DAVAO CITY – The Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) has ordered a “full investigation” into the fatal shooting of father and his son in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.
Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the Eastmincom, said that “the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command will not tolerate any violations of human rights committed by the soldiers.”
“We enlisted the support of the PNP (Philippine National Police) in the conduct of investigation to ensure transparency and credibility of the result of the investigation” Baladad said.
The Eastmincom said on Thursday that it has directed the 10th Infantry Division to implement this order. “The investigating team will be headed by a senior military officer of the said Command alongside the PNP that will jointly investigate the circumstances of the incident and submit after investigation report with their findings and recommendations.
The Eastmincom identified the two victims as Rolando Dagansan, 43, and his son Juda, 15.
The Dagansans were on their way home from their farm in Sitio Cabetian, Barangay Manurigao, New Bataan when they met the soldiers at around 3:00 am Sunday.
Read related story here: Mandaya father, son killed by soldiers in New Bataan
The military believes that the killing was an accident.
“Apparently, the soldiers were on security patrol along the routes of Barangays Andap and Manurigao as part of the humanitarian assistance operation to be held in Manurigao on October 14, when the incident transpired,” the statement said.
In a text message sent to Davao Today Tuesday, the spokesman of the 10th Infantry Division, Captain Ernest Carolina said that “the incident looks accidental in nature by the way it is described, transpiring in pitch black darkness during a security patrol.”
But the relatives of the victims said the killing was not an accident.
“We believe that it is not an accident. They could have asked them first if they are civilians or NPAs,” Dagansan’s brother-in-law (name withheld) said.
“They have their identification cards with them including voter’s ID and Philhealth ID. My brother-in-law is also a member of the Barangay Defense System (BDS) which is also under the AFP,” he said.
In a dialog held in Sitio Tubod of Barangay Manurigao, the 66th IB officers said that the two ran away from the soldiers. The soldiers subsequently fired at them.
The victims sustained gunshot wounds in the head, and the right arm off the father severed from bullet wounds.
The victim’s relatives were suspicious.
A male relative, who declined to be name for security reason, said the police and army authorities have earlier denied that those who were killed were civilians. He narrated that at around 1:00 pm Sunday they received reports that something happened in the area as “rescue teams” from police authorities and some soldiers passed by their place in Sitio Taytayan.
“We asked them, ‘what happened sir’? Why do you have rescue teams?” he narrated.
“We asked because we wanted to help them because if there is a rescue team, there is definitely an accident,” he said.
But the authorities answered them that there is no problem because it is just some member of their troop that caught an accident.
“They told us that one of their members fell off a cliff,” he said.
He said “they didn’t pursue helping the authorities to recover who was involved in the accident “because those were their troops anyway and we are civilians”. (davaotoday.com)