DAVAO CITY – Militant lawmaker Representative Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna said that the Army’s account of their killing of three people in Paquibato District here was “unbelievable, and downright illogical.”
Members of the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army involved in the incident claimed that an encounter happened with the New People’s Army in Purok 7, Barangay Paradise Embac in Paquibato District on June 14, leading to the strafing of the house of Aida Seisa. The victims include Ruben Enlog, Randy Carnasa and Oligario Quimbo. Seisa and her family survived the strafing.
Zarate said their independent probe conducted on June 19-20 “belied the AFP’s version of the incident.”
“The AFP is spewing lies if it claims that a legitimate encounter with the NPA happened in (Seisa’s) home,” Zarate said adding that it is illogical to serve warrant of arrest at night.
“The military claims that they served alleged NPA leaders, who are surely armed, a warrant of arrest at the dead of the night. Who does that? The statement defies logic,” Zarate said.
Zarate said neighbors and church members also attest that the three people slain were civilians.
Zarate said Seisa is a known indigenous peoples and peasant organization head, while Carnasa is a purok (village) leader.
“Quimbo was identified as a farmer and guitarist in the local Church. This is a massacre of civilians, not an encounter. The military is grasping at straws,” Zarate added.
Zarate said the Army is “taking its cue from the culture of impunity” in the country.
Zarate said they are set to hold a Congressional inquiry on the matter. (davaotoday.com)