DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The New Peoples Army said they meted out “revolutionary justice against Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative of Magpet town Antonio P. Takinan and his brother in law, Robilio Tambunan for “committing grave human rights and international humanitarian law violations.”
Isabel Santiago, the spokesperson of the NPAs Mt. Apo Sub-Regional Command said in a statement that Takinan was involved in intelligence gathering activities, forced recruitment of indigenous peoples for the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Bagani fighters and extortion activities from Lumad land disputes.
Takinans intel activities resulted to the indiscriminate mortar shelling and aerial bombardment of Lumad communities on December 12 last year by the 39th Infantry Battalion, she added.
The NPAs death sentence occurred in Barangay Tagbak, Magpet town in North Cotabato at around 4:30 in the afternoon on April 4.
Takinan and Tambunan were aboard their motorcycle when NPA operatives ambushed them. Tambunan fought back, got injured and escaped while Takinan who was driving the vehicle was killed. The NPA operatives seized a .45 caliber pistol from Takinan.
The same NPA command also said they fought with 39th IB forces and elite Scout Rangers on March 30 at around 6:30 in the morning in Sitio Karan-karan, Brgy. Guma, Digos City. Killed in the encounter were three Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) soldiers while one other was wounded.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region XII told Davao Today in an interview that it has no first-hand information of the activities of Takinan with the AFP.
According to an NCIP XII official who asked not to be named,“We are saddened upon hearing the news because the victim is an IP leader for two terms representing the Obo-Manobo”.
In January, the AFP said it plans to significantly reduce the number of NPA rebels by half.
It has deployed the 19th IB under the 901st Brigade of the Philippine Army in Magpet, Arakan, Antipas and Roxas towns in North Cotabato province.
The AFP’s combined efforts of focused military operations, intelligence, civil military, and other programs included the surrender of so-called 2,263 regular NPA members and supporters nationwide.
The NPA has refuted the figures saying the surrenders were forced mainly upon innocent civilians. (davaotoday.com)