NPA admits killing “paramilitary bandit leaders”

Aug. 01, 2012

From the statements e-mailed to the media, Communist rebels admitted killing Ansabu in Sitio Kiapat, Ganatay village in Arakan town; and Ogaw in Sitio Lumondao, Marilog village in Davao City.

Davao Today

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA) has claimed responsibility in killing “paramilitary bandit leader” Abantas Ansabu alias Kumander Ibon and “fanatic armed Blackfighter leader” Cawsing Ogaw in two separate incidents July 27.

From the statements e-mailed to the media, Communist rebels admitted killing Ansabu in Sitio Kiapat, Ganatay village in Arakan town; and Ogaw in Sitio Lumondao, Marilog village in Davao City.

The NPA’s Herminio Alfonso Command-Guerilla Front 53 Operations Command said that Ansabu is responsible for “various grave crimes against humanity and banditry.”

The admission came a day after officers of the Philippine Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade (IBde) accused and condemned Communist guerrillas for the incident.

Isabel Santiago, spokesperson of NPA’s Front 53, said they implemented the “standing order” against Ansabu after the “People’s Court” recommended for a capital punishment following his conviction for “masterminding, collaborating with the fascist AFP and implementing, using excessive force, in various cases of grave crimes against humanity.”

The “People’s Court,” the statement said, found Ansabu guilty for the killing of 19 peasants and lumads in 11 cases of murder including the massacre of seven family members and gruesome hacking of two children.

Santiago said, the “People’s Court” heard the cases filed by the families and relatives of the victims; and evidences were also presented by witnesses in Arakan communities.

The NPA spokesperson also said that the people of Arakan greatly fear Ansabu for his involvement in other crimes.  He was also found guilty for “three cases of frustrated murder; three cases of damage to property and slaughter of animals; four cases of theft and extortion; one case of arson; two cases of grave threat and coercion, and forced Cafgu recruitment.”

But the Philippine Army has condemned the killing.

“It’s brutal,” said 1Lt. Nasrullah Sema, head of the 57th IB’s Civil Military Operations, in an interview over a local radio station here.  He also denied reports identifying Ansabu as one of their “paramilitary.”

Hindi siya Cafgu at bawal sa aming mga militar ang gumamit ng civilian (He’s not a Cafgu and the military prohibits using civilians),” Sema said.
In a separate interview over another local radio station, 1Lt. Tony Bulao, head of the 602nd IBde’s CMO, scored the NPA.  He also denied that Ansabu was employed as their “asset.”

Ni minsan, hindi naging informant si Datu at hindi rin naming hiniling sa kanila na maging informants namin, (Not once did he become our informant; and we never asked them to become our informants)” Bulao said.

However, he confirmed that they are facilitating livelihoods for the Manobo community in Sitio Kiapat under Ansabu’s leadership.  He said, Ansabu’s group is supplying them bamboos free of charge, to be used in the construction of their Livelihood Training Center.

The NPA has accused the military of “financing and directing (Ansabu) and his gang of criminals for its counterrevolutionary campaign in North Cotabato.”  It further stated that among Ansabu’s last involvement was the recruitment of about 30 lumads in North Cotabato’s Sitio Kiapat and Uwayunan in Barangay Ganatan; Barangay Mahungkog; and Sitio Lubas in Barangay Amabel.

Leaflets and placards bearing messages of condemnation on Ansabu’s killing were noted in some streets of Kidapawan City.  Text messages sent to public affairs programs in two radio stations here also registered mixed reactions following the NPA’s statement and live interviews of Bulao and Sema.

Meanwhile, two days after admitting Ansabu’s killing, another NPA unit claimed responsibility for the killing of Ogaw.

According to Ka Sandawa, spokesperson of the NPA’s Front 54 Operations Command, Ogaw “resisted arrest and attempted to run into an NPA checkpoint,” adding that Ogaw’s son, Keem, also opened fire against the Communist rebels resulting to an “exchange of gunshots.”

Sandawa said, what they did was a punishment “to give revolutionary justice for the victims of Ogaw’s bloody record as leading counterrevolutionary fanatic.”

The NPA said, Ogaw is part of the “fascist AFP Cafgu paramilitary forces” who led military raids that resulted to the capture and death of some NPAs in Marilog and Baguio districts.  It added that Ogaw “provided sanctuary” for Junie Corvala or Kumander Iring “who took flight after killing Italian missionary Fr. Fausto ‘Pops’ Tentorio.”  He also allegedly kept Martin Andalis, a known bandit and rapist.

Sandawa said Ogaw “masterminded several cases of murder, banditry, theft of precious farm animals and extortion of small businessman” including the killing of a certain Engr. Fernandez and his son in Sitio Macabol, in Salaysay village in Marilog, Davao City.  The NPA spokesperson added, Ogaw imputed these criminal activities as NPA actions.

The NPA further accused Ogaw of working as a “hired goon for big politicians and businessmen, including evangelist-businessman-landlord Pastor Apollo Quiboloy,” and that he has led several landgrabbing activities in Barangay Salaysay, Suwawan, Tambobong, Carmen and in Tamayong.


Ogaw organized “Blackfighters” to become members of a private army for multinational plantation companies like Sumifru and in Quiboloy’s estate, according to Sandawa, adding that, in 2010, Ogaw was part of the private army led by Ret. Gen. Jovito Palparan.

Ogaw also allegedly gained proceeds in logging operations in Salaysay,Marilog.  His son, Nomer Ogaw, an Army cafgudetachment commanding officer, helped in smuggling the contraband logs to Davao City proper.  His sons, Benjie and Armando, were also feared bandits in Marilog, said the NPA.

Davao City vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, in a press briefing three days before the NPA admission, said he won’t be surprised if Ogaw will be killed by the Communist rebels.

“Cawsing was an anti-NPA fighter of government.  Nobody should be surprised if he was killed (if ever by the NPAs).  Kasali yan sa gera.  (That’s part of war),” he said.   (With reports from Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/

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