Quantcast
Latest Stories

Communist leader says Butuan clash was a mis-encounter between gov’t forces

By , Allan Nawal

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A communist rebel leader in Mindanao has called for a civilian probe into the so-called “Good Friday ambush” in Butuan City which the military has blamed on the New People’s Army but which he claimed was really a “mis-encounter”  between government forces.

In an earlier statement, the military’s  4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro City said a militiaman was killed when some 15 NPA rebels fired on security forces deployed to ensure the safety of some 5,000 Catholic faithful  doing the Stations of the Cross in the village of Anticala about 5 a.m. Friday.

Lieutenant Colonel Eugenio Osias IV, division, said the security forces returned fire and engaged the rebels in a 10-minute firefight.

“There were no civilian casualties,”  he said, adding that the rebels had fled and were being pursued by troops.

A military field report said that the civilians who participated in the religious event, “including Agusan del Norte Representative Jose Aquino II,” were “trapped”  for nearly six hours as soldiers “chased”  the fleeing rebels.

The incident, which coincided with the NPA’s 44th anniversary, enraged Catholics in Butuan City, with the priest who officiated the religious rites condemning the NPA “for disrespecting the event.”

“Why did they attack us? This has nothing to do with their fight,” said Fr. Joesilo Amalla, parish priest at the St Joseph Cathedral.

But Jorge Madlos, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao, said he believed the incident was actually a “mis-encounter”  among soldiers, militiamen and policemen deployed to secure the event.

He said the area where the alleged NPA ambush took place was very close to the camp of the Army’s Special Forces, making it difficult for the NPA to launch any attack.

The NPA could not have carried out the attack, Madlos said, because there was nothing to be gained as it was a religious event and a backlash would be serious.

“I called up our field commanders and they said did not deploy any force in the area. I think it’s a mis-encounter between the Special Forces of the Philippine Army, the militiamen and the policemen,” said Madlos, who is also known as Ka Oris.

He said in order to settle the issue, an investigation should be conducted.

“I would suggest that a fact-finding mission involving religious groups, the local government and non-government-organizations be conducted so we could determine what really happened,”  Madlos added.

Osias said the military expected the communist rebels to make a denial “as they were used to making” such denials.



Dr. Naty Castro, secretary general of Karapatan in the Caraga region, agreed that only an “impartial civilian investigation” could shed light on the  incident.

“The alleged encounter between the PNP/AFP and the NPA in Iyao, Brgy. Anticala, Butuan City must be thoroughly investigated in an impartial civilian mission to verify the conflicting statements regarding the incident from both sides,”  Castro said in a statement issued on Saturday.

She said Karapatan was willing to take part in the investigation “to help in clarifying this matter.”

“Only an impartial investigation by civilian authorities with the cooperation of [civil society organizations] can make the accusations of breach of rules of engagement clarified. Erring forces should be reprimanded and asked to account for their actions. This is the only way that the Butuan City public can be assured that no such incident will occur in the immediate and long-term future,”  Castro said.

Originally posted: 7:46 am | Saturday, March 30th, 2013


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Butuan , Insurgency , Military , Militiaman , Misencounter , NPA




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement