The NPA resumed its investigation into Evelyn’s spying after Ka Emong, her former husband, was abducted by the military in 2009 in Panabo City, Sanchez said.
“After a prima facie case was established, an order of her arrest together with several others involved in the killing of Danilo and the capture of Ka Emong and Ka Parago was issued” in February 2009, Sanchez said. They were eventually tried and sentenced in absentia by the “people’s court.”
Sanchez noted that the operation by the NPA’s local command to carry out the sentence, which he said had been upheld by the Regional Party Committee of the NPA, “was underway when the abduction, rape, torture and killing of Rebelyn Pitao happened.” Rebelyn was the daughter of Parago; she was abducted on March 4 and was found dead the next day. Parago blamed the military for her death. One of those allegedly involved in Rebelyn’s murder was shot dead on May 3 by assassins of the NPA.
Sanchez denounced the AFP for involving the relatives of combatants in its campaign against the NPA.
“We take this occasion to expose that, as a matter of fact, the AFP has long utilized all possible foul means in its military intelligence operations versus the revolutionary forces,” Sanchez said.
“One such dirty tactic is directed against family members and close relatives of revolutionaries who are targeted by the AFP. Under pain of sustained harassment and increasing threats as well as of arbitrary arrests, forcible abductions, involuntary disappearances and killings, family members and close relatives of revolutionaries are being pressured to work as intelligence assets and agents of the AFP,” Sanchez said.
“Many have fallen victims while out of the few who have succumbed, some later willfully performed intelligence duties with the enemy. Evelyn Pitao was one such case.”
Sanchez also said that a “tactical operational error” had occurred that resulted in the death of Evelyn’s live-in partner, Roberto Dadula. His death, he said, “should not have been resorted to since he was not a target nor did his resistance take place in an armed manner and, thus, posed no threat to the NPA team.”
Sanchez said “appropriate measures are being undertaken to continuously address this distressing concern and implement the NPA rules on the matter in accordance with the international humanitarian law.”
Officials of the human-rights group Karapatan, when contacted today, said they did not know of the NPA’s admission of responsibility for Evelyn’s death. Kelly Delgado of Karapatan Southern Mindanao had alerted Bulatlat about Evelyn’s murder on May 25, two days after the shooting.
The NPA, which has been fighting a Maoist revolution for more than three decades now, often resorts to the assassination of individuals who have “blood debts” against the movement. (Bulatlat.com)