Gov’t panel hits NPA for payoff to blast victimsBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The chief government peace negotiator on Friday assailed the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for distributing P5,000 in compensation to residents injured in the grenade attack carried out by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Paquibato district, Davao City.
Instead of indemnifying the victims of the attack, Alexander Padilla said the CPP-NPA should surrender to the authorities its members who were responsible for the incident.
“The demands of justice are predicated on a rule of law and cannot be met by one-off payments,” Padilla said in a statement.
“The CPP-NPA’s refusal to turn over the perpetrators of the attack to the authorities and be subject to due process adds insult to injury,” he said.
Residents of Barangay Fatima, many of them children, were watching a carnival set up inside the village’s gym when a grenade exploded, injuring at least 48 individuals.
Admitting that it was behind the attack, the NPA said the grenade was intended to blow up a nearby military detachment. The National Democratic Front, the CPP’s political wing, also issued a public apology to the victims and their families.
But Padilla dismissed the compensation given by the insurgents as a “stopgap” aimed at “clouding the issue of violation of international humanitarian law and Philippine law.”