DAVAO CITY – The New People’s Army who raided the armory owned by Monkayo Mayor Joselito Brillantes Jr., said what they did was only “exacting revolutionary justice against the warlord Mayor.”

On April 14, Brillantes’ mining compound known as the JB Palace or JB Malacanang  was raided by NPA fighters in Olaycon, Monkayo town, Compostela Valley in a “2 ½ hour attack”. Ka Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the NPA’s Comval-North Davao South Agusan Subregional Command said they seized a total of 74 firearms.

Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson of NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command said in a statement on Sunday that they also seized  “1 binocular scope, 36 pieces rifle grenade, 52 pieces 40mm, 800 rounds k3, 500 rounds AK, 5000 rounds of M60, 400 rounds of ultimax drum, more than 14,000 rounds of assorted ammos, 5 radio vhf and a rifle vest.”

The 25th Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Michele B. Anayron said that the NPA attack is a form of retaliatory attack against the armed forces. Anayron also praised Mayor Brillantes as “very supportive to the government’s counterinsurgency efforts.”

“This could be a form of counter-attack since we have had so many encounters with the [NPAs] which resulted to the recovery of their high powered firearms, surrenders of their armed members and body counts in the previous months. Mayor Brillantes has been very supportive of the government’s counterinsurgency efforts in his town,” Anayron said.

But Sanchez denied Anayron’s statements saying “the attack is not a mere retaliation, but an execution of revolutionary justice.”

“That a municipal mayor owns the sheer volume of firearms and ammunition is obviously unjustified and is supposedly banned even by the reactionary civilian government. But the 10th ID-EastMinCom tolerates the arms cache as it supports and colludes with the warlord Brillantes and his mining interest in pursuit of the counter-revolutionary Oplan Bayanihan,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez also alleged that the spate of extra-judicial killings in the area has been the handiwork of Brillantes’ goons and private army.

“They are lording over ordinary farmers, residents who eke out a living by cutting logs, and mining workers,” Sanchez said.

“Because the reactionary civilian government and the AFP continue to turn a blind eye over the private army build-up of Brillantes, the revolutionary people’s government has made it its mandate and duty to disarm the municipal mayor and execute justice on behalf of the families of the victims of his atrocities,” he said.

Sanchez said they will use the confiscated weapons to equip newly formed additional NPA platoons. (davaotoday.com)

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