Parago blames government for the slaughter of kin

Jun. 08, 2009

By Davao Today

DAVAO CITY Communist New Peoples Army (NPA) commander Leoncio Pitao blamed the government for the death of his sister Evelyn Pitao.

Although Evelyn was killed by NPA guerillas the previous week because of her links with the military, Pitao, also popularly known as Kumander Parago, blamed the government for recruiting members of his family just to track his whereabouts.

(The government) employs tactics to destroy the harmony of families, especially among those who oppose (President Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo, Parago said over the local Bombo radio station on Tuesday, June 2, the day his sister was buried in a downtown cemetery.

Evelyn was Paragos youngest sister. She was killed in Santo Tomas town of Davao del Norte on May 23 this year. The NPAs Merardo Arce Command claimed responsibility over her killing because of her work as military agent.

Evelyn was the latest in a series of violent deaths that Parago’s family suffered in less than one year. Paragos brother Danilo Pitao, who earlier changed his name to Danilo Santiago, was killed on June 13 last year; while Paragos daughter Rebelyn was abducted and killed on March 4 this year.

The NPA blamed intelligence agents of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army behind the killings of Danilo and Rebelyn but the military denied any responsibility.

Parago said that although Evelyns death was starkly different from those of Rebelyns and Danilos because she was executed by the NPAs, it was still the outcome of Arroyo’s internal security operations called Oplan Bantay Laya II.

“If not for the military’s scheme to recruit our sister as a military asset, she could not have done crimes against the revolutionary movement,” Parago said. It is just right (for our family) to condemn the military (for Evelyn’s death).

He said the government is using dirty tactics to finish-off the insurgency before its deadline next year.

Rigoberto Sanchez, NPA spokesperson, said Evelyn was instrumental in the murder of her brother Danilo in June last year. Sanchez said Evelyn was also behind the abduction and torture of her former husband, Reynaldo Alicaba (Emong) on January 18 this year and the arrest of Parago in 1999.

“As a testament of the seriousness and revolutionary will of the NPA to deliver revolutionary justice, Evelyn Pitao and few others were punished,” according to NPA’s Sanchez.

The military’s 10th ID denied that Evelyn was a military intelligence agent and blamed her death to the purging inside the communist movement.

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