Iloilo barangay residents file complaints vs NPA for IED use

March 25, 2010 10:09 pm 

MANILA, March 25 — Concerned residents of Barangay Igcabugao in Igbaras, Iloilo recently filed their complaints at the Regional office of the Commission of Human Rights in La Paz, Iloilo City against the New People’s Army who have been harassing and terrorizing their community, the Army reported Thursday.

Army 3rd Infantry Division spokesman 1Lt. Andrew Mark Posadas said their complaint stemmed from the most recent harassment of the NPA last March 10 wherein the Communist rebels opened fire near the elementary school of Igcabugao and the discovery of two landmines 300 meters from the school located in Sitio Bais.

The group was led by the village chief of Igcabugao Bonifacio Endencio, who sought the assistance of the 82nd Infantry (Bantay-Laya) Battalion to help facilitate their complaint to the CHR.

In his affidavit, Endencio stated that “This [incident] caused the community great alarm and fear because there were students attending classes when the NPA started firing at us. As a result, classes were suspended for three days while our soldiers cleared Sitio Bais where we believe that the NPA conducted their attack on our community.”

"It was not only the children who were affected but all of the residents of the barangay because people were afraid to go to their farms or go about their ordinary lives. “We heeded the warning of the military until we were assured that the area was clear. The discovery of the landmines left behind by the NPA near our school caused great alarm within our community because it posed danger not only to our beloved soldiers but also to us and our children.” Endencio added," said Posadas.

Posadas said that seven members of the community coming from the different sitios of Igcabugao accompanied their Barangay Captain in filing a complaint. Each gave the CHR investigators their own accounts of the incidents of harassment brought upon them by the NPA that culminated in the latest most despicable act of laying landmines near their school last March 10.

According to Lt. Col. George Joel Lalaquil of the 82nd Infantry Battalion: “Abandoned IEDs already laid down and were left behind also indicate the NPA’s desperation amidst the pressure of their leadership to elevate their Tactical Offensives to a higher level. Their failure to execute their plan and the abandonment of their equipment is an indicator of their frustration. We congratulate our Army troopers for their professionalism by putting their own lives on the line just to ensure the safety of the Igcabugaonons.” (PNA)

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