Army condemns killing of farmer in Atimonan

Army condemns killing of farmer in Atimonan

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — A farmer has been brutally murdered on Friday (26 June 2020) by alleged NPA terrorists who suspected him as military informant authorities said.

The victim, identified as Nicanor Salva, was known to be a responsible and law-abiding resident of Brgy San Rafael of Atimonan, Quezon.

According to a report by the local PNP, the victim died of stab wound in the neck and his lifeless body with hands tied found along the Philippine National Railway trail.

Responding police also found a handwritten note on top of his body saying the victim was “punished” by the alleged NPAs “for cooperating with the government’s security forces and that similar fate will fall upon those who will go against the underground movement.”

Law enforcers meantime condemned the highest degree “the terroristic act of the NPAs.”

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this terroristic act of the NPAs which is designed to instill fear upon our people whose diminishing and eroding support they desperately want to avert”, said Brigadier General Norwyn Romeo Tolentino who leads the 201st infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area.

Witnesses said four armed men who introduced themselves as NPAs forcibly entered Salva’s residence at around 7 p.m. and accused him of being a government spy who provides information which led to armed encounters as well as discovery of hideouts and arms cache in some parts of Quezon Province.

The victim’s family and the military said that Salva is not and was never a military agent nor informant.

BGen Tolentino explained that “this is a clear indicator that the NPAs are once again resorting to internal purging brought about by their paranoia due to the series of apprehensions, mass surrenders and numerous defeats that they suffered from our forces.”

He ended his statement by assuring the family of Salva that “we will seek justice from the court” while calling on the Commission on Human Rights to “condemn this barbaric act of the NPA terrorists who have once again proven that they are human rights violators who do not value human lives particularly those whom they cannot coerce for support.”

Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, expressed his deepest sympathies to the bereaved family and called on various groups to join the people in condemning this act of terror.

He said that the incident shows that “the NPAs have deteriorated into a ragtag band of criminals whose desperation for relevancy and projection of power have driven them to commit crimes against innocent and peace-loving civilians.”

According to him, such is a blatant attempt to cover up the series of debacles, particularly surrenders, which the terrorists have suffered recently.

Per military records, for the month of June alone, 39 former rebels turned over 10 high-powered firearms after they decided to return to the folds of the law and avail of the government grants under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program as a result of the Localized Peace Engagements which the security forces are advocating.

This figure raised the number of surrenders in Southern Tagalog to 604 and the recovery of firearms to 114 since E-CLIP was first implemented in 2016.

Because of this, the military’s assessment indicates that the NPA terrorists in this part of the country no longer enjoy the mass base support which they used to have in the region and are now on the verge of irreversible collapse.

“Your soldiers together with other law enforcement agencies will never waver and will be relentless in pursuit of these terrorists until justice is served”, ended Maj Gen Burgos while expressing optimism that “the CHR will not look the other way this time and investigate this despicable act of terrorizing unarmed and helpless peace-loving citizens whose only fault is not supporting the communists’ armed struggle.” (PNA)

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