MANILA – Human rights group Karapatan-Negros condemned the killing of farmer Jose Gonzales who was earlier reported as missing.
The group reported that on Jan. 8, unidentified men claiming to be members of the New People’s Army approached Marialyn Sabanal, daughter of Gonzales, and her husband.
They were looking for Gonzales, and asked for a sack that they reportedly asked him to keep for them.
Later in the evening, Sabanal said there were men who retrieved the sack. Gun shots were later heard but Sabanal dismissed it, thinking that they were merely setting off fireworks
The following day, Gonzales was nowhere to be seen.
Three days later, Karapatan – Negros said soldiers belonging to the 94th Infantry Battalion paraded his body, portraying him as a rebel killed in a supposed encounter in sitio Malikoliko, barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan in the early morning of Jan. 9.
Karapatan-Negros, however, said no encounter took place on the said date.
“There is no truth to the allegations of the military that he is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), as vouched by his family members,” the group said in a statement.
Colonel Michael Samson, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade, claims that Gonzales is an NPA member and he was killed in an encounter with NPA’s Mount Cansermon Command. However, the said rebels deny the military’s claim and asserted that no such encounter has transpired.
“This is another gross tactic of the military to disguise themselves as part of the NPA to absolve themselves of their war crimes,” Karapatan-Negros said.
“We demand justice and accountability from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who continue to harass, intimidate and murder innocent civilians in their bloodthirsty quest for so-called peace and order,” they added. Reposted by