MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday stood firm in its stand that communist terrorists have seized part of the relief goods intended for residents of Barangay Guinmaayohan, Balangiga, Eastern Samar last week.
“The AFP stands firm with our account of the incident and earlier statements. This is validated by the report rendered by the commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division (Major General Pio Diñoso) that has Balangiga, Eastern Samar in its AOR (area-of-responsibility,” AFP spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a press statement.
He added that Balangiga Mayor Randy Graza recently admitted that indeed the NPAs seized part of the relief goods intended for his constituents.
The town’s Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) on Monday issued a resolution condemning this act earlier disowned by the NPA.
Earlier reports by the Catbalogan-based 8th Infantry Division said NPA rebels took half a sack of rice from the relief goods given to some residents of Sitio Bangon in Barangay Guinmaayohan.
“The document will also attest to the truthfulness of military reports relating to the incident. barangay officials, for their part, also confirm the detestable acts of these terrorists in taking away what their neighbors badly need as well,” Arevalo said.
He reiterated the AFP’s willingness to assist local government units in the distribution of relief packs, even to NPA members, if requested.
“Meantime, AFP front-line units will provide security during the distribution of the amelioration program of government when so requested,” Arevalo said, adding that this is to ensure that money intended for the people really gets to the beneficiaries and not stolen by communist terrorists.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)