Tineg October incident: marked with inhumanity

Diego Wadagan
NPA Abra (Agustin Begnalen Command)
October 17, 2011

The Agustin Begnalen Command vehemently condemn the fascist troops of the 503rd Brigade and the 41st IB, led by Col. Eliseo Posadas and Col. Noel Baluyan, for the brutal killing and the barbaric desecration of the remains of our 8 comrades who perished in the Tineg October Incident that took place on October 10, 2011. Instead of being awarded by Governor Bersamin a certificate of commendation, Lt. Jeson Capoquian should be held liable for violations of the International Humanitarian Laws and of the CAHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law).

The Agustin Begnalen Command waited for confirmation of initial reports pertaining to numerous and gruesome atrocities that were committed by the troops of the 503rd Brigade and the 41st IB on the remains of the 8 comrades, such as over-killing of hors de combat and the mutilation of the remains of the 8 comrades. Except for the remains of Dorothy “Ka Rencel/Winnie” Ating, the bodies of the 7 victims bore evidences of torture, overkill and mutilation. These include the following:

1. Edgardo “Ka Recti” Balbin – 8 major observable wounds that crushed his skull severing the upper portion, lesions, wounds, abrasions and fractures. A survivor said that Ka Recti was still alive and tried to fight back after suffering a head wound during the first volley of gunfire, but immediately fell due to the serious injury. He was still alive but hors de combat when soldiers pepered him with bullets. Other injuries were caused by physical blows and not from gunshots.
2. Reynaldo “Ka Kris” Masadao – 4 observable major wounds which include a gunshot wound in front of the left ear fired at close range as evidenced by gunpowder wounds around the major wound, a large wound at the right part of the neck nearly severing the head, and the crushing of the bones of the lower right leg into fragments, almost severing the lower leg. According to a survivor, Ka Kris was wounded during the 1st volley of gunfire and was already down but managed to fire back at Cpl. Tega, the sole fatality from the AFP. The other soldiers angrily ganged up on Ka Kris, kicked and hacked him, and killed him at close range.
3. Miguel “Ka Oxy/Alon” Anggaboy – 4 observable wounds which include 2 head wounds and abdominal wounds. The upper cap of his skull was blown out and his brains were scooped out of the skull. Ka Alon was the first to be wounded as he led his team during the first volley of gunfire, and was still alive as he fell in the river. His remains were clad in short pants, but were in pants during the firefight.
4. Reyna “Ka Ogie/Arbis” Villacarlos – 4 observable major wounds among which is a gunshot wound in front of the right ear and a large wound on the body. Her short pants and her panties were torn in the croth area; some people from the localities claim to have found her body naked.
5. Rodel “Ka Bunso” Corpus – 6 observable major wounds which include 2 gunshot wounds in the head, blowing off the upper cap of the skull, long incisional wounds on the left flank of the body most probably caused by bolo hacking, and arm and leg wounds.
6. Ka Omeng – 4 observable major wounds that include 2 body wounds and blackened area in the neck, most prabably caused by a rope or a cloth.
7. Ka Berlin – 2 major observable wounds in the face, flattening the nose.

Survivors of the massacre attest to the gruesome acts committed by fascist AFP troops. While the Governor and AFP propagandists and their apologists and minions in some media outfits boasted of their trophies, they also prematurely reported that the bodies have already been identified and taken to the town center of Bangued, Abra, the truth is that the corpses were were left to rot and decompose to the local townsfolk who were helpless in transporting the said corpses. It was only because of pressures from certain humanitarian and people’s organizations that the Governor committed some help.

These are clear and gross violations of Article 3 of the International Humanitarian Law, which states that: “Persons no longer taking active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and thus place HORS DE COMBAT by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely. Acts such as violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, among others are and shall remain prohibited at any time and any place whatsoever with respect to the above mentioned persons.” This law applies to both parties in an internal armed conflict, which in the case of the ongoing Philippine National Democratic Revolution, the parties involved are the reactionary AFP and the revolutionary New Peoples’ Army (NPA). The 8 comrades who were casualties in the Tineg October Incident were already deemed hors de combat with their serious injuries, yet some were tortured and overkilled. Already dead, fascist troops still proceeded with their mutilation spree. The Armed Forces of the Philippines hailed this incident as an achievement, granting interviews left and right, gloating about their so-called victory. But we ask, what kind of an achievement is this? An achievement marked with inhumanity? We can only describe what they have done to the bodies of the 8 dead comrades as pure slaughter.

This incident further shows the fascist character of the AFP and the kind of training and indoctrination that they give to their troops, which strips them of their dignity and humanity and transforms them into inhuman killing machines. The Philippine Army Officer Candidate School (PAOCS), like the Philippine Military Academy, develops fascist killing machines; Lt. Jeson Capoqiuan is a member of PAOCC 29-06 “Matingala” Class. All their talk of ‘human rights’ under the Oplan Bayanihan is mere rubbish, for they cannot hide their barbaric orientation. And it is a folly for Governor Bersamin to be blindly supporting “Bayanihan” in Abra and awarded a Lt. Jeson “The Barbarian” Capoquian a certificate of commendation.

It is ironic and hypocritical for the AFP to be crying foul when 19 of their officers and enlisted personnel were killed in a legitimate battle in Basilan because of failures, weaknesses and opportunism of their senior officers. While 2nd Lt. Efren Khe rightfully cites provisions in International Humanitarian Law in expressing his grief over the death of his brother 2nd Lt. Jose Delfin Khe, the fact is more officers of the AFP and PNP systematically violate human rights and other rules of war.

In contrast, the New Peoples’ Army treats enemies wounded or taken prisoner in combat humanely, even to the point of treating their wounds when necessary. Almost all of the forces of the enemy taken as prisoner-of-war by the NPA can attest to the fair and humane treatment given by the NPA to them.

Consistent with the grand psy-war design of “Bayanihan”, Pnoy declared that all-out war in Mindanao is not an option, and instead declared “all-out justice”. But as always, internal contradictions are rife among those in power because “Bayanihan’s” pretensions and lip-service of human rights, justice and peace are not compatible with the fascist orientation and training of the AFP and the PNP. Demoralization is widespread and deepening in the AFP, even as 20,000 refugees have already been displaced in Basilan and Zamboanga-Sibugay, because Pnoy is advocating “all-out justice” and most in the AFP and some influencial politicians are pushing for all-out war.

What they did to the bodies of the 8 comrades who died in Tineg is part of the AFP’s dirty psywar tactics. They want to shock the people, break our morale and cow the whole revolutionary movement to surrender. But on the contrary, this incident further served to strengthen our ranks and our link with the people. Despite our sorrow, we clench our fists and our teeth in our burning anger against the rotten system. We will continue to fight for the people. We will continue to wage this war until the whole reactionary and fascist ruling system tumbles down. We will continue to fight for the revolution and for the memory of our fallen comrades. We will continue the revolution until a just and lasting peace is achieved and all forms of brutality and barbarism by the reactionary state have been wiped out.

We will never forget this incident. We will never stop until revolutionary justice has been served.

Long live the memory of the Tineg 8!

Advance the people’s war!