NPA congratulates fighters for killing Lumad father, son
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao has confirmed that it is responsible for the death of a Lumad father and son in Davao del Norte earlier this month.
The NPA-Southern Mindanao Operations Command (NPA-SMROC) said in statement that Datu Banandjao Mampaundag and son Jhonard Mampaundag were killed by fighters upon its orders.
NPA-SMROC congratulated the fighters, claiming that the Mampaundags were responsible for atrocities in Talaingod.
“The NPA-SMROC congratulates Red fighters and operatives in carrying out the standing order against CAFGU leader Banadjao Mampaundag and his son Jhonard,” said Rigoberto Sanchez, the spokesperson of the command.
The victims were “shot to death” on the morning of February 4, according to the military, which had pointed to the NPA as behind the killings.
The Mampaundags had just been trained in December 2017 as active auxiliaries of the military to participate in counter-insurgency operations.
Two months later in February, Datu Banandjao was among those leaders who participated in a gathering of indigenous peoples in Davao City, where President Rodrigo Duterte told them to prepare to relocate from their communities to temporary shelters.
But the NPA said Datu Banandjao “was no hero or benevolent tribal leader of Talaingod.”
According to Sanchez, the father was a “longtime CAFGU member and rabid recruiter of the notorious Alamara paramilitary forces under the payroll of the 10th Infantry Division-AFP.”
“He was responsible for crimes against the people such as land grabbing, theft and extortion, grave abuse, and a host of other human rights abuses,” he added.
Fellow tribal members of the victims recently warned the NPA that if communist rebels continue to take lives, then they would likely retaliate.
The NPA, however, insisted that the killings were part of its quest for “revolutionary justice.”
The NPA said Mampaundag and his son had been warned to desist from engaging in criminal activities and participating in the military’s counter-revolutionary operations. – Rappler.com