The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denied the New People’s Army (NPA) tortured the four police officers killed in Ayungon, Negros Oriental last July 18.
In a statement, the CPP’s Information Bureau said that based on reports of the NPA’s Mt. Cansermon Command that claimed responsibility for the attack, the four armed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were killed in an ambush.
Those killed were not tortured, contrary to claims made by President Rodrigo Duterte, the CPP said.
“They were armed adversaries of the NPA and died in a legitimate act of war. Duterte and the police are making up stories in a vain attempt to gain public sympathy,” the CPP added.
The group said, the NPA strictly prohibits the use of torture, “[u]nlike the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP.”
“The NPA’s rules prohibit even lifting a finger against its captives or prisoners. The policies of the NPA are much unlike Duterte’s cruel war that targets civilians with extreme brutality,” the CPP said.
‘No ordinary ambush’
In a press conference last Friday, Police Regional Office-7 (Central Visayas) director PBGen. Dobeld Sinas said he does not believe the casualties died in an ordinary ambush.
Sinas alleged the four police officers were dragged, hogtied, mauled and even hit with butts of rifles by the NPA.
Sinas identified the fatalities as Corporal Relebert Beronio and Patrolmen Raffy Callao, Patrolman Ruel Cabellon and Patrolman Marquino de Leon.
Based on police reports, the four police officers were on board two motorcycles were waylaid and fired upon by at least 11 unidentified NPA fighters.
They were intelligence personnel of the 704 Mobile Force Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion in Central Visayas.
The NPA’s Mt. Cansermon Command (MCC) spokesperson, Dionisio Magbuelas, said the four officers were killed for acting as spies to implement police operations that had led to civilian deaths in Negros Oriental.
“Based on our intelligence report, the four police operatives were gathering information and surveilling the area for another round of Oplan Sauron or Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations where innocent civilians are killed by uniformed personnel in the guise of counter-insurgency efforts,” the NPA said in a statement.
‘Series of successful tactical offensive’
In another statement Thursday, the NPA unit claimed no less than 43 soldiers and police were either killed or injured in three separate offensives it conducted between June 22 and July 18.
Aside from the Ayungon ambush, the MCC also conducted what it called a sniping operation in Sitio Bulo, Brgy. Bantolinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental last June 22 that resulted in the death of three soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army (IBPA) and the wounding of 20 others.
Last July 2, the MCC said it foiled a raid attempt by the 11th IBPA in Sitio Small Samac, Brgy. Nalundan, Bindoy, Negros Oriental and launched a counter offensive that killed 10 and wounded six government troopers.
“The series of successful tactical offensive was conducted by MCC-NPA to need the call for justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings especially for the innocent victim’s of Oplan Sauron 1 and 2,” Magbuelas said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)