Monday, October 12, 2009

Remains Of "Kangaroo Court" Victims Exhumed By Residents

Camp Simeon A Ola, Legazpi City - Combined elements of Armed Forces of the
Philippines Concerns on Community Organizing for Development (ACCORD) Teams from 9th Infantry Battalion and 49th Infantry Battalion under 2LT RICHARD F CASPILLO and 2LT HOWARD ARDEDON respectively discovered two (2) separate unlisted grave sites of skeletal remains on September 30, 2009 at 2:40 pm and October 01, 2009 at 7:30 am in Barangay Maninila and Purok 2, Barangay Taplacon, all in the Municipality of Camalig, Albay. Acting on a tip off from the residents, said ACCORD Teams quickly coordinated with LTC RODRIGO GREGORIO, commander of 2nd Infantry Battalion, who gave the go on the operation being the area commander. The said ACCORD Team, through the help of local officials and residents, were able to pin point the exact location and started digging up for evidence.
An Investigating Team composed of 901st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army led by CPT RAZALEIGH G BANSAWAN, Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), PRO5, PNP led by PCI GREGORIO VILLANUEVA, 2nd IB, PA led by 1LT ROLITO BASIBAS, and Camalig PNP led by PCI MONSALVE AMARANTO checked the area and conducted initial investigation. Likewise, barangay officials of Maninila and Taplacon, Camalig, Albay, the Catholic Parish Priest of Cotmon, Camalig and tri-media practitioners immediately rushed to the grave sites to witness the proper documentation of the sites.

Recovered from the first grave site, which is approximately 700m southwest of Brgy Maninila proper, was one (1) skeletal remain. It was found out during the exhumation conducted by SOCO personnel that the first skeletal remain was blindfolded, wrapped in a black blanket with one (1) pair black slippers and one (1) piece of upper maxillary full denture. While on the other grave site, which is located southeast and approximately 300m from Brgy Taplacon proper, the skeletal remain was buried in a fetal position, neck strangled and hands tied on the back. Also recovered were three (3) meters rope and five (5) pieces peso coins. It was also noted that there was a fracture on the left side of the skull and is believed to be caused by a hard object hitting the victim's head.

Earlier, another skeletal remain was discovered and retrieved from Purok 2, Barangay Taplacon of same municipality identified as certain Franscisco Musa, a businessman in the area who was murdered and buried in 2000. Mr. Musa was a victim of the “kangaroo court”, a bogus and unfair trial procedure which is used by the CPP/NPA/NDF to their members suspected of being government informants and for those who refuse to give in to their extortion demands. Initial findings conclude that the exhumed skeletal remains were buried approximately five (5) years ago and with the pieces of evidence gathered, the victims are believed to have been severely tortured before they were killed.

COLONEL MARLOU L SALAZAR INF (GSC) PA, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, lauded the efforts of the residents in continuously helping the AFP in its insurgency campaign. He also encouraged the people to open-up all the information they have to locate other hapless victims of the local communist terrorists. Local officials and residents responded by deeply condemning said brutal killings.

Moreover, Reverend Father Tonton Peralta, Catholic Parish Priest of Cotmon, Camalig, Albay accorded religious blessing to the said skeletal remains in the belief that their souls will eventually rest in peace. At present, the skeletal remains are under the safekeeping of SOCO, PNP for further examinations.

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