DAVAO CITY - Government troopers and tribal leaders have exhumed the remains of a former New People's Army (NPA) member who was allegedly summarily executed by his former comrades nearly three months ago in Davao del Norte
In a report to the Philippine National Police (PNP) national headquarters, Police Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales, regional director of Police Regional Office-11 (PRO-11) said that the body of Olas Salangani was found in a grave yesterday at Sitio Dulyan, Barangay Palma Gil in the town of Talaingod.
A composite team of PNP and Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) personnel together with the Mindanao Peoples Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL) proceeded to the area to conduct "Lakbay Hukay" operation, a digging of mass grave of Indigenous People's (IP) leaders liquidated by the NPA.
Datu Alambe Salangani, a brother of Olas, said his younger brother surrendered to the government in 2014.
The remains would be placed under forensic examination in Davao Norte Crime Laboratory.
"Lakbay-Hukay " sought to provide a decent burial to the victims of summary executions perpetrated by the NPA and expose the atrocities of the rebel group to the IP leaders and members
Prior to the digging, a ritual was conducted by the victim's family as part of the IP's cultural traditions.
In a press conference at the Municipal Tribal Building in Talaingod, Morales said "the mass grave is another chilling testament of NPA atrocities and the evil acts that they are capable of doing against those who oppose or leave their group."
He added that PRO-11 condemned the vicious killing of the wife of an active member of the Civilian Armed Auxiliary by the NPA.
Gina Montayona, wife of CAA Mario Mantayona, was shot dead by the rebel group in their house last Sunday, October 16, at Sitio Nasilaban Proper, Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod.
"The incident is already not a form of armed struggle but an outright criminal act. Their armed struggle has degenerated to criminal acts which put innocent civilian lives in danger. This attack by the NPA is a heinous crime, and violates human rights, R.A. 9851, and International Humanitarian Law," Morales said.
Talaingod Mayor Basilio A Libayao and former Talaingod Mayor Bae Pilar Libayao were one in condemning the presence of the communist terrorist group in their area.
"The NPA is responsible for the hardships and the killings of the tribal communities," the incumbent mayor said.
They appealed to the government security forces to address the insurgency problem in their area so that development can take off in their locality. (with a report from PIA-11)