Bancasi, Butuan City – The CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) operating in the province of Surigao del Sur have owned to the killing of Datu Bernandino “Bandi” Astudillo, and Zaldy “Domingo” Ybañez at Sitio Inadan, Brgy Magroyong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur last March 19, 2020, the day President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

In a radio interview at Sure FM in Tandag City and Bombo Radyo Butuan City, Imelda Rambuyod alias Sandara Sidlakan, Spokesperson of Guerilla Front (GF) 30 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), admitted without remorse to the killing of the two (2) elderly IPs and even fabricated false allegations against them. Alias Sandara claimed that the two 2 IPs were killed because of raping a certain Ms Palay Astudillo, the granddaughter of Datu Bandi.

It can be recalled that the IP communities and LGU Officials of the whole province particularly the town of San Miguel condemned the killing of Datu Bernandino “Bandi” Astudillo, 74 y/o, Brgy Tribal Chieftain and Zaldy “Domingo” Ybañez, 65 y/o and a Former Rebel, both from Brgy Magroyong of same town who were dragged out of their houses and were cruelly killed by the CNTs through stabbing and hacking to the different parts of their body as per testimonies of the relatives and neighbors who personally witnessed the incident.

Meanwhile, in her video statement posted on Facebook, Ms Palay Astudillo who lived and worked now in Manila refuted the allegation of Sandara. She said that his grandfather did not rape her and even loved them so much. She bared that together with her grandmother, Datu Bandi raised her together with her other siblings. She averred that the CNTs claims never happened and it was done to discredit Datu Bandi so that the CNTs can justify their brutal action.

The families of Datu Bandi and Zaldy Domingo and their whole tribal community were furious and cried for justice after learning that the CNTs even added insult to the pain they were suffering. Instead of appeasing the bereaved families, Sandara falsely accused Datu Bandi of fabricated allegation, lies and cowardly justified their barbaric and terroristic act to save face.

Likewise, Datu Rico Maca castigated the CNTs on its shameless deception for defaming the deceased IPs after viciously killing them without mercy. “Isip ingun nga municipal IPMR og isip sibilisadong kumunidad, ako makaingun nga walay karapatan ang NPA nga musilot kamatayon kay anaa kitay balaod og korte nga muhatag og saktong hustisya bisan pa sa unsang ang alegasyon niini”.

In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade said, “The admission of the CNTs in attacking the civilians with no direct involvement in the armed conflict and justifying their actions with fabricated stories depicts their barbaric nature and display of arrogance with utter disregard to the value of human life”.

“We are one with the whole IP community in condemning this terroristic act. We will not rest until the perpetrators will be brought to justice. This is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We call on all Surigaonons to condemn the NPAs and help us drive the CNTs away from our communities. They are the living viruses that had been plaguing our societies. Let’s be vigilant and alert from the treacherous acts of the CNTs while our troops support the DOH and PNP to address the COVID-19”, Brigadier General Licudine added.