NPA apologizes for grenade blast in DavaoPhilippine Daily Inquirer
DAVAO CITY—The New People’s Army (NPA) on Friday owned the grenade-throwing incident that injured 47 civilians at a carnival in Barangay Fatima in Paquibato district here on Sept. 1 and apologized to the public and families of the victims.
In a statement titled “A self-criticism,” Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command, the rebel group said it was taking full responsibility for the grenade-throwing incident.
“The NPA issues this self-criticism to apologize to the public and the families for the scores of casualties, including children. The NPA will take concrete measures to indemnify the victims consistent with the principles of revolutionary justice and the policies governing the New People’s Army and the revolutionary movement,” Sanchez said.
He admitted that the NPA’s 1st Pulang Bagani Co. (PBC) made the wrong decision when it “initiat(ed) a tactical offensive against the AFP detachment located in a civilian population.”
“The NPA’s 1st PBC … erred in considering the circumstances, combat intelligence and all pertinent operational information in instigating the NPA action,” Sanchez said.
In the face of this gross mistake in judgment, Sanchez made the assurance that the NPA has started an investigation and was ready to take action.
He said the NPA stands firm for justice and truth and is prepared to rectify mistakes. “The NPA abides with the principled standpoint, viewpoint and method adopted by the NPA and the revolutionary movement,” Sanchez said.
Earlier, city Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he would recommend the immediate pull out of military detachments and patrol bases within the civilian communities here following the grenade-throwing incident.
Duterte also demanded from the NPA an explanation why the attack was launched. A military detachment is located around three meters from the gymnasium where the explosion took place.
“Even if (putting up a detachment near the gym) was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law, it was not an excuse for them to bomb civilians,” an angry Duterte said.
Lt. Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 69th Infantry Battalion, said it was not a “detachment” but only a “temporary patrol base” being used by the peace and development operations team in the area. Ayan Mellejor and Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao