MANILA – Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., on Monday decried the lack of action from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regarding the continued killing of civilians by hitmen of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“The killing of civilians by the NPAs (are) continuous and we don’t see any action from CHR, other than the usual ‘we will conduct an investigation’,” he said in a statement.
Parlade, who is also a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, urged CHR chairperson Chito Gascon to take action on the series of killings and attacks committed by the CPP-NPA against civilians and military personnel in the past few days.
He cited as an example the brutal killing of 47-year-old Joseph Alicnas Calabson, a former barangay captain in Ifugao and known for his stand against the communist rebels, on March 3.
He said Calabson was killed by three CPP-NPA members who introduced themselves as from the “Nona del Rosario Command New Peoples’ Army-Ifugao” with one of the suspects identifying himself as “Francis”.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
He added that these killers had the audacity to kill the victim inside his house in Tukucan, Tinoc, Ifugao and in front of his wife.
“According to the wife, after the three men put down their backpacks, one went out and the two killers shot her husband in the head and as he fell, they approached her husband and shot him several times as he lay on the floor. Before they escaped, they left four letters from ‘Nona del Rosario Command’,” he said.
Another CPP-NPA atrocity took place in Barcelona, Sorsogon on March 7 when communist rebels strafed a group of soldiers involved in a community support program and in the process hit civilians Giselle Emberga, 18, and Justine Inovejas,12, both residents of Barangay Sta. Lourdes.
Soldiers rushed three more civilians to the hospital for shrapnel injuries and were later declared safe,” Parlade said.
NPA members also killed a former colleague Antonio Benzon in Sta Cruz, Casiguran, Sorsogon on February 22.
“The NPAs have been hitting civilians in the hope of reversing the trend of surrenders nationwide. We hope to hear about the result of the investigations that the CHR promised to investigate,” he added.
He also scored militant groups “Karapatan” and “Anakbayan” for doing nothing about these series of atrocities against civilians.
“Meantime, we are asking where these ‘Karapatan’ and ‘Anakbayan’ members are? You travel to Australia to proclaim your advocacy about protecting human rights and defending children. Why don’t you tell your Australian donors what the CPP-NPA has been doing to civilians and children?” he asked.
He said he finds it odd when the CHR takes time to meet with Alicia Lucena who denied she was kidnapped and instead claimed that she left home because of abusive parents and that the government was responsible for attacks against militant groups.
Lucena’s parents earlier claimed that their daughter was recruited by militant group “Anakbayan”.
“How can CHR entertain these liars who walk on the streets shouting ‘Kabataan sumapi na sa NPA’ and yet not entertain the mother who appeared at the CHR?” Parlade said. (PNA)