Mamanwa Tribal Leaders Condemn NPA attacks on civilians in SurNor

THE REGION
November 25, 2019

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Placer, Surigao del Norte - The tribal leaders of SurNor condemned the New People's Army for violating the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the assassination of Roy Olmo Biyog, 23 years old, a resident of Camp Edward, Alegria, Surigao del Norte at the hinterland of Kabanikagan, Barangay Hinimbangan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. Said incident happened at about 6:00pm of November 18, 2019. 

Based on the interview, the senseless killing was perpetrated by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) known as the Sandataang Yunit Pampropaganda(SYP) C1 of Guerilla Front(GF) 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee(NEMRC) led by Roel Tremidal Neniel alyas Jacob. 

During the press conference, Datu Mario Labao, tribal leader of Barangay Budlingin and Bae Arlinda Soriaco, tribal leader of Barangay Camp Edward of Alegria, condemned the attack perpetrated by the CNTs. Both tribal leaders were very emotional as they pleaded that as civilians, they should not be involved in the armed conflict. They further added that the victim was in the mountains, their ancestral domain, to hunt for food to feed his wife and two young kids. 

In an Interview, Bae Suriaco said, "Unsay rason nganung yanuhon ra nila pagpatay ang mga inosenteng tawo sama kanamo?" (What is their reason for casually killing an innocent person such as us, tribes people?). 

Under Common Art 3 of the 1949 Conventions of IHL, civilians who do not take part in combat operations shall be respected and protected. They are not to be attacked, killed, wounded, or detained. But the NPA disrespected the IHL.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Jeffrey A Villarosa, commander of the 30th Infantry Battalion said, "We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Roy Biyog, especially to his wife who is two months pregnant and their 2 kids. We strongly condemn the CNTs for the barbaric act of murder on a helpless civilian. Roy suffered a fatal gun shot wound on his head. When his family recovered his body on Tuesday, they found his limp body in a shallow grave. His limbs and legs fractured or broken. 

He also suffered beating marks and nine gunshot wound on his back. This is again is a clear violation of our Llaws, of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), a clear disrespect of Human Rights. Roy Biyog is a civilian and never had any participation in the armed conflict. Roy does not deserve this kind of death."

"We must also remember that a month ago, the same NPA unit of GF-16C, torched and staffed civilian construction equipment at barangay Campo, Bacuag, SDN. Said equipment were never involved or used in armed conflict. Said equipment are not military targets. They were instead used for road widening, a project that will immensely contribute to the well-being of Surigaonons and commuters from all over the region. These barbaric acts of the CNTs are clear proof that they are indeed terrorists", Lt. Col. Villarosa ended. 


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