The Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army yesterday called on progressive human rights advocates and other organizations, including the church and National Commission on Indigenous People, to investigate alleged human rights violations committed by Army soldiers in the hinterlands of central Negros.
In a statement issued by the rebel group, Ka JB Regalado, condemned the numerous human rights violations allegedly committed by 302nd and 303rd Infantry Brigade soldiers, including the 32nd Division Reconnaissance Company, in their military operations against the NPA since Jan. 14.
The military operations led to the arrest of an alleged NPA leader in Himamaylan City and the seizure of a suspected NPA training camp in Brgy. Tan-awan, Kabankalan City.
The NPA retaliated by killing an unarmed member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit in Brgy. Magballo, and the raid at an hacienda compound and destruction of properties in Brgy. Camansi, all in Kabankalan City, military and police records show.
Regalado enumerated the alleged human rights violations of the Philippine Army, including tactical interrogation of a certain Vilma Medes, destruction of crops of Wachu Medes and Mariel Mumbay in Brgy. Tan-awan, Kabankalan City, harassment of minors in Brgys. Carabalan and Buenavista in Himamaylan City, apprehension of Remegio Espinas without any search warrant, and planting of a gun in his possession, and that of Revmar Escano, who remained missing, as of this time.
The police said Espinas has a pending arrest warrant for murder, for the death of an Army officer in Cadiz City, four years ago. He was also tagged by the military as a member of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros Finance Bureau. * GPB