DAVAO TODAY — After the New Peoples Army (NPA) admitted their mistake in the February 2 killing of Davao businessman Vicente Ferrazini, the family of the slain businessman asked the Communist rebels to leave Davao and the entire family in peace.
“We love Davao! This is our cry,” the Ferrazinis said in an emailed message, “We hope that you bring those responsible to justice and leave Davao and Centing’s family in peace.”
Barely two weeks after the armed rebel group owned up to the killing of Ferrazini, the Communist rebel group admitted that the killing was a mistake.
“As a matter of self-criticism, we apologize to the family of Mr. Vicente Ferrazini as well as to the people in general for this highly regrettable occurrence,” Rigoberto Sanchez, NPA spokesperson, said in a statement, “Statement of Self-Criticism on the Ferrazini Killing.”
Ferrazini, 44, was shot near A. Pichon Street (formerly Magallanes Street) on February 2, this year and died of gunshot wounds two days later. In its earlier statement, the NPA said that Ferrazini–whose family owned Merco’s chain of cake and ice cream shops–was an enemy supplying funds, logistics and intelligence to the military.
But in a statement released to the media this week, the NPA retracted its claim. Sanchez said that the Southern Mindanao committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Merardo Arce Command looked into the killing to clear doubts and looked into the people’s reaction, inside and outside the “revolutionary movement.”
Sanchez said that the results of the investigation showed that the “grounds on which a lower unit command of New People’s Army based their decision against Ferrazini were not enough to warrant the penalty of death.”
Sanchez also said that decision of the Ka Paking Guimbaolibot Red Partisan Brigade (KPGRPB) was found “incorrect.”
“Consistent with the principles, laws and policies on revolutionary justice, the SMRPC and the MAC currently undertaking appropriate and necessary courses of action related to this grievous incident,” Sanchez said. “We are prepared to make an indemnification for this and are open to meet and talk with the Ferrazini family.”
But in their message, “Love Letter to the NPA,” the Ferrazinis said that “all along, they knew that Ferrazini’s death was a mistake.”
“We couldn’t find even the faintest reason for his demise,” the letter said. “We have known the NPA to be “freedom fighters,” we all want freedom–oppression, aggression, corruption, red tape, most of all, we want freedom to walk the streets of Davao and enjoy our farm in Catigan.”
The Ferrazinis recalled that Centing, as Ferrazini was fondly called by those close to him, loved the Catigan farm and planted it with trees. “He put a lot of effort into making it not only productive but also providing livelihood for some of the people in the area,” the letter said.
The letter said that their greatest consolation would be to be left in peace and to enjoy their farm alone.
“Centing’s death has to mean much more to us than an end,” the Ferrazinis said. “If his death is an end to his life of helpfulness and purpose, an end to our freedom to walk the streets of Davao and an end of our freedom to enjoy the beauty and harvest of our farm, then his death is truly senseless.”
“But if his death leads to peace, we will embrace it. That will be the biggest and brightest consolation, the only thing that can comfort us in our distress.”
“Even as we long to believe that there will be peace, no one can actually guarantee our safety, can you?” As you prepare to “indemnify” this “grievous incident” are you capable of making this a safer place for us?”
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier was enraged of the killing, did not comment after the NPA’s apology. Earlier, he said, that Ferrazini did not incur a “blood debt” and did not deserve to be killed. He also said that Ferrazini was “unarmed.” (Germelina Lacorte/davaotoday.com)