MURDER OF CIVILIANS. The 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army has denounced the killings of civilians in Negros Oriental allegedly by the New People’s Army, saying these were violations of the Anti-Terror Law. On July 21, 2020, two swine traders were shot dead in Sitio Mandi-e, Barangay Magsaysay in Guihulngan City. (Photo courtesy of M&M Radio Guihulngan)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army denounced on Thursday the killings of civilians in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, which they say were perpetrated by suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

A media release from the brigade said the killing of three civilians in separate shooting incidents in barangays Sandayao and Magsaysay, Guihulngan were “a clear violation of (the) Anti-Terrorism Law”.

They were referring to the July 21 incident in Sitio Mandi-e, Barangay Magsaysay where swine traders Jimmer Fundador and Romeo Dungo-an were shot dead by unidentified armed men, and the July 18 gunning down of Nail Vargasa in Sitio Agpalili, Barangay Sandayao.

The statement said “such killings of innocent civilians by the terrorist group as the suspect, and the use of disproportionate and indiscriminate force in armed conflict, is a direct violation of the international humanitarian law.”

“These are blatant violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law (CARHRIL),” it added.

The brigade said the NPA “violated” the Anti-Terrorism Bill signed by President Rodrigo Duterte early this month, based on the series of killings and murders of civilians in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander, said in the statement “we deployed our troops to conduct pursuit operations on the NPAs, together with our counterparts in the PNP (Philippine National Police)”.

“The Army and the PNP are in control of the situation. We assure everyone that despite the pandemic crisis we have today, we will not put our guards down and allow the NPAs in sowing fear (in) the communities with their illegal activities in the area,” he said.

The Anti-Terrorism Law “will bolster its core intent to protect life, liberty, and property from terrorism and to condemn terrorism as inimical to the welfare of the people,” Pasaporte said.

He assured that justice will be served to the victims of the CPP-NPA’s atrocities. (PNA)