DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA) in the region accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of killing its leader, contrary to a military report of an encounter in the Davao del Norte province.
NPA- Compostela Valley-North Davao-South Agusan Sub-Regional Command spokesperson Aris Francisco, in a statement, identified its killed member as Marjun “Ka Hiker” Casal, 36.
AFP Eastern Mindanao Command earlier said that “Ka Hiker” was killed in a brief skirmish in Brgy. Kapatagan, Laak after “resisting” arrest from personnel from 10th Infantry Division and Laak police in Nov. 27.
The military said that “Hiker” was the deputy secretary of CPP-NPA’s sub-regional committee 4, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.
It added that he has six warrants of arrest for charges of murder, attempted murder, rebellion, serious illegal detention, double murder, and double frustrated murder.
But the NPA bared that “Hiker” was on medical leaving and still recovering from an ear operation when he was reported missing in Tagum City on Nov. 13.
Two weeks later, NPA added, a convoy of military and civilian vehicles of 60th Infantry Battalion entered Block 3, Purok 20 in Brgy. Kapatagan, and gunfire was heard by residents.
The NPA said that “eyewitnesses” were told by the military that the NPA leader was killed in a “shootout” in the area.
Residents who retrieved the Hiker’s body, however, said his body was already “stiff and cold” and bore marks of torture.
The group also said that military also arrested a barangay leader and another civilian in nearby Purok Tadok, accusing them of being NPA members.
The NPA honored ” Ka Hiker” for his “unwaving resolve to serve the masses and the revolutionary cause for close to 18 years.”
The group also said that he assisted several NPA prisoners of war, including Pfc. Nino Alavaro and Pfc. Marjon Añover, who were turned over to former Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in November 2015.
“Ka Hiker’s murder in the hands of the fascist enemy, contrary to the trite delusions of the AFP leadership in the 10th Infantry Division and the Eastern Mindanao Command, will not stem the tide of armed revolutionary resistance in the provinces he served in or in the entire Southern Mindanao,” the NPA said.
Also, the NPA said that it will render “revolutionary justice” to the murder of Ka Hiker. (davaotoday.com)