Silence of human rights groups on ambush ‘deafening’-A A +A
Thursday, January 31, 2013
COLONEL Oscar Lactao, commander of the 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army, noted what he described as “deafening silence” from militant human rights groups despite the fact that eight civilians were killed in a massacre in Barangay Puso, La Castellana town.
Lactao issued this statement as he welcomed the announcement from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that it will investigate the incident.
"However, I hear a deafening silence from other groups and organizations advocating human rights," he said.
"If they are true to their selves and to their advocacy, they will do what is necessary," added Lactao, apparently referring to the condemnation that he expects from the professed human rights activists.
Lactao said that like his counterparts in the police as well as key government officials, Army officials are still waiting for a statement from the New People's Army (NPA) on the incident.
The NPA has been tagged as responsible for the ambush-massacre, which happened last January 27.
Lactao admitted that he himself did not conclude immediately that it was the NPA rebels who were behind the massacre, but said all indications point to the communist rebels as the assailants.
"Apparently, they have turned into terrorists from being revolutionaries," he said.
On reports that the assailants were armed with AK-47 rifles, Lactao said the firearm is commercially available, thus it is not surprising that the perpetuators have it in their possession.
Empty shells of the said firearm were recovered by police and civilians in the crime scene.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 01, 2013.