NPA atrocities complicate AFP’s Humanitarian Efforts

The Organized Crime Group New People’s Army attack the Peace and Development Team of 60th Infantry Battalion on humanitarian mission Thursday morning a day after it announced ceasefire to give way for the victims of typhoon Pablo.

The 10th Infantry Division disclosed that at 5:45 a.m., army troops augmented to assist and deliver relief goods to distressed and stricken residents in Sitio Banoog, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, however, they were waylaid by NPA fighters.

“Members of 60th IB were fired upon at the outreach station in said village”, 10th ID spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said. He then slams the notorious group adding that perpetrating atrocity “is contrary to their promise of a 29-day ceasefire” that started on December 5, 2012 to January 3, 2013.

“We all know that their promise of truce is nothing but a sugar coated lie to make them look like Good Samaritans. It is a mere façade to cloak their real identity as criminals”, Paniza said. He added that the rebel group is exploiting the distraught situation of the victims as propaganda and nothing else. “This incident only manifests their insincerity in helping the people especially those badly affected residents. If we are on relief mission mode, then they are on ‘business as usual’ mode without considering that the assault hampered our relief efforts”, he added.

To recall on Sunday, four days after the National Democratic Front started ceasefire and a day before the 64th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the NPAs also committed another crime by attempting to kill Pfc. Lito Mansalo-on and by abducting his two minor daughters, aged 14 and 12, in the remote village of Sitio Danao, Brgy Gupitan, San Isidro, Davao del Norte. Paniza cited the said attack adding that the criminal group did not spare the said soldier and his family who was also a victim of Pablo’s wrath after their house was washed out during the onslaught of the typhoon. 

Paniza assured though that the atrocities of the NPAs will not hamper their relief efforts nor stop them to access remote areas to aid assistance and help the victims to start anew.


NPAs Attempt to Kill Soldier, Took Children as Hostage

Camp Manuel T.Yan, Mawab Compostela Valley Province- Despite of the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo, seven (7) members of an Organized Crime Group believed to be affiliated to the New People’s Army flagged down Pfc Lito Masaluon while on his way back to detachment  in a motorcycle  together with his 12 year-old and 17 year-old children and another civilian. Failing to kill PFC Masaluon, the NPAs took the children instead as hostages in Sitio Danao, Brgy Mandalingan, Kapalong, Davao Del Norte, yesterday, Dec 09, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.
In an interview, Pfc Masaluon, assigned in Kimantaan detachment and  told that, he went to Brgy Datu Balong early morning to pick up a sack of rice and to fetch his two children then go back to the detachment. “ Naanod man ang among balay sa baha sa Kapalong,mao gi uban nako ang akong duha ka anak pabalik unta sa detachment,kay wala sila matulogan (Our house was washed out by the flashflood in Kapalong, that is why I brought my two children to the detachment supposedly, for shelter)”. Pfc Masaluon said.
Sitio Danao is more or less 5 kilometers away from Kimantaan Detachment. Pfc Masaluon added that the NPAs fired their rifle to him and his children.  Sensing that his children will be in danger if he is with them, Pfc Masaluon opted to divert the attention of the attackers in the opposite direction leaving his children. He ran to escape and to ask for help, but three NPAs followed him and continued firing at him. 
“This is the way they celebrate the International Human Rights Day, by kidnapping and attempting to murder soldiers whose lives were also affected by the typhoon. Instead of helping the people affected by Typhoon Pablo, they are there sowing violence.” LtCol Lyndon Paniza, 10th Infantry Division Spokesperson said. “This manifests their continuous defiance to Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) agreement.” He added.
The 10th Infantry Agila Division under the Eastern Mindanao Command will continue to exert effort in helping the victims of the typhoon Pablo thru humanitarian assistance together with the different sectors and stakeholders, but the AFP will not set aside this incident. A soldier, a father, is seeking help to rescue his two kidnapped children.


Death toll mounts 327 in ComVal and Davao Oriental

CAMP PANACAN, Davao City – Two days after Typhoon Pablo, said to be the strongest this year, hit Davao region, hundreds of dead bodies were retrieved and thousands of homeless people were left distressed on how to start anew.
In Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Province alone, the provinces affected the most, death toll mounts to 327 as torrential rains and flash floods coupled with mud and debris of fallen trees struck residents Tuesday evening. 
A report from 10th Infantry Division and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) revealed that New Bataan, Comval has the most number of reported dead with 90 bodies recovered of which only 58 were identified to include that of four army troopers from 66th Infantry Battalion. “There were 147 injured including 17 soldiers (from 66th IB) in this municipality”, 10th ID spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said. He added that 341 are still missing to include seven soldiers of said unit, who were on rescue mission, was not spared.    
In Comval, a total of 199 dead bodies were laid down to include other municipalities such as Laak with two dead, four injured and one missing; Mabini, four dead;  Maragusan three dead and four injured; Monkayo with 55 dead, 12 injured and eight missing; Montevista with 10 dead and 10 injured; Mawab with no casualties other than 29 injured; Nabunturan with nine dead and four injured; Maco with three dead and four injured; Pantukan with two dead and one missing; and in Compostela with 21 dead, 13 injured and four missing. The injured in said province rose to 227 while reported missing mounts to 355.
The province of Davao Oriental has 128 cadavers, most of which were drenched in mud, while injured totalled 151 and 21 were accounted missing. In its municipalities Cateel has the most number of casualties with 59 dead, 95 injured and 13 missing; followed by Baganga with 31 dead, 51 injured and 13 missing; Boston 27 dead; Caraga with  nine dead, five injured and one missing; while Manay and Tarragona was reported with one dead each. 
According to Paniza, as of 11:00 a.m. Thursday there were a total of 378 injured and 376 reported missing in both provinces.


Lumads in Paquibato evacuate after NPA threat

MALAGOS, Davao City – At least 17 families of a lumad tribe in Marilog District, this city, were evacuated after receiving threats from New People’s Army allegedly eyeing the tribe’s village as the site for the forthcoming anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) next month.

Datu Tresio Lumuyok, tribal chieftain of Matigsalog tribe, said residents have abandoned their houses in Purok 26, Sitio Alon, Brgy. Malabog and seek refuge in Brgy. Marilog since November 6. He led his people in search for a safe place after Leoncio Pitao, head of NPAs operating in the hinterlands of Paquibato, threatened and forced them to take part in rallies and demonstrations in protest to the presence of government troops in the area. He added that residents were suspected as military informants scouting the whereabouts of the notorious group after several encounters transpired in the area.

“Pitao said that we are feeding information to soldiers about their presence and that we betrayed their group. Because of that we are scared of going back to our village”, said one of the evacuees, who requested not to be identified for security reasons.

According to Lumuyok, Pitao is planning to make their village the venue for the 44th year of CPP on December 27.

Datu Buaya Ansaud welcomes the evacuees in his village in Sitio Malikongkong as Davao City Social Services and Development Office had been providing for their needs in cooperation with 84th Infantry Battalion.

“We see how the NPAs jeopardize the safety of these families who are living peacefully in the area”, said Lt. Col. Edgar Nigos, commander of 84th IB.

He said that the incident is a wake-up call for everybody to denounce the presence of the rebels in the area instead of the military. “It is our mandate to protect the people and not to harm them. That’s why we would like to encourage everyone specially the government leaders to condemn the presence of the NPAs so that we can all live peacefully”, he said.


“ARMY gives early Christmas gifts to Community Harassed by NPAs”

MACO, Compostela Valley Province – Army’s 71IB and other NGOs conducted stress debriefing and medical and dental mission at Barangay Calabcab, Maco, Compostela Valley today.
A stress debriefing was initiated through the collaboration of Kiwanis Club of Tagum, Therma Marine Incorporated Aboitiz Group of Company, Local Government of Maco and 71st Infantry Battalion. Series of activities were conducted to assess the adverse effects of the violent attack of NPA to the Barangay and to help the residents, especially children, to cope up from the traumatic incident that they have experienced. Pre-Christmas presents to include toys and slippers were given to 101 kids in said community. They had also a free Jollibee meal during their lunch.
On the other hand, there were also free medical and dental services wherein 191 residents benefitted. 43 residents availed of free cleaning and tooth extraction while 148 others had their free medical consultation/check-up and subsequently was given appropriate medicines.
Col Jerry Borja, 71IB Commander said, “These activity will not be successful if there was no cooperation between the stakeholders. We are also thankful that the Barangay Council of Calabcab gave their full support in this activity and realized the importance of cooperation to have peace and development in their Barangay.”
Meanwhile, the restoration to the damaged Barangay Hall, Health Center and Day Care Center in Brgy. Calabcab, Maco, Comval was started weeks after the attack of 60 members of the New People’s Army on October 18 wounding six soldiers and two civilians.
The Army’s Peace and Development Team in coordination with LGU Maco is currently re-building the Barangay Hall and the houses damaged after a grenade that was thrown by NPAs exploded.


Off-Duty soldiers Massacred in Paquibato

MAWAB, Compostela Valley Province – Four members of 60th Infantry Battalion’s Peace and Development Team were massacred by more or less ten members of New People’s Army in Sitio Cinco, Brgy. Mapula, Paquibato District, Davao City.

The four were said to be on board three motorcycles, on civilian attire and unarmed when attacked by NPA fighters 5:30 p.m. yesterday, 10th Infantry Division Spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said.

He identified the casualties as Pfc Ahian Vir Dolero , Pfc Marvin Lauronal, Pfc Noel  Sigan whose remains are now in Villa Funeral Homes, Panabo City while Private Marcelo Himaya, who is said to be missing earlier, was found dead in a nearby area and believed to be summarily executed.

“They were on their way back to their detachment after marketing when the incident happened”, Paniza said adding that troops are now on hot pursuit operations to apprehend the perpetrators.


Army officer and 12 others to face court martial over death of mother, sons in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur

MAWAB, Compostela Valley Province – An army officer and 12 others will face general court martial as probe revealed that there was indeed ‘tactical’ lapse into the killing of the wife and two sons of armed bandit leader Daguil Capeon in Kimlawis, Davao del Sur on October 18. 
In a six-page report of the Philippine Army’s Board of Inquiry, headed by its Division Inspector General Col. Fidel Francis Pumihic, 1Lt. Dante Jimenez admitted he failed to assess if it was the criminal group New People’s Army or the group of Capeon sheltering inside the house. 
In his statement, Jimenez said he, along with Cpl. Godio, Cpl. Namla, and Pfc. Gamayot, were 200 meters away from the house. He dispatched Sgt. Murillo, along with Pfc. Lopez, Cpl. Majid, Cpl. Sahali, Cpl. Jadjuli and Cpl. Said, to close in but was fired upon by shooters from the direction of the house prompting them to also return fire. While Sgt. Ballenas, Pfc. Tayamora and Pfc. Julian claimed that they did not fire. Accordingly, there were 43 bullet entry holes on the hut alone but, based on the spot report, only 19 bullets were expended by the troops. However, the result of the investigation did not determine as to whose bullets killed the victims. 
After the incident, one Rifle Grenade, two combat packs with personal belongings, 5.56mm empty shells and two m16 rifle magazines long with 20 rounds of 5.56mm live ammo were recovered in the area believed to be belonging to the group of Capeon. 
“There was a lapse of judgment on the company commander for he failed to direct his men in accordance to the Rules of engagement”, 10th Infantry Division Spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said affirming the violation committed. However, he robs off massacre allegations and claimed that it was a legitimate encounter. 
In part six, the report stated that it was a legitimate encounter contrary to claims of groups that there was none. To recall, in his previous interviews, bandit leader Capeon said he was alone several meters away from the house and has denied having fired at pursuing troops which was supported by Marisa Capeon Piang during interviews. However, it was not clarified how and when the latter saw the bandit leader in the area.          
According to Paniza, based on the recommendation of the BOI, Jimenez and 12 others will face a general court martial to be convened by Philippine Army to hear and decide cases for violations of the Article of War 76 (Misbehaviour before the Enemy) of the ROE – particularly rules 4 and 5; the Article of War 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman) and the Article of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline).
 Since the operation was quad-size and was initiated within the company commander’s level, it was the responsibility of 1Lt. Jimenez to assess the situation and properly brief his troops about the confronted circumstances”, Paniza said. He also added that the other 12 enlisted personnel are also facing raps in violating the 76th Article of War and the 97th Article of War.
“Though we have yet to wait for the result of the ballistics’ test to know from whose shot really killed Jovy, and the two children, still, we have to promulgate necessary measures to our men who made violations (to ROE)”, Paniza said. 
He also added that an order has been issued for the full internalization of every member of the Armed Forces of the rules of engagement, especially to battalions and units under 10th ID, through series of simulated activities in every trainings to avoid the same incident.


Soldiers repel NPA attack; two rebels killed, high powered firearms recovered

Mawab, Compostela Valley Province – Two members of New People’s Army were killed while two high-powered firearms were recovered 11:45 a.m. Sunday following an encounter with government troops in Brgy. Calabcab, Maco, Compostela Valley Province.
Commander of 71st Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Jerry Borja, disclosed that said attack was a deliberate offensive operation of notorious group to harass the residents who have been in support to the Army’s Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP). “Our Peace and Development Team were having a community consultation in barangay hall when NPAs, despite the presence of civilians, attacked and peppered the area with bullets”, he said adding that the attack was another act of idiocy and desperation of the NPAs in response to the rejection of the community.    
“Our troops refrained from firing to secure first the civilians. This resulted to seven soldiers wounded in action (WIAs)”, Borja said. He identified the WIAs as Sgt. Marlon Parong, Cpl. Romualdo Tangonan, Pfc. Erwin Manabat, Pfc. Rocky Molina, Pfc. Jaypee Sionillo, Pfc. Carmelo Cachuela, and Pfc. Ludivico Elegio Jr. who are now recuperating in Camp Panacan Station Hospital, Panacan, this city.
 “Troops returned fire right after they have secured the residents in the area”, he added saying two of the criminal group NPA were killed in said clash which lasted for about three hours. He identified the two as certain Manny and Max. Also recovered in the area were one M16 rifle and one M14 rifle and five improvised landmines. “Amidst being outnumbered, our troops were still able to drive away more or less 60 members of the NPA”, he said.
Borja disclosed that two civilians were also wounded identified as Grace Buayaban Malisa, 22 years old, who was hit in her right tricep and Adela Tomas Madanlo, 46 years old, who was wounded in her right stomach and both her feet and legs due to shrapnel. He also revealed that one of the victims was shot by the NPAs based on initial interview. “She said that when one of the NPAs pointed her the gun, she raised her hand saying she was a civilian pleading to spare her, but the rebel still shot her”, he said but failed to name the victim.
“This act is clearly out of their frustration to stop the success of Maco in gaining peace and development. They attacked government forces without considering the presence of civilians that may be caught in between crossfire”, Borja said.


Magpakatotoo kayo!

Coming out with surprises is the renewed word war between the Maoist communist sectoral front  organization – ANAKBAYAN, and AKBAYAN, a self-claimed socialist organization that the Maoist claims are allies of President Aquino III.

Truly, the latter has entrenched some of their key leaders in President Aquino’s cabinet. Their influence could either be productive or cataclysmic with Akbayan steadfast in their commitment to institute change and reforms in government through the peaceful political process.

Their approach has endeared many, especially those whose mindset are easily described as ‘White Paper’ for not  knowing anything about communism and the evils it brings. This too might have caught the interest of our country’s sitting leadership as most of them are unaware of the real character that marks our country’s veiled enemy.

Surprised though is what I feel when Vencer Crisostomo, like many of his peers in the Maoist sectoral front and pseudo partylist organization, described as ‘Red Baiting’ Rep. Walden Bello’s statement alluding Anakbayan and KMU as front organizations of the Maoist communist insurgency, here.

True enough, Rep. Bello is the nth person who truthfully said and bared the facts that Anakbayan, Kilusan Mayo Uno (KMU), Bagong Alyansya Makabayan, Gabriela, and many others under the CPP-NPA-NDF’s National United Front Commission (NUFC) have tried vainly to evade. No one else but their leader and revered founder Jose Ma. Sison’s admission, in his speech in Brussels, Belgium in March 4, 1987, that indeed Bayan, LFS, Gabriela, and others, “. . . . . are the legal (read: aboveground) democratic forces in the Philippines” cleared whatever cloud of pretension these Maoist communist organizations have been mouthing ever since.

Bakit sa kabila ng mga pahayag ni Joma Sison, nagtatago pa rin itong  Vencer Crisostomo sa butas-butas na palda ng kasinungalingan?

For the sake of argument pwede nating pagbigyan itong mga argumento ng Anakbayan. Pero ang mabigat na katanungan ay BAKIT AKBAYAN LANG ANG PINUPUNTARYA NINYO?  Bakit tameme kayo sa kaso ng Bayan Muna, Act, Gabriela, Kabataan, Anakpawis, Katribu, Partido Makabayan, KMU at iba pa na klaro namang tumutugaygay sa pampulitikang linya ng CPP-NPA-NDF?  Isang bukas-na-lihim na ang mga organisasyong nabanggit ay legal na mukha ng pampulitikang pakikibaka na sinusulong ng CPP-NPA-NDF “sa pagpapalakas ng armadong rebolusyon mula sa kanayunan” upang ibagsak ang kasalukuyang Pamahalaaan ng  Republika ng Pilipinas.

Meron akong pang-idoheyang agam-agam sa pampulitikang linya na sinusunod ng Akbayan. Pero lalong nakakabahala at sobrang delikado para sa ating mga kalayaan at demokrasya itong ginagawa ng Anakbayan sa pangunguna ni G. Crisostomo Vencer.

In the end, the Filipino people deserve the truth! The continued lies and pretension you have mastered ever since does NO GOOD for the country and the entire Filipino people!

Magpakatotoo kayo!


A Peaceful Life Taken Away by Own Comrades

Mati City, Davao Oriental – Ruperto C Cadungog was a great father to his seven children and a loving husband to his wife. He works hard as security personnel only to make both ends meet and provide a decent life for his family. But on Sunday, in front of his pleading relatives, he was killed for one reason that government authorities’ confirmed, he was a former commander of the rebel group New People’s Army who has returned to the fold of law for a new lease in life.
Cadungog, known by his former cohorts as Toper, was shot to death 7:45 p.m. at his own residence in Sitio Fairview, Brgy. Central, Mati City, Davao Oriental. Being witnessed by his relatives, this brutal execution sowed fear and, inevitably, trauma preventing them to cooperate and give details to police authorities. After the incident, his kin immediately rushed him to Camillus Hospital but was declared dead due to multiple gunshot wounds.
 “This is a manifestation of the barbaric nature of the CPP/NPA as anti-peace and anti-development”, said Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of Army’s 10th Infantry Division who affirmed that NPA’s execution to former members were set to avert possible rebel returnees and may result to surrender feelers. He ensured though that security measures will be undertaken to prevent similar incident.
“As President Aquino forged the Peace Agreement yesterday between the GPH-MILF, the CPP, through its Organized Armed Group NPA, is continually sowing terror to peace loving citizens especially those of their comrades who decided to peacefully live a normal life”, Paniza said.
Last year, Cadungog surrendered to government troops and was living peacefully working as  security staff at the City Engineers’ Office of Mati City who was accorded with said job by Mayor Michelle Rabat in order to aid him in support to his children who are all at school.
Now, his wife is unsure where to start the new life her husband had once tried to create for them. She has no idea how she will support her seven children who may no longer go back to school. She may be clueless of what will happen to them next, but one thing she is sure of, their dreams are now scattered because of his husbands’ once affiliation to notorious NPAs caused him his life.
Mayor Rabat, however, has pledged to continually support Cadungog family.
As Paniza have said, “NPAs are desperate because of its diminishing force that is why they now resort to threatening their own members and capitalizing recruiting minors.

Bandits Attacks in Sarangani, 127 individuals evacuated

Maitum, Sarangani Province –  The attack of bandits in Maitum, Sarangani Province over the weekend has caused the evacuation of 127 individuals.

According to Maitum Mayor Elsie Perrett, the attack of the bandits was led by Salindatu Binago alias Datu Ingig last October 6 at 6 in the morning. It  resulted to the wounding of one person and the evacuation of 40 families with 127 individuals from Sitio Nalipay, Brgy Ticulab. “The local government is providing the basic needs of the affected families, who are at the evacuation center in Sitio Bem of said barangay”, she said.

"The local government has to respond to the attack, which is already second in the series of attack by the said group that started last August 16 wherein Kagawad Freddie Macatin, his wife and brother-in-law was killed. We called on the military and the police to act upon and resolve the conflict. With that, the local government is extending its full support to the clearing operations being jointly conducted by the military and the PNP", Perrett added.

“The attack of the bandits is entirely law enforcement and security concern, thus, the military and police was called upon by the LGU to restore stability in the area. Through the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (JPSCC) of the military and the PNP, troops were deployed to ensure that the barangay will be free from the clutches of the heavily armed bandits. And as the military conducts all its operations, the primacy of human rights is always at the forefront", said Col. Glorioso Miranda, 1002nd Infantry Brigade Commander.

Meanwhile, the local MILF, Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) and the Coordinating Committe on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) invoked that the bandits are not associated with the MILF, thus, the joint operation will not hamper the on-going peace talks.

While clearing operations is being jointly conducted by the military and police, the local government is attending to the concerns of the evacuees. This is a clear manifestation of the IPSP "Bayanihan" in effect wherein the military, police and local government work hand-in-hand for the preservation of peace and security in the area, Col Miranda added.


Youth Leadership Summit in Banaybanay

Banaybanay, Davao Oriental- About 187 young leaders from 14 Brangays of Banaybanay, joined the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) in municipality of Banaybanay on 20-24, September 2012 at Parish Center Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.
Dubbed with the theme “Barug Kabataan, Makighiusa para sa Kalinaw og Kalambuan,” the four-day Summit has a main goal to win the peace through inter-agency collaboration.  
The YLS Banaybanay was organized by 28th Infantry Battalion under Ltc Francisco Lorenzo Jr with the support coming from the Provincial and Local Government Unit (LGU), Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation of Banaybanay and participation from various government agencies, civic and religious groups.
Other graduates of the YLS, now members of Youth for Peace coming from municipalities of San Isidro and Lupon of Davao Oriental were united and came together for the YLS Banaybanay to act as “Ates and Kuyas” (Mentors) during the summit.
The YLS is a character-based leadership for the youth that intends to inculcate among the youth the virtues of patriotism, awareness against drug addiction, awareness on threat situation and deeper environmental concerns.
According to 1st Lt Montelibano, the YLS Exercise Director and Civil Military Operation of 28IB, the YLS was packed with team building activities, physical fitness, spiritual  nourishment, pro-environment activities and highlighted with their evening socials were in the officers of Youth for Peace Movement (YFPM) Banaybanay Chapter where inducted. Sangguniang Bayan member Hon Lemuel Ian Larcia and Hon Flores M Alingalan was able to impart their success youth leader story.
The youth were group into barangays to create their Action Plan was presented to the SB member Lemuel Ian Larcia and Flores M Alingalan, together with Barangay officials in 12 Barangays in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.
“Their Action Plan will be their guide in implementing their programs prioritizing the immediate needs,” said Ltc Lorenzo.


Injured in Grenade Throwing reached to 47 civilians, 13 minors

Camp Panacan, Davao City - The 10th Infantry Division vehemently condemns the act of the Organized Crime Group – New People’s Army in involving civilians during the incident by means of sowing fear among the populace who are now leaving normal lives and enjoying the celebration of their upcoming Barangay fiesta thus, endanger the lives of individuals. Again, they have shown their true nature as cold-blooded criminals who care less even if they endanger civilian populace. 

Three days after the incident, civilians injured reportedly reached its toll to 47 where the youngest victim is two years old. “Someone should be held responsible and should be penalized on these continuous wanton violations committed by the criminal group (NPA)”, 10th Infantry Division Spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said.

He cited Part 4, Article 4, Paragraph 4 of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which clearly mandates that “civilian population shall be treated as such and shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property, shall not be the object of attack”.

He further added that there were 13 minors who were also wounded in said incident who were only enjoying the festivity but ended up in the hospital due to different injuries suffered from the grenade blast. “This also violates the rights of children as stipulated in Republic Act 7610”, he said.

Under R.A. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, Article 10, Section 2 mandates that “children shall not be the object of attack and shall be entitled to special respect….they shall be protected from any form of threat, assault, torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment..”.

“Human rights watchdogs seems to have been passive whenever these atrocities happen perpetrated by the criminal group New People’s Army”, Paniza said.


PMA Scholarship pushed in Mati

MATI CITY, DAVAO ORIENTALAbout 4,344 high school students, coming from 33 secondary schools from Davao Oriental and 44 school exhibitors from Davao Region, along with two Service Academies from Luzon, attended the two-day Provincial School Fair at SP Compound, Brgy. Dahican, Mati City.
Accordingly, the said school fair dubbed as “4th Davao Oriental School Fair”, hosted by Davao Oriental Vice-Governor Mayo Alamario, intends to provide a broad selection of schools for tertiary and vocational level to students without having them spend much to go to Davao City or farther places to inquire.
Almario also mentioned that the said fair may be replicated next year due to its success in encouraging senior high school students in the province in pursuing tertiary education, while providing the opportunity for the exhibitors to meet more than 4,000 probable enrollees and scholars.
Col. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, also a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1984 and commander of 701st Infantry Brigade, facilitated the booth for PMA.
 “We support the noble Davao Oriental School Fair as we also wanted to extend in this province the 4-year scholarship program of PMA in building leaders with sure employment after they graduate”, Guerrero said.
“The fair is indeed a genius idea in encouraging our youth to pursue further education for their future.  Our Army units itself will not be able to visit all 33 high schools in this province in a very short span of time, but in partnership with the Government School Fair, thousands of students were informed on the military programs for scholarship and employment,” Guerrero added.