By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY — Communist rebels in Kalinga said military report regarding an encounter in the boundary of Buaya and Mabaca, Balbalan town on Mar 20 is “fake news.”
In a statement dated Mar 22, the Lejo Cawilan Command-New People’s Army Kalinga denied firefight occurred as claimed by Col. Henry Doyaoen of the 503rd Infantry Brigade.
“Kasinungalingan!Walang yunit ang BHB nanasanasabing lugar ng mga panahong nabanggit na nagkaroon ng labanan(Lies! No unit of the NPA was in the area when the said incident transpire),” declared Tipon Gil-ayab, spokesperson of the rebel unit.
According to the statement, the soldiers from the 50th IB indiscriminately fired their weapons to stage the incident that resulted in the disruption of peace and order in the village, and violating the rights of the residents.
Gil-ayab added the military wanted to report a bogus accomplishment to earn point for promotion and collect whatever reward is available from government funds.
“Layunin din ng mga ganitong pekeng balita na magpakalat ng takot at pangamba sa hanay ng masa (Fake news like this aims to sow fear and panic among people),” the rebel spokes said.
The military claimed that troops from the 50th IB together with paramilitary volunteers were on patrol when they chanced upon about 20 rebels at around 4:50 am. Soldiers engaged the NPA fighters in a 30-minute gunfight with some of the rebels believed to have sustained wounds based on bloodstains in their alleged withdrawal route.
The rebel leader also lambasted the Armed Forces of the Philippines for presenting CAFGU members as NPA surrenderees in Brgy. Allaguia, Pinukpok town last week.
Gil-ayab likewise denied the arrest of Arnold Tumbali, alias Ka Diway. The rebel explained that Tumbali left the armed movement and surrendered to the military long ago.
“Sa kasalukuyan ay mahigit isang taon nang hawak ng mga intelligence officer ng Philippine Army na sina
Bob Bagsao at Spencer Calumnag (He is with the Philippine Army intelligence officers Bob Bagsao and Spencer Calumnag for more than a year now),” the rebel spokes said.
In a press release dated Mar 22, the Cordillera Police Regional Office said joint operatives from the police, military and attached intelligence units captured Tumbali in Brgy. Lanna, Tabuk City a day before. He was arrested for robbery and several murder charges. Authorities claimed him to be a ranking leader of the Abraham Bannawagan Command operating in Balbalan and Pinukpuk.
Gil-ayab said the disinformation spread by the AFP and PNP shows their desperate attempt to create an illusion of success in their failed campaign against the revolutionary movement. # nordis.net