The lies and deceptions with the spread of fake news by the New People’s Army alarmed residents and forced them to evacuate from their homes in the hinterland sitios of Brgy. Quiintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, a ranking military official yesterday said.
Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, cited reports being propagated that the military will conduct an air strike in Brgy. Quintin Remo because of heavy casualties in an alleged ambush carried out by the NPA, among others.
All of these are part of their recycled propaganda to create fear and panic among the populace and to gain local and foreign attention, Dacoscos said, adding that the communist rebels usually capitalize on the issue of Internal Displaced Persons to discredit the government.
The more 2,700 individuals who evacuated from the different areas of Quintin Remo returned to their homes Tuesday, a day after the running gunbattle between rebels and Army soldiers, who were in pursuit of NPA members responsible for the death of Moises Padilla Councilor Jolomar Hilario on Sunday.
In a dialog with residents of Brgy. Inolingan, Moises Padilla, on Tuesday, which was also attended by Romeo Baldevarona, provincial head of the Commission on Human Rights in Negros Occidental, Dacoscos explained that the encounter took place after his troops managed to catch up with NPA members, who killed Hilario at his residence.
“This is part of our duty to ensure the safety and security of the people so that the terrorist group will not coerce them,” he said.
Baldevarona said that the brutal killing of Hilario has caused so much trauma and pain to his family members, especially those who witnessed the incident.
“This is a clear violation of human rights, International Humanitarian Law and rule of law”, he said.
Four of the 11 suspected NPA members arrested by the police in Brgy. Sebucawan, Isabela, were positively identified as among those involved in the killing of Hilario, Moises Padilla police chief Capt. Junji Liba said.*
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