duty vehicles in three hinterland barangays in the city.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said cases of arson and grave threat have already been filed against the NPA members before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Tagum identified the NPA commander as Kumander Bungot who is also known as Ka Roy.

Other NPA members charged were identified as Ka Larry, Omer Pagatpat, Samuel Rojas, Potot Entera, and Samuel Rojas. Several John Does were also included as respondents.

Further information about the suspects was not revealed.

Tagum told TIMES yesterday that arson case, under Investigation Sheet No. XI-02-INV-18-D-1003, was filed on Thursday against Kumander Bungot, Ka Larry, Pagatpat, Samuel Rojas and several other unidentified rebels.

Tagum said a case of grave threat, docketed as IS No. XI-02-INV-18-D-1008, was also filed on Saturday against Kumander Bungot), Ka Larry, Entera, Rojas, Pagatpat and several others in connection with the case.

On Black Saturday, alleged NPA members burned backhoes, dump trucks, and bulldozer in the city’s three hinterland barangays – Barangay Callawa in Buhangin District, Barangay Fatima in Paquibato District, and Barangay Dalagdag in Calinan District.

In the Davao del Norte attack, the police already filed an arson case against the suspected NPA members.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI, said that the arson case was filed on Tuesday against Joe Almendras, Dalagis Balite, Enting Mansumiat, Lugib Tausan, Enting Tumbasay, Rommel Tausan and Laro Manlologpis, all residents of Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

They were charged for burning a backhoe in Sitio Banualay, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod around 10 a.m. on April 3, a Thursday.

Speaking in the recent AFP-PNP press conference, Driz said the case was filed before the Provincial Prosecution Office in Tagum City

City Mayor Sara Duterte condemned the attacks, which she described as “downright cowardly.”

The construction of roads in Barangay Callawa, Barangay Fatima, and Barangay Dalagdag are now temporarily stalled because of the attacks, she said.

“The road projects could make the delivery of other basic services to the people faster — including health, education, agricultural development and livelihood,” the mayor said. “The said projects could change the lives of the people for the better.”

“The fresh atrocities reveal that the terrorist group only truly intends for people to continue living in a condition of poverty, which they could use as a capital in their propaganda against the government and to justify their presence in the communities where their influence and significance are waning,” the mayor added.

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