The New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao implemented the NPA standing order against four intelligence and death squad operatives of the 10th Infantry Division (ID) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for committing grave crimes against the revolutionary movement and the people.
Revolutionary punishment was served against Military Intelligence Battalion(MIB)-AFP assets Ruben Bitang, Macky Estremos, Marcelino Payot and Bobong Gambuta in separate dates since March this year. They were part of the 10th ID-AFP death squads based in Panabo City and Davao del Norte.
The NPA Ka Paking Guimbaolibot Red Partisan Brigade (NPA Red Partisans) meted out revolutionary punishment against Bitang last May 3 in JP Laurel, Panabo City. One .45 cal. pistol was taken from him. NPA Red partisans also meted out the same punitive actions against Payot in Gamao, Panabo City last April 14 and against Estremos in Carmen, Davao del Norte in the last week of March. A team of the NPA 1st Pulang Bagani Company meted out revolutionary punishment on Gambuta last April 27.
Active MIB assets and 10th ID-AFP death squad operatives Bitang, Estremos, Payot and Gambuta figured in two political killings in Panabo City in 2006; and were also engaged in purely criminal acts such as the massacre of a middle class family related to their guns-for-hire criminal racket, and other despicable acts against the people. The four MIB assets and 10th ID-AFP death squad operatives were responsible for the following abominable acts against persons, individuals and civilians in Panabo City:
1) the 2006 political killing of Renato Antonio, a Paquibato resident, community organizer and chairman of the Paquibato-Panabo Motorycle Operators and Drivers Association;
2) the 2006 political killing of Enrico Cabanit, peasant leader and activist in Panabo City;
3) the cold-blooded murder of Jerlie Inocando, a security guard in Panabo City public market;
4) organizing guns-for-hire in Panabo City involved in the armed robbery of several business establishments in the area, and cases of unpunished robbery-killings in the city. Bitang was one of the ring leaders of the said MIB-AFP’s criminal racket in Panabo City;
5) the massacre of the Manulat family in Lasang, Davao City. Engr. Manulat survived but became physically incapacitated after the attack;
6) the rape of a woman in front of her male companion in the Panabo City plaza.
The punished MIB death squad operatives committed with impunity the above-mentioned heinous war crimes and criminal activities with the support and sanction of the 10th ID-AFP. The fact that the 10th ID-AFP covertly employs political killings and liquidation squads imbedded in their intelligence battalions had been also clearly manifested by its sanction of the MIB death squad operatives in Panabo and in Davao del Norte through its intelligence handler, Sgt. Helvin Bitang, an MIB-10th ID-AFP regular, among others. The officially-sanctioned 10th ID-AFP death squads in Panabo further exposes the AFP’s criminal accountability against the people.
The violent death of Rebelyn Pitao is one of the latest aggressions against human rights done by the 10th ID-AFP and its death squad intelligence operatives. Punished MIB death squad operative Ruben Bitang has also been singled-out by witnesses as the driver of the white van with bogus plate number, LPG 588, used in Rebelyn’s abduction.
The New People’s Army is committed to exact revolutionary justice against the masterminds, death squad operatives of the 10th ID-AFP and those who committed the worst crimes against the people in the implementation of the criminal US-Arroyo regime’s counter-revolutionary Oplan Bantay Laya II.
Rigoberto F. Sanchez
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New People’s Army