Philippines: Pimentel Seeks Prosecution of Grecil’s Killers

May. 02, 2007

MANILA — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr.
(PDP-Laban) today urged the Armed Forces of the
Philippines to conduct a no-nonsense investigation
into the accidental killing of a nine-year old
village girl during an encounter between government
troops and communist guerillas in Compostela Valley
and to identify the soldiers responsible for the

Pimentel said it is good that the AFP, through Army
Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza, 101st Infantry Brigade
commander, admitted that there was a mistake when the
military initially tagged Grecil Buya-Galacio as a
girl warrior after she died from a bullet wound that
she sustained during the firefight in Purok 8,
Barangay Kahayag, New Bataan in Compostela Valley last
March 31.

As a gesture of good will, the AFP should offer some
monetary compensation to the family of the slain
girl, Pimentel said.

While describing Holganzas plan to apologize to the
girls family as a correct gesture, the senator from
Mindanao said this is not enough as he called on the
military authorities concerned to pinpoint the
soldiers who were responsible for her death and to
impose appropriate sanctions against them and initiate
their criminal prosecution.

I hope the military will not hide the identities of
the soldiers responsible for the death of the innocent
girl. They should be held accountable for their
action. Justice must be rendered for her untimely and
tragic death, Pimentel said.

Pimentel said it is irresponsible on the part of some
military men to immediately brand Grecil Galagio a
girl warrior without the benefit of an investigation.

He said reports reaching his office from Mindanao
revealed that Grecil was hit due to indiscriminate
firing by soldiers. Her lifeless body was found three
meters away from their house.

Pimentel said the heavy traces of firing at the
Buya-Galacio house indicate that it was subjected to
primary target of attack by military elements.

He said information furnished to him by the Salinlahi
Foundation, Inc. and Alliance for Childrens Concerns,
which sent a mission to the Compostela Valley, also
showed the following:

Grecil finished her Grade 2 at the Simsimen
Elementary School with flying colors.
Certificate of death signed by the municipal health
officer shows the cause of the death of Grecil was a
gunshot wound in her head.
Grecils parents have filed murder case against the
Army unit involved in the incident with the Regional
Trial Court of Compostela Valley.

Pimentel said this is not the first time that
government troops have tagged children they had
mistakenly shot as child warriors of the New
Peoples Army.

He said the Salinlahi Foundation and Alliance for
Childrens Concern have recorded cases of 54 children
killed during military operations against rebels.

Most of these cases have remained unsolved and the
perpetrators have gone scot-free, Pimentel said.

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