Camp Osito D Bahian, Malaybalay City- May 28, 2020- At 3:30 Thursday morning, local residents strongly condemn the dastardly act of the New People’s Army as it torch four (4) houses and a church at Zone 2, Brgy Limonda, Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental.
The NPA was headed by a certain alias Decoy of, Guerilla Front 12, Sub Regional Committee 5 (SRC5), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee that operates in the boundaries of Bukidnon, West Misamis Oriental and Iligan City.
“Grabe ilang katawa, malipayon kaayo sila samtang nanunog, shaget pa silag mabuhi ang NPA samtang naglakaw (They were cheering and laughing while burning, they even cheered Mabuhay ang NPA on their way out of the village)” a local said.
“Dile mi magpadala sa ilang pagpanghadlok ug mao na ilang paglaum. Sumo nami nga sa unang panahon pangpatyon sab nila ang ilang mga masa dinhi sa amo human sila pangalagaran. Musukol mi kauban ang gobyerno. (We will not be cowed if that is their intent, we were already used to them killing their massbase supporters after serving them during the old days)” an old man, and relative of the victim said.
Prior to the burning, the terrorist NPAs have forced the villagers to produce food items but the villagers refused. This enraged the NPAs who immediately set ablaze the church and houses, Cpt Rene Belmonte, 403 Brigade spokesman said.
After the incident, the perpetrators hurriedly left the area while shouting, “Mabuhay ang NPA!”.The four houses are owned by Edward Villarias, Ronny Tingkang, Edmar Burlat and Avelinon Sambulay, who are all residents of the said barangay. Meanwhile, the church building belongs to the Born Again Christian religious sect, Belmonte added.
“It can be recalled also that last May 22, 2020, a group of NPA also attacked a village and killed an innocent civilian at Sitio Spring, Brgy Kawayan, San Fernando, Bukidnon. This only showed that these NPAs are not respecting the rights of the civilians that live peacefully in the far flung areas which is contrary to their claim that they are fighting for the people. This blatant acts are clear violations of the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and these are crimes against humanity that only added to the suffering of the people”, said Col Ferdinand Barandon, 403rd Brigade Commander.
“We strongly condemn the NPA on this inhumane act and challenge KARAPATAN, who claims to be a human rights group, to do the same”, Barandon concluded.
Hon Maximino B Seno, the Municipal Mayor of Opol, Misamis Oriental pledged to help the victims of the said atrocities. He asked the Army and the PNP to assist the LGU in providing the needs of the victims. The Mayor also condemn the attacks of the NPA specifically the burning of the structures since most of the residents living in those areas are poor people.