NDF says Army involved in boy shooting ‘guilty of war crimes’

Apr. 18, 2016

DAVAO CITY – The National Democratic Front said the 6th Scout Ranger Company and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are “guilty of war crimes” for shooting an 11-year old boy in Toril district here last April 1.

In a previous statement, the Army owned up to the shooting of the boy when its troops were conducting an operation.

The Army has also said they have offered their apology to the family of the victim and said that they have conducted an investigation.

But the NDF said the Army’s Board of Inquiry investigation “is pure hogwash.”

“A preposterous spin of an undisciplined fascist army trying desperately to hide its crime by lying through its bloodied teeth,” said Rubi del Mundo, spokesperson of NDF in Southern Mindanao.

Del Mundo said based on accounts reported by civilians in the area, “troops belonging to the 6th Scout Ranger Company and 84th Infantry Battalion have been on sustained operation for weeks prior to the April 1 incident.”

“Meanwhile, four civilians, including the minor were on a camp-in in their small farm hut in Sitio Mitundo, Brgy. Baracatan in Toril for several days, pulling fiber from abaca plants,” said Del Mundo.

Del Mundo said on April 1, at past 9:00 in the morning, “the minor was sent to fetch firewood, carrying nothing but a small axe. He was not accompanied by anyone and was only about a hundred meters away from their hut.”

Del Mundo added that the remaining three farmers in the hut heard gunfire from where they knew the minor was fetching firewood around 10:30 in the morning. He said the gunfire reportedly lasted several minutes.

In the Army’s account of the incident, the boy was reportedly accompanied by his uncle, identified as Danny Pile who was seen bringing a long firearm which turned out to be an air gun.

“As the troops of 6th Scout Ranger Company were on security halt, the soldiers saw one man carrying a long firearm prompting the troops to fire shots towards them. One was able to jump for cover and run away leaving behind his firearm,” the Army said in a statement dated April 5.

The NDF lambasted the 6th Scout Ranger Company, the 10th ID and the entire AFP for committing “war crimes in the heinous murder of the minor.”

“We already know the script to this tale as far as the criminals AFP spins it,” the NDF said.

It added that “the enemy feigns remorse and takes justice for short but disappointing ride; they will make a show of prosecuting the guilty while browbeating the family with psywar tactics of threats and the promise of financial assistance.”

“Ultimately the AFP will coerce the hapless family into amicable settlement while the guilty walks off scot-free,” Del Mundo said.

The Army claimed the soldiers involved in the incident were restricted to their barracks while the investigation is on-going.

But the NDF said since 2011 the government “already claimed the innocent lives of 7 year old Sunshine Jabinez (killed by 71st IB in Pantukan in 2011), two children and one unborn child of Juvy Capion (killed by 27th IB in Tampakan in 2012), 8 –year old Roque Antivo (killed by 71st IB in Mabini in 2013), 17-year old Juda Dagansan (killed by 66th IB in New Bataan in 2014, and 15 year old Alibando Tingkas (killed by Alamara under 72nd IB and 68th IB in Talaingod in 2016).”

“The killing of an unarmed, 11-year old civilian and the ensuing lies point to the fact that even the enemy’s self glorified “Elite Forces” such as its Scout Rangers are nothing but downright murderers while their entire rotten organization connives to blot out the stench of their human rights violations”, said Del Mundo. (davaotoday.com)

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