Five men were on board their motorcycles selling mirrors, floormats, and speakers in Barangay Miabas, Palanas, Masbate, when they were flagged down by at least 20 heavily armed communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) under Rogelio Suson alias Manong, Platoon 1, Larangan 2, Komiteng Probinsya 4, and forcibly subjected to body search.
Three of them were dragged to a secluded area and ruthlessly executed. The other two escaped. The victims were identified as Jose Lalaguna, 51; Joey Lalaguna, 30; and Jestoni Lalaguna, 22.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia condemned in the strongest terms the murder of innocent civilians in Masbate.
A few weeks ago, cousins Kieth and Nolven Absalon were mowed down by improvised explosive device, before being shot at close range, while biking in the city, a regular fitness training they do weekly.
Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB), said that they are now in close coordination with the Philippine National Police to hunt down the fleeing communist insurgents.
“Hindi tayo titigil hangga’t hindi natin nahuhuli at napaparusahan ang mga walang kaluluwang gumawa ng karumal-dumal na krimeng ito,” Lt. Col. Awichen added.
Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, warned the CTG members responsible for the killing to surrender as they can never hide from the security forces’ on-going pursuit operations.
“There is no way you can run from us. Bukod sa mga otoridad na humahabol sa inyo, tiyak na ituturo kayo ng mga Masbateño upang mabigyang hustisya ang ginawa ninyo sa kanilang mga kababayan,” Col. Almase said.
Fuming mad at the incident, MajGen Henry Robinson, commander of JTF Bicolandia said, “With this recent incident, the CTG again violated the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.
“Obviously, these evil people are ticked off by the continuing wave of their comrades raising the white flag of surrender since the Absalon murders.
“The numbers say it all, as the surrenderers are fast reaching 700, just since the killing of Kieth and Nolven, 55 of them just last week.
“These numbers are casting doubt on the remaining capability of the CPP-NPA-NDF to sustain the conflict on the ground. As a result, their men scatter, many of them seeing the wisdom and a clear opportunity to return to their families and restart a new beginning.”
Robinson exclaimed in the vernacular:“Hindi pa nga humuhupa ang galit ng sambayanang Pilipino lalo na ng mga Masbateño sa CTG dahil sa pamamaslang nila sa football player na si Kieth at sa tiyuhin niyang si Nolven Absalon, may tatlong inosenteng sibilyan na naman na walang awang pinatay ng mga teroristang ito.”
“These crimes are purely desperate acts to terrorize the people,” added the JTF Bicolandia commander.
“To all Masbateños, let us continue the fight. Huwag ninyong hayaang bastusin ang inyong lugar ng mga kriminal na ito. Hahanapin natin sila kahit saan man sila magtago,” Robinson said. Sph/AQP