PNP sue civilians for Besao encounter


BAGUIO CITY — The municipal police of Besao, Mountain Province charged two residents of Brgy. Tamboan with multiple murder in relation to the July 15 fifteen ambush staged by the New People’s Army in Sitio Dandanac of the said barangay.

The guns and other military equipment that the NPA were able to get from the Phil. Army during the clash at Dandanac in Besao, Mountain Province. Photo courtesy of the Antonio Licawen Command of the NPA

Police Senior Inspector Glenn Inlaton Apangchan filed the criminal charges against brother’s Edmund and Saturnino Dazon before the Provincial Prosecutors Office on July 25.

The case was based on the affidavits filed by 1Lt. Jonald Ramos, Cpl Rodrigo Capagngan, Pfc. Renan Vallejo, Cpl. Eliezer Lebuna, all members of the 81st IB. All four claimed in their affidavits that during the July 14 encounter, they were “approximately 15 meters away” allowing them to identify the two, together with 13 others, as the rebels withdrew from the site of the firefight. They again saw and identified brothers Saturnino and Edmund, and the other 13 rebels on July 15 when another fight erupted between them and the NPA because “the position of the armed men are at a very close distance with the army.”

Based on their sworn testimonies, the government troops suffered eight casualties in the two encounters. Pfcs. Roberto Oladio, Lester King Ancheta and Jhoram Naganag were wounded while killed in action were Sgt. Rubi Jaime, Cpl. Donnel Cadano, Pfc. Rommel Anguluan and Pfc. Christopher Vidad.

Earlier, the Mountain Province Human Rights Alliance (MPHRA) reported the Dazon brothers were accosted by members of the 81st Infantry Battalion’s Alpha Company in their farm near Brgy. Ambaguio on July 20 while tending to their poultry and livestock. According to the group’s report, the army unit under 1Lt. Jade Gavino accused the two to be members of the NPA, and were interrogated and detained overnight.

Police reports said the two civilians were turned over to the Besao police and Provincial Mobile Force Company around 2:00 pm of July 21 in Sitio Dandanac in the presence of the barangay officials.

MPHRA also assailed the military for violating international humanitarian law for encamping inside Sitio Dandanac and Republic Act 7610 that prohibits the use of public places and schools during military operations.

Meanwhile, the Antonio Licawen Front Operational Command, who admitted to the armed actions against the 81st IBPA in the forested area of Dandanac, in a statement said the localized peace talks pushed by the Duterte administration will fail.

The rebel group’s spokeperson, Salaknib Monteverde said in Filipino that “localized peace talks cannot resolve the social ills and issues” and only meant “to cover the barbarity of Duterte’s all-out war.”

Monteverde cited the experience in the Municipality of Tubo in Abra where the local government’s “8 Point Dap-ay di Tubo Peace and Development Agenda” failed to stop the 24th IBPA from conducting combat operations in the area. The rebel leader also pointed out the entry of energy corporations’ Pan Pacific Renewable Power Philippine Corp. and the Sta. Clara-Philnewriver Hydropower Companies.#


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