Press Release CPP, NPA vow justice for slain Lumad teachers and companions

This article is available in Bisaya

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command today vowed to punish the perpetrators of the massacre of Lumad teachers Chad Booc and Gelejurain Ngujo II, community health worker Elgyn Balonga, and two other companions last February 24 by Duterte’s fascist butchers.

The NPA command revealed that based on its investigation, the five victims were in the custody of the soldiers under the 10th Infantry Division since the night of February 23 before they were presented as “killed in an encounter” the following day. It found out that the victims were accosted in a military checkpoint in Barangay Poblacion of New Bataan town in Davao de Oro.

On February 24, the lifeless bodies of the five were found sprawled on a dirt road in Purok 8, Barangay Andap.

The military checkpoint is only a few kilometers away from the headquarters of the 66th Infantry Battalion in New Bataan.

Initial reports from the Save Our Schools Network who assisted Booc’s family in claiming his body said that the cadaver bore wounds and bruises, indicating possible signs of torture while under military custody.

“The NPA in Southern Mindanao shall ensure that revolutionary justice in the conduct of the people’s war is thoroughly meted out,” said Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA-Southern Mindanao.

The NPA-Southern Mindanao also noted that the summary execution may be a form of retaliation by the AFP after suffering defeat last February 9 from an NPA ambush against its soldiers in Barangay Tandawan, New Bataan.

“Failing to inflict retaliatory damage against the NPA, the enemy trained their guns on unarmed civilians, and subsequently spun lies to smokescreen its atrocity,” added Sanchez.

Marco Valbuena, the CPP’s Chief Information Officer, for his part said that the revolutionary movement holds AFP and its commander in chief Rodrigo Duterte responsible for the recent summary executions and other innumerable crimes.

“Under the direction of the Party and local organs of political power, units of the NPA can punish identified perpetrators of the crime,” Valbuena said.

Valbuena also called on all units of the NPA across the country to continue to mount tactical offensives and punitive actions, especially against forces of the AFP, PNP and paramilitaries which are responsible for fascist crimes against the people.

CPP, NPA vow justice for slain Lumad teachers and companions