PANTUKAN, COMPOSTELA VALLEY PROVINCE- Local officials of Pantukan were enlightened by the military of its peace and development efforts in Compostela Valley Province during the Sangguniang Bayan session last February 17, 2016. The 1001st Infantry Brigade was given a privilege to clarify issues on military presence in Compostela Valley Province.
Present during the SB session was Ltc Francis Carter Sibal, 10CMO Battalion commander as resource speaker.
The local officials of Pantukan were aptly briefed of the threat situation for the whole of Compostela Valley Province, which relatively discussed on the continued presence of the NPAs in Pantukan. Ltc Sibal presented to the councilors and municipal legislative personnel the mandate of Philippine Army and the purpose of 46IB troops’ existence in the area of Pantukan. He furthered that the troops are conducting peace and development initiatives through PDOP, assisting the LGUs in the delivery of basic services for the people of Pantukan, launching programs to entice the members of the NPA to abandon armed struggle and the use legitimate force for those who continue to use violence to coerce the peace loving people of Compostela Valley.
“Peace and security is complimentary. The military troops will never leave Pantukan unless the NPAs will not abandon the armed struggle and they shall finally decide to return to the folds of the law.” Ltc Sibal said
During the session, series of incidents that transpired in Pantukan were also presented highlighting the death of 1Lt Ralph Pantonial and two others, the wounding of several soldiers, the capture of Ronel Paas alias Dondon, 35 and alias Dong, 14 in a military checkpoint, who were both brought to the hospital but Ronel succumbed due to his fatal wound contrary to Karapatan-SMR’s claim that captured duo were held for hours at the checkpoint.
Through the efforts of 46IB, LGU Pantukan and several generous stakeholders provided assistance to Ronel’s family by while alias Dong is now under the custody and protection of DSWD, he had already undergone surgical operation through the health and financial assistance provided by the municipal and provincial government.
At the end of the session, the local officials felt grateful to the Army for giving clarity on the issues thrown by KARAPATAN against the military.
In almost the same day, around 100 people coming from Davao, Tagum, Mabini, Pantukan and Maco marched off going to Pantukan Municipal Hall around 9 o’ clock in the morning. The pack of rallyists were believed to be forced by the NPAs to participate was led by Hanimay Suazo, Secretary of KARAPATAN- SMR. The group continued to maim the 46IB of committing Human Rights Violation (HRVs) in Pantukan.
It can be recalled that Karapatan-SMR trumped-up allegations of HRVs they termed as Extra-Judicial Killings (EJKs) which were belied by police reports. Police reports cited personal grudge and a plain motorcycle accident due to drunkenness as the circumstances leading to the death of Teresita Navacilla and Alex Josol respectively, while the captured NPAs during a checkpoint named Ronel and alias Dong actively participated as NPAs during a legitimate encounter.
The said rally of Karapatan-SMR is in response to the capture of Ariel Arbitrario alias Marlon, the Front Secretary of Guerilla Front 2 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) and Crispolo Arbitrario alias Calvin, member of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC 2) of SMRC.
Alias Marlon is the mastermind of all NPA initiated atrocities in Maco, Mabini and Pantukan while alias Calvin, as a member of the NPA SOG was involved in the killings in the said areas. The duo was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrests for criminal charges of murder with criminal case numbers 7925 and 6320. The arrested duo were have already undergone inquest proceedings at the Fiscal’s office, Tagum City for possession of firearms and explosives and will subsequently be charged of violation of the COMELEC Election Gun Ban.
Col Macairog Alberto said that the soldiers under 1001st Infantry Brigade will never resort to EJKs and commit HRVs in defeating the NPAs. “Resorting to human rights violations will only justify the NPA armed struggle and use of violence,” he added.
“EJKs and committing HRVs is considered illegal and immoral, it is detrimental and against the Bayanihan spirit for peace and development.” he concluded.