Bayan: Lt. Col. Paniza’s statement, a prelude to whitewash

Nov. 03, 2012

Press Release
1 November 2012

Bayan: Lt. Col. Paniza’s statement, a prelude to whitewash

General Santos City — Military spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza’s latest statement on the Tampakan Massacre case is a prelude to whitewash, said multi-sectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Socsksargen today.

According to Paniza, the military inquiry found “the soldiers were negligent when they engaged in shootout” and “there is a violation of the rules of engagement.”

“It is a prelude to whitewash.  In the first place, there was no firefight that took place between the military and any armed groups during the incident.  Paniza, the 10th Infantry Division and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are flagrantly concealing and covering up the cold blood massacre and the barbaric act of the elements of the 27th IB against two-month pregnant woman and her children by hyping that there were just “negligence” and simply ‘violation of the rules of engagement’ of the involved soldiers” said Ryan Lariba, secretary general of Bayan- Socsksargen.

“Lt. Col. Paniza and Lt. Col. Alexis Noel Bravo are now singing the same tune.  What can we expect?  The institution which leads the investigation is the same institution that brutally massacred the victims.  The 10thID was the one who formed the Task Force Kitacom (Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio and Malungon) composed of various military units including the 27t IB to protect Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine Project of Xstrata-SMI” Lariba said.

Bravo earlier defended his troops by claiming it was a “legitimate encounter” with the group of Daguil Capion, the leader of pangayaw.  But Capion, in a phone interview with local radio stations, belied claims made by Bravo.

Bayan-Socsksargen has been raising concerns over the spate of killings in the mine site.  From September 29 to October 18 this year, or just within a two-week period, there were already eight victims of extra-judicial killings including the massacre done by 27th IB to Andy Datuwata, 24, and minor Ronald Malley, 17, in Telafas, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

Bayan-Socsksargen called on the people from the local, national to international community to vigorously oppose the ploy of the AFP to cover up the most brutal act of terrorism carried out by 27thIB against innocent civilians, women and children.

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