‘She was tortured,’ claims mother of NPA leader slain in Tagum City
DIGOS CITY — “I could see that she was still alive and tortured before she was killed.”
This was the claim of a grieving mother, Emma Tirado, the mother of Cindy Tirado, 28, who was killed during an encounter with the military at dawn of April 15 in Barangay Canocotan, Tagum City in Davao del Norte.
But Tirado insisted she was certain her daughter was “still alive and somebody tortured her before shooting her in different parts of her body.’
“I saw her genitals shattered with a bullet, and her arms were fractured. How could they do that when she is a woman? They should have arrested her and filed charges for her offenses. If she was hit and still alive, they could have let her live and give her a fair trial,” Emma told reporters today at the wake of her daughter here on Wednesday, April 17.
She said the police and the military were allegedly passing the buck as to who really were involved in the operation that cost her daughter’s life.
“When I asked one of the military at the funeral homes I was told that was a police operation. But when I got the police report so that Cindy’s body could be released from the funeral home I found out that it was the (Philippine Army’s) 71st IB leading the operation. The police admitted they were at the area during the clearing operation. I am really dismayed about it,” Emma said.
Lt. Col. Esteven Ducusin, commander of the 71st IB, said in a report that government forces were on the way to serve a warrant of arrest against Jay Mendoza, the executive commander of the New People’s Army Guerrilla Front, Sub-Regional Committee 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) when they were fired upon by an undetermined number of rebels that sparked the five-minute firefight.
Mendoza and his comrades managed to flee from the area leaving a female dead body that the military identified as Cindy Tirado, codenamed ‘Jill,’ the alleged deputy secretary of Guerrilla Front, Sub-Regional Committee 2 of SMRC.
The military claimed to have recovered an M16 Armalite rifle with 19 live ammunition, anti-personnel land mine, cellular phone, drug paraphernalia with residue, antigovernment documents, and white envelopes believed to be intended for extortion activities.
Cindy’s body was placed under police custody and brought to Rubio Memorial Services in Tagum City awaiting for relatives and the possible claimant.
Cindy’s mother said she received a phone call from someone she did not identify asking her to verify if the body inside the morgue was that of Cindy.
“We rushed to Tagum City right after the information. And I saw my daughter riddled with bullet wounds and fractured arms lying inside the funeral home,” Emma said.
Cindy’s family brought the body to Maharlika Funeral Homes in Digos City on the same day.
The mother admitted she knew that Cindy and Jefferson (Jay) were living together in Tagum
City. She said she also knew that he is an NPA leader.
Cindy was barely visible at their residence in Sitio Power, Barangay Tres de Mayo in Digos City after graduating at the Assumption College in Davao City for a Hotel and Restaurant Management course, the mother said.
The slain rebel leader left a seven-year-old child from her estranged husband.
Emma refused to comment when asked about her sentiment for the comrades of her daughter, saying nobody among them showed up in her wake. “I don’t know any of them.”
Cindy was hit by a bullet in the neck that exited in her back, and at the back portion of her body where the slug exited at her side.
She had a huge wound on her thigh aside from the suspected bullet wound at her genital, Emma told reporters.
Emma claimed Cindy did not engage the operatives in a firefight because she was informed that the couple – Jay and Cindy – was looking for a cellular phone that slipped through the bamboo floor of their hut.
“I don’t believe their reports. The operatives did not show Jefferson the warrant. He was shot on sight,” she claimed.
Cindy’s interment is set for this afternoon, April 18, at the public cemetery of Digos City in Barangay San Jose.
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