Response to 8th ID coverup of killing children in Catubig, Northern Samar
1. The 8th ID is distorting the truth to coverup the killing of two young children by soldiers of the 20th IB last February 8 in Barangay Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar.
2. Contrary to claims that they are concerned with the welfare of children and civilians, soldiers of the 20th IB left the three children dying after firing their weapons indiscriminately at the group of peasants. People in the village had to run to the area to rescue the children and bring them to the hospital.
3. Contrary to the 8th ID’s lies, one of the victims was able to state that it was soldiers of the AFP that fired at them.
4. The residents of Barangay Roxas know very well the truth to the incident. Their barangay, however, is under heavy military presence and people are being terrorized and threatened. A unit of the 20th IB is permanently stationed in their village. The military has approached the families and provided them with a few thousand pesos as “remuneration” and induce their silence. Against the AFP, the peasant masses in the area are being overwhelmed by fear.
5. We encourage human rights defenders, church groups, advocates of children’s rights, humanitarian associations, media and other interested groups to conduct an independent fact-finding mission to look into the incident of indiscriminate firing which resulted in the killing of the two children.
We challenge the AFP to withdraw its forces from the area in order to allow the people to freely express themselves and reveal the truth.
5. The officers of the 8th ID do not have the balls to humbly admit their mistake and ask make a public apology. They spew nothing but lies to cover up their fascist crimes. This is one of the reasons why people continue to distrust and reject them, and continue to support and join the New People’s Army.