PA'3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion denies abusing Hacienda Luisita farmers

March 22, 2012 1:10 am 

MANILA, March 21 – The commander of the Philippine Army (PA)'s 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion has vehemently denied allegations that troopers under his command have been blatantly abusing farmers based in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac.

"There is no truth to the allegation of military abuse in Hacienda Luisita. This can be attested in certificates individually executed by the parish priest of Central and the ten barangays that comprise Hacienda Luisita," 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres said.

He added that the allegations are unfair and peddled by anti-peace and anti-development groups out to break and weaken the harmonious relationship between the military and civilians.

Torres said the allegation against his men is debunked by the statement of Father John Perez, the parochial vicar of Central, Tarlac City, who stated that " … I never heard of any untoward incidents, abuses, or violations involving the military present here. In fact, I have seen these men in uniform actively participating in various civil and ecclesiastical activities within our community. I believe that they are doing their best not just to make us feel safe and secure but also in promoting peace and unity among us. We express our wholehearted support that they be allowed to stay with us." (PNA)

RSV/PFN

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