CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The son of former New People’s Army (NPA) spokesperson Jorge ‘Ka Oris’ Madlos and his daughter-in-law were killed after they “were abducted and placed under military custody.”
This was the statement made by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) following military claims that Vincent Madlos and his wife Angie Polandres Salinas were killed during an encounter in Bukidnon Province on Saturday, September 3.
Col. Ted Dumosmog, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the couple was with a group of NPA fighters when government troops chanced upon them at Kapitan Bayong village, Impasug-ong town at around 1:00 p.m.
Troops from the 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB), he said, were conducting a special operation when a 15-minute firefight ensued against an undetermined number of NPAs that resulted in the death of Madlos and Salinas.
Two AK47 rifles, documents, and personal belongings were allegedly retrieved from the encounter site.
Dumosmog said Madlos had multiple warrants of arrest for the crimes committed from different areas in Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions. He also said Madlos and Salinas are on the military’s top wanted list for being members of the CPP-NPA Central Committee and heads of the Technical Bureau and Communications Bureau of the CPP-NPA’s National Operations Command.
The CPP refuted the military’s claims saying no such encounter took place in the said area.
Citing “verified information” from the NPA-North Central Mindanao Region, CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said the couple was traveling along the Bukidnon national highway when the military abducted them near the Atugan Bridge in Impasug-ong town.
He said photos of the couple’s cadavers which were released by the military are “clearly posed.”
“The murder of Madlos and Salinas constitutes brazen war crimes as it clearly violated international laws of war which guarantees the rights of people denied of liberty in relation to the armed conflict,” Valbuena said.
‘Criminal modus operandi’
Maj. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, commander of the military’s 4th Infantry Division, said the successive neutralization of NPA ranking leaders provides a clearer view of ending the local communist armed conflict in Northern Mindanao.
But the CPP said the AFP’s “criminal modus operandi of summarily executing captured combatants” or NPA hors de combat is a violation of international war protocols as it criticized the military for “fabricating stories of armed encounters to misinform and use the mass media to deceive the public.”
Valbuena recalled that Ka Oris and his aide Pika were murdered in the same town on October 29, 2021, by the 8th IB under similar circumstances. “Their bodies immediately cremated to hide all evidence of foul play,” he said.
He added National Democratic Front peace consultant Pedro Codaste and his aide, who were arrested last January 19 in Cagayan de Oro City, were claimed by the military to have been killed in Impasug-ong town during a January 25 encounter.
The NPA national commander Menardo ‘Ka Bok’ Villanueva, who was captured in Davao Oriental on December 24, 2021, was also claimed by the 10th ID to have been killed on January 25, 2022, Valbuena said. — with reports from Jigger Jerusalem (davaotoday.com)