Relieve, disarm and punish AFP killers of NPA hors de combat in Abra

Communist Party of the Philippines
October 11, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) demands the immediate suspension of all operations of the 41st Infantry Battalion of the AFP, whose troops are involved in the extrajudicial killing of several NPA fighters rendered _hors de combat_ last September 4 in Lacub, Abra. The combat troops of the 41st IB are also behind the killing of two civilians and other grave abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.

The CPP supports the call for the immediate relief and disarming of all officers and troops of the 41st IB operating in Lacub, Abra last September 7 and 8.

The CPP salutes and renders the highest honors to CPP cadres and NPA fighters Arnold "Ka Mando" Jaramillo, Recca Noelle "Ka Tet" Monte, Brandon "Ka Sly" Madranga, Robert "Ka Dawyan" Beyao, Ricardo "Ka Tubong" Reyes, Pedring "Ka Jess" Banggao and Robert "Ka Limbo" Perez.

An initial investigation into the incident has determined that the NPA fighters were taken into custody after being overpowered by the operating troops of the AFP. However, instead of treating them as as prisoners-of-war, the NPA fighters were mercilessly tortured and killed by their fascist captors. This has been established even in the autopsy reports conducted by the investigating agencies of the Philippine Government (GPH).

The bodies of the slain NPA fighters bore torture marks. Many of them died of multiple gunshot wounds at the back. Ka Mando's body, in particular, was riddled with bullets. A gunshot wound had clear burns around the entry point, indicating he was shot pointblank.

The CPP also denounces the killing of 50-year old Engr. Fidela Salvador, an official of the Baguio-based Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services (DorDisRDS) who was monitoring implementation of the Philippine Tropical Cyclone Emergency Response Project (PTCERP) in the area. In their fascist frenzy, the operating troops accosted Ms. Salvador, accused her of being an NPA combatant, tortured and killed her.

The CPP likewise denounces the 41st IB for torturing and killing local resident Noel Viste of Barangay Poblacion, Lacub, who was among the 24 civilians rounded up by the operating troops of the 41st IB on September 5. They were forced to join the operations of the 41st IB in order to serve as human shields. Most of the civilians were subsequently released except for Viste and Nicasio Asbucan. The following day, Viste was found dead. According to Asbucan, he was ordered by the soldiers to claim that Viste was killed by a member of the NPA.

The CPP denounces the grave brutalities and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the 41st IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the conduct of its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression.

The 41st IB has endangered the lives of civilians by forcing them to join combat operations, do errands for the fascist soldiers and serve as human shields. The combat troops of the 41st IB have set up their detachments within the civilian communities and near schools and public structures in Barangay Poblacion and Talampac. Classes were suspended for two weeks because of the AFP operations. They have carried out aerial bombings and used school grounds as helipads.

The CPP supports the widespread demand of the people of Abra for the immediate pullout of troops of the 41st IB. The CPP calls on the people of Abra and the Filipino people to heighten their protests and raise their voices to demand the immediate pullout of the criminal operating troops of the AFP.

The CPP directs the New People's Army in Abra and the Ilocos-Cordillera to punish the perpetrators of these crimes and grave abuses of human rights and render justice to all victims of the AFP and its Oplan Bayanihan war against the people.

The deaths of the heroes of Lacub are not for naught. Their sacrifices inspire more young people to join the NPA and wage revolutionary armed struggle.