CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, May 30 - The Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army Terrorists (CNT) attacked and burned one Christian Church and four residential houses in Zone 2, Brgy Limonda, Opol, Misamis Oriental, around 3:50 a.m., May 28.
Based on the field reports, Edward Villarias, Kicy Tingcan, Edmar Burlat and Ambilino Sambuhay owned the residential houses burned by terrorist leader alias "Decoy" and several members of ACE Company, Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC 5), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
On the statement of one of the Barangay council member, he said, "Dako amo kahiubos sa ilaha kay nganu ila man hilabtan ang amo balay. Pobre kaayu amo pamuyo, naa pay COVID, dili mi ka panginabuhi ug normal, tapos karun in ani pa nahitabo."
(We feel very oppressed by what they've done to our houses. With poor life, then there's COVID, we can't work and earn for sustenance, now this happened).
He added, "Duha ka tao ang nakita namo nga nag sunog sa balay gamit ang gasolina ug naa clay dala nga armas."
(We saw two men burning the houses using gasoline and they have firearms.)
Barangay Chairman Michael Sambulay said, "Amo na ge safety daan amo mga tao para ma protektahan laban sa mga NPA. Andam me makig away kung ila me hilabtan. Ila na gikuha mga pagkaon sa mga bahay pati mga binuhi nga manok."
(We already assured the safety of the residents to protect them against the NPA. We are ready to fight against them if they continue their oppressive acts. They already took foods from the households as well as the raised chickens).
As the 65IB and PNP personnel responded to the crime scene, GMA Kapuso bags with can goods , biscuits, jelly ace and toys for children were distributed to the affected residents.
According to their statements, they will file complaints for the violations of Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code known as Article 320 Destructive Arson and Violation Against IHL that caused severe damages to properties of non-combatants, the civilian residents.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Pajarito Jr, Commanding Officer of 65IB said, "Your army will support and assist the affected residents in filing criminal charges against the NPA Terrorists. On incidents like this, we are now working with the PNP and Local Government Units in tracking down these terrorists. We call on the people to help us in tracking these criminals. Let us help one another prevent such terrorists' acts because they do not care nor respect Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law. As of press time, our unit continues to conduct our operations against the terrorists."
These actions of the Communist NPA terrorists, as a non-state armed group, violates the privisions of Additional Protocol 2 of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which is being enforced by Philippine's Republic Act 9851, otherwise known as an "Act Defining and Penalizing Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other Crimes against Humanities" by attacking civilian population intentionally causing great suffering to the people especially in these times of the CoViD-19 pandemic.
The innocent people of Limonda are non-combatants, who should not be attacked and are, therefore, protected under existing laws. (65IB/PA)