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TACLOBAN, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) office in Eastern Visayas will conduct an investigation into the killing of two chainsaw operators, whom their families claim were mistaken for communist rebels.
The Philippine National Police Special Action Force reported that they had an encounter with 20 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Ibaliw, Barangay Capacuhan, Palapag in Northern Samar, on Friday afternoon, May 5.
Two civilians, Joel Balading Recare and Oscar “Oca” Alastoy, were killed in the operation.
CHR condemned the killing. Eastern Visayas Director Desiree Pontejos told Rappler in an interview on Monday, May 8, that no circumstances or ideology can justify violations of human rights, more so any killing.
However, Pontejos also said due process must still be afforded to anyone who allegedly commits an offense.
Seeking justice, the families of the victims claimed Recare and Alastoy were not members of the NPA but were chainsaw operators for a logging operation in the area. – Jazmin Bonifacio/Rappler.com