DAVAO CITY – The series of military operations and encounters between government troopers and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have resulted in harassment and bombing in a village in Davao City, Karapatan in Southern Mindanao reported.
Karapatan said that on the first week of May 2017, elements from the 3rd IB Task Force Harribon were seen conducting a foot patrol in the communities of Barangay Dominga, Calinan District, Davao City.
The group said that civilians in Barangay Dominga complained that their community was already heavily militarized.
On May 6, the report added, civilians from Sitio Cabagkutan, Barangay Dominga were forced to evacuate when an encounter between the 3rd IB Task Force Haribon and NPAs erupted.
Kagawad Dennis Epal of Sitio Cabagkutan, together with the other residents of wanted to evacuate to Barangay Dacudao but the military barred them from leaving, Karapatan said.
The group also reported that Kagawad Epal was interrogated and accused of being a member of the NPA by the soldiers.
“He asserted that he is not a member of NPA but a civilian, but the military did not believe him and threatened him that they will take away all his nails. After the encounter the residents were prevented from going out from their barangay and were monitored by the military,” Karapatan said.
On May 9, at around 3:00 in the afternoon, a strafing incident took place in Barangay Dominga at the house of a certain Rodolfo Dagahuya, Jr., farmer, 33 years old.
The group reported that Dagahuya’s dead body was later found by his neighbor.
“The residents suspected that the strafing incident was done by the 3rd IB Task Force Harribon. The cadaver was claimed by the disaster response team. The family has no idea as to where the cadaver was brought,” Karapatan said.
Last May 10, at around 7:00 in the morning, Karapatan said that the military dropped six bombs in the community that brought too much fear to the residents.
“They (military) illegally searched the houses of the residents and 0ne (1) civilian, certain Lascuña from Sitio Kibaton, was interrogated and mauled by the military and afterward his face was plunked on a mud,” Karapatan added.
“Karapatan should prove their allegations and file necessary charges in a competent court,” said Captain Rhyan Batchar, chief information officer of 10th Infantry (Agila) Division.
In a phone interview on Saturday, Batchar said Karapatan should go beyond mere propaganda.
In a separate statement to the media, Batchar said two NPA rebels and a soldier were killed in a five-day skirmish between government forces and NPA rebels in the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao City.
He added that the encounters occurred during the pursuit operations of the army against the rebels following the attack and burning of facilities of Lapanday Foods Corporation in Davao City and Panabo City late last month.
Government troopers also recovered a caliber .38 revolver, an M14 rifle and various war materials from the rebels during the armed confrontations.
“One soldier was killed in action while nine others were wounded and already evacuated to hospitals in Davao City during the May 10 encounter between the 3rd Infantry Battalion troopers and NPA rebels belonging to Pulang Bagani Company (PBC) 1 in Barangay Dalagdag, Calinan District, Davao City,” Batchar said.
A total of nine encounters were recorded between the 3rd ID and NPA rebels from May 6 to 10, while another army unit, the 73rd Infantry Battalion encountered the rebels three times on May 7, 9 and 11, he said.
“Troops from 3rd IB engaged PBC 1 of the NPA six times in Barangay Dominga, Calinan District, Davao City from May 6 to 9. Another group of 3rd IB soldiers engaged the same NPA group twice in Barangay Sumimao, Calinan District on May 9 where an NPA was killed and a caliber .38 pistol was recovered,” he said.
The NPA killed was identified as Jojo Dagahoya, a resident of Sitio Balinanao, Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District, Davao City.
“Another group of soldiers engaged the fleeing NPAs at around 1 a.m. on May 10 in Barangay Dalagdag in Paquibato which resulted in the killing of a soldier and the wounding of nine others. Another NPA was also killed during that early morning encounter identified as EliazarTemplado alias Chin, a resident of Calinan Proper, Davao City,” Batchar said.
He said that an encounter between 73rd IB and NPAs also took place last May 7 in Sitio Kidalagan, Barangay Danwata, Malita, Davao Occidental.
Continuing pursuit operations also resulted to another encounter on May 9 in the same barangay, Batchar added.
Last May 11, 73rd IB trooper again encountered around 20 NPA rebels in Sitio Lawisa, Barangay Sibulan, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
Government troopers were able to recover one M14 rifle at the encounter site, Batchar said.
He said no soldier was hurt on the series of armed clashes between 73rd IB and the NPAs. (davaotoday.com)