Army slams NPA after murder of former rebel

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – The 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter ) Division, Philippine Army condemned in the strongest possible terms the NPA’s terroristic act of murdering Rodel Agudes, a former rebel and now a civilian serving as a barangay tanod at Sitio Apia, Brgy Calawis, Antipolo City at 5 a.m. on August 15.

According to Lt Col Christopher Diaz, Commanding Officer of 80th Infantry Battalion, the brutal act of the CNTs “was part of their organizational cleansing targeting their former members who went on lie low and AWOL due to lingering doubt that they have been providing government troops with information” that resulted to decisive engagements and debacles on the part of the terrorists.

He added that through this criminal act, “the NPAs once again proved that they are human rights violators who do not value human lives including those of the people who once supported their objectives”.

It can be recalled that for this year alone, a series of decisive engagements were recorded in Southern Tagalog wherein the military expected massive losses on the part of the terrorists. Most of these engagements were attributed to “reliable information” provided by concerned citizens.

Col Alex Rillera, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Northern Quezon, said that “the killing of Rodel Agudes is nothing but plain and simple murder.”

He added that “our forces will be relentless in pursuit of these terrorists until justice is served to the families of the victim.”

For his part, Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, expressed his deepest sympathy to the bereaved family and called on various groups to join the people in condemning this act of terror.

He added that “this is one of the NPA terrorists’ desperate acts of projecting relevance and coercing the people to support them as they try to avert their fast-eroding mass base support from our people.”

BGen Burgos supported this claim by citing his soldiers’ recent discovery of enemy harbor areas in Sitio Malangawan, Brgy Panaytayan, Mansalay and in Sitio Naswak, Brgy Hagan, Bongabong in Oriental Mindoro on August 15 following an information given by concerned citizens from the area.

According to Brigadier General Marceliano V Teofilo, Commander of 203rd Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Mindoro, “the harbor areas can accommodate more or less 30 terrorists’ wherein troops were able to recover one generator set, five magazines of M16 rifle, five magazines of M14 rifle, bandoliers, backpack and other enemy paraphernalia.”

“Our efforts in pursuing those who commit terror against the community will be relentless and shall never falter for the people of Mindoro deserve to enjoy the fruits of peace and prosperity that they’ll never experience in hands of these rebels”, ended BGen Teofilo.

Top military commanders in Southern Tagalog have been very vocal in their call to the few remaining NPAs to “lay down your arms and go back to mainstream society, avail the government’s E-CLIP grants and be part of the solution to our society’s problems because the soldiers will never waver in our commitment to serve the people and secure this part of our land.”