Statement on the fact finding mission organized by Karapatan-SMR conducted at Sitio Post 4, Brgy Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province

The 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army would like to encourage Karapatan-SMR, Bayan, Anak Pawis, KMP and other groups who joined the alleged independent fact finding mission in Sitio Post 4, Brgy Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province (CVP) last February 23-24, 2016 to submit their findings to the appropriate legitimate investigating bodies. This will allow the prosecution of those responsible of committing these alleged atrocities through due process of law. These will also allow those being accused to confront their accusers in the proper legal forum.
We are making this call while we doubt the sincerity and motive of these groups when they declined the offer of the Mayor of Pantukan to join the multi-sectoral group that the local government is planning to organize to find out the real story of what happened on the ground.
We therefore request the groups led by Karapatan-SMR to join and fully support the investigating body that the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley and LGU Pantukan will organize. We likewise call on all concerned sectors to join and actively support this investigating body in order to come out with a credible and unbiased report.
The 10ID fully supports and welcomes any investigation to be conducted by appropriate legitimate investigating body.
We however suspect the timing of the fact-finding mission by groups led by Karapatan-SMR as the 10ID is in the midst of its offensive operations and have cornered the NPAs led by Jolan Suazo alias Raden and the arrest for murder of Ariel Arbitrario alias Marlon, the Secretary of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 2 which operates in Pantukan. The efforts of 10ID to plush out the armed NPAs in the area has already cost the lives of one officer and two enlisted personnel and the wounding of four other soldiers.
We call on Karapatan-SMR and its allied groups to go beyond the usual propaganda of making statements which are based on fabricated testimonies of coached witnesses. Instead, we exhort them to file appropriate charges in the court of law. We hope that this time, these allegations will go beyond propaganda statements meant to besmirch the image and reputation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and to stop the implementation of IPSP Bayanihan, which has been very effective in defeating the NPA and winning the peace for the Filipino people.