CAMP PANACAN, DAVAO CITY — In a statement dated May 26, 2009, the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA) said that Evelyn Pitao-Dadula had given the military information that led to the killing of her brother, Danilo, in Tagum City in June 2008 and the arrest of her former party husband, a communist guerilla named Ka Emong, in January 2009.
The CPP/NPA also blamed Evelyn for being responsible in the arrest of Leoncio Pitao in November 1999.
“Based on their statements, it has become evident that the killings are perpetrated by the CPP/NPA to punish alleged violators within their ranks,” Major General Reynaldo Mapagu of 10ID said.
The admission of the CPP/NPA of the murder came after they have pinpointed the military as the perpetrator along with the condemnation from the Pitao family and militant groups like Karapatan.
The military leadership has continuously denied the involvement of the military in the alleged killings.
“It is the strategy of the CPP to use the military as the scapegoat every time they commit atrocities in order to discredit the government. The fact that the CPP/NPA admitted the series of murders means that the military is vindicated of all the accusations being attributed to it,” Mapagu said.
The NPA admitted to have perpetrated recent murders including that of ex-Army Manny Villa who was executed in Matanao, Davao del Sur, Ruben Bitang in Panabo City, and Staff Sergeant Rolen Manlangit in Monkayo, Compostela Valley.
“They have gone indiscriminate and berserk in their killings. They have put justice in their own hands. They are now paranoid as the AFP has continuously diminished their influence in a lot of areas in the Davao region. When they are pushed to the wall like this, it is their normal reaction to cleanse their ranks, including their supporters, of possible traitors. It is their paranoia that makes them commit costly mistakes like committing murder against their own people as they have done in the past,” Mapagu further pointed out.
It is also evident that there is an ongoing rift between the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command and the Pulang Bagani Command under Leoncio Pitao.
“There has been massive demoralization and in-fighting within their ranks. The mass surrender of fighters is an indication of this. The main issue is the loss of funds which were earlier reported to have been bungled by key party leaders of Southern Mindanao Regional committee,” Mapagu added.
Cpt. Rosa Ma. Cristina Rosete-Manuel (FA) PA
Public Affairs Officer
10th Infantry (AGILA) Division,Philippine Army
Contact Number: (082) 302-2061
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