Civilian killed by NPA rebels unlikely a gov’t spy – AFP
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – The civilian reportedly killed by New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday could never be a military spy because his religion prohibited him from participating in any government or other politically-related efforts, the military said Thursday.
Jepti Acido, 32, was an elder of the Jehovah’s Witness, according to Capt. Francisco Garello, the civil military operation officer of the Army’s 36thInfantry Battalion.
“This is another failed operation of the NPA, which only shows how poor their intelligence gathering network is,” Garello said.
Jehovah’s Witnesses church members were prohibited to participate in any political undertaking.
Acido was riding a motorcycle with two other church members when fired at by alleged NPA members in Barangay Lahi in Gigaquit town in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday.
Acido died from a bullet wound in the face while his companions, Virgil Flor Ortiz, 23; and Abner Malaque, 20, sustained gunshot wounds on their legs.
Lieutenant Colonel Xerxes Trinidad, the 36thIB commander, said the attack was condemnable and showed that the rebels were not sincere in resuming the talks.
“We vehemently condemn these treacherous attacks to the civilians by the CPP-NPA. These actions manifest their true intentions of deception and how to resolve conflict in Mindanao,” Trinidad said.
“The attack was made to sow fear and force the community not to support government peace initiatives. I am calling on all peace loving people of the said community to include the entire municipality of Gigaquit, let us stand together and condemn these barbaric actions of the NPAs,” he added.
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