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Saturday, May. 27, 2006 at 1:36 PM
THE military has unearthed more atrocities committed by New People’s Army rebels in the countryside, the latest of which were the mass execution of rebels and civilians alike, the recruitment of child warriors and the abduction and rape of a teenager by a rebel commander.
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21 May 2006
All of these atrocities occurred in the town of San Fernando, Bukidnon, and were documented by the 26th Infantry Battalion based in Cagayan de Oro City. These “human rights violations of the communist-terrorist movement” were exposed in a briefing attended by National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Brig. Gen. Cardoza Luna, commanding general of the 4th Infantry division and those who witnessed the rebel atrocities.
At least 21 cases of liquidation since 2002 were documented by the 26th IB. Among the victims was former San Fernando Mayor Santacera, who was shot dead for his refusal to pay revolutionary tax. The other victims, the military said, were farmers accused of various crimes such as wife-beating, joining a cult, or rape.
From 2004 to 2005, ten NPA rebels or supporters suspected to be military informers were slain. The latest killing was reported on April 12 this year, when three persons – Manahan Kalimpitan, Carlito Sulin-ay and his 12-year-old brother -- were killed in front of their horrified families.
The military said 18 of the extra-judicial killings occurred in the towns of San Fernando and Quezon, 11 of them taking place in Barangay Kibungcog, San Fernando alone. Military officials said the barangay is terrorized by NPA rebels. Two other cases of salvagings were reported in Davao City and another in Valencia City.
At least 12 witnesses, including a barangay captain, four former rebels and relatives of the victim, came out and gave testimonies to members of the 26th IB who investigated the slayings.
Some of the witnesses also disclosed that the NPA recruited minors who were issued M14 rifles and who were asked to recruit other children. One of these young warriors captured by soldiers was a girl aged 16 who said she was raped and forced to become the wife of a certain Commander Butchoy.
Gonzales looking into new mass purging by CPP-NPA
14 May 2006
NATIONAL Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales has started investigating the new wave of mass purging being carried out by the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Gonzales flew to Cagayan de Oro Saturday to talk with the relatives of some of the slain militants and those who have mysteriously vanished in Mindanao during the past few months. The Secretary expressed confidence that he would be able to gather information that could help authorities solve some of the slayings, which he believes are part of the continuous purging ordered by CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison.
Gonzales, also the chairperson of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP), said there are indications that the underground armed communist movement has been killing members of the New People’s Army and other militant groups in a bid to cleanse its ranks of infiltrators. He said Sison ordered the purge because he suspects that the NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, and other left-leaning groups have been infiltrated by government agents.
While this may be true, the PDSP leader said the CPP leadership should not execute its members on mere suspicion. He likened the purging to the mass executions carried out by the CPP in the 70s and 80s where thousands of its members suspected to be deep-penetration agents were killed.
“This practice only shows the ruthlessness of communist leaders and their total disregard of human life,” Gonzales said.
Only last Thursday, two Bayan Muna leaders were gunned down in Echague, Isabela. The killings were blamed on the military, but Armed Forces officials denied any involvement in the twin slays. Also last week, the family of Philip Limjoco, an alleged NPA member, was reported missing by his family.
Bayan Muna claimed that 91 of its members have been killed since 2001.
PHILIPPINES: Batasan 5 to land back in jail—Gonzales
12 May 2006
THE party-list solons who belong to the extreme left - Bayan Muna, Anak-Pawis & Gabriela, will land back in jail.
This was according to National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, who yesterday expressed confidence that the government will be able to prove its case once the new rebellion complaint against the so-called Batasan 5 is filed in court.
Gonzales said the new information against the lawmakers is ready and will be filed soon. This time, he said the government will focus on proving that the party-list representatives are active members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA). The five lawmakers were earlier charged with being part of the grand conspiracy between the communists and rebel soldiers to topple the Arroyo administration.
“They should not rejoice yet. They will be jailed again soon,” Gonzales said upon returning from Saudi Arabia, where President Macapagal-Arroyo had a four-day state visit.
Gonzales, also the chairperson of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas, maintained that the case against the Batasan 5 is strong since there is sufficient evidence to ensure their conviction.
At the same time, lawyer Jose ‘Nonong” Ricafrente, PDSP spokesperson and head of the legal department, said the Batasan 5 “can be arrested by the authorities without the benefit of a warrant even before the new rebellion complaint against them is filed” because the case against them, rebellion, is a continuing crime.
“They can be arrested without warrant at anytime because a rebel is a rebel even in his sleep. Rebellion is the only crime in our statute books described as a continuing crime where the principle of hot pursuit has been properly applied,” Ricafrente said.
Gonzales’ partymate made this statement as he lambasted Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo for calling the PDSP chairperson ”a top legal ignoramus” and “anti-due process.”
“Who is Mr. Ocampo to call Secretary Gonzales a ‘legal ignoramus’? Instead of rejoicing prematurely and arrogantly calling people names, the Batasan 5 should be thankful that they enjoyed the safety and comfort of the House and are now out of confinement,” Ricafrente said.
He advised Ocampo to “better reserve his punches and prepare for his defense in the proper forum.”
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