Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Village Youth Leader Gunned Down By NPA Rebels in Catanduanes

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – A Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman of a village was gunned down by suspected NPA rebels yesterday, a military official said.

LtCol Danilo Aquino, Commander of the 83rd Infantry Battalion based in Catanduanes province, said that Jay Carlo Cameleon, 20, was shot to death by two NPA-SPARU assailants at around 5:00pm in San Isidro village of Pandan town.

Aquino said that the victim could have been accused as a military informant or mistaken as the former NPA rebel who have decided to surrender to the government.

The local police have also received reports from the local residents that the NPA bandits were tagged as the assailants.

“Prior to the incident, two unidentified men were looking for Cameleon in his house. Finding the victim, he was dragged to a hilly portion in the area where he was tortured and shot to death with a Caliber .45 pistol,” said one policeman from Pandan town who requested anonymity for fear of his life.

The killing of Cameleon happened after the bullet-riddled body of a former barangay captain was found floating in a river in San Miguel town midnight last Sept. 18, allegedly a victim of a hit squad of the New People’s Army.

The Philippine Army’s 83rd Infantry Battalion based in Lictin, San Andres confirmed the report but did not provide any details, saying that the matter is still being investigated.

According to a reliable source, Lando Tivar, who is in his 40’s, and his wife went up to their abaca plantation in the nearby mountain sometime in the morning of Sept. 18 to strip fiber for a few days. It is claimed that sometime in the afternoon, four communist rebels, whom the couple apparently knew, came by and, speaking in mainland Bikol tongue, asked the woman that they would like to talk to her husband.

Tivar then joined the NPA down the mountain. The ex-village chief, however, did not return after several hours. It was well into midnight when his brother-in-law, who was catching fish in a nearby river, found Tivar’s body. The victim, whose hands were tied behind his back, had been shot five times in the chest. The report also said his captors apparently used a sharp knife in etching the letter “L” on his bare back.

The informant also claimed that slain man’s brother was a former NPA, along with his wife, who have since returned to the government and are now CAFGU volunteers of the Philippine Army. The communist movement, it was alleged, suspected Tivar of passing information about the movements of the NPA to his brother.

The killing has not been reported to the San Miguel police station as the victim’s family and relatives fear retaliation from the NPA.

With the spate of the NPA’s extrajudicial killings, the death toll has now reached 36 for this year alone.

A few complainants have surfaced to file cases before the courts or the Commission of Human Rights due to the death threats received by most of the relatives from the NPA bandit group.

Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has directed the 83rd Infantry Battalion to assist the PNP in hunting down the suspects.
Pabustan also condemned the CPP-NPA bandits for their continued practice of committing serious human rights violations such as the killing of innocent civilians in the Bicol Region.

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