Ambush-massacre victims buried-A A +A
Monday, February 4, 2013
EIGHT victims of the La Castellana ambush were buried last Saturday and Sunday but their families continued to condemn the New People's Army (NPA), which already admitted to committing the massacre.
Buried Saturday in Barangay Cabacungan, La Castellana town were civilian victims Ramir Complesa, Joselito Lucban, Virginia Ordonez, Tiotimo Esplegera and Enrique Dingcong.
In an audio statement emailed to the media, NPA spokesperson JB Regalado blamed the policemen on board the civilian Canter truck as the first to have fired, allegedly prompting the rebels to fire back, not knowing there were civilians on board.
Regalado said the NPA is willing to get in touch individually with and pay damages to the bereaved families of slain innocent civilians.
But a widow of one the victims who requested not to be named expressed disappointment on the NPA's statement, saying she could not accept any money from the rebels as payment for the death of her husband.
She said the life of her husband has no cash counterpart.
Gema Dingcong, wife of Enrique Dingcong who drove the Canter truck, also condemned the attack and the manner her husband and other victims were shot on the head "to finish them off," quoting the perpetuators.
She said the P9,000 cash in his husband's wallet, which they are supposed to use for downpayment of a motorcycle, was lost during the ambush.
Colonel Oscar T. Lactao, commander of the Army's 303rd Infantry Brigade, also scored the monetary payment of the NPA rebels.
"It is not about money. We are talking about here. It is about the loss of a loved one, of the victims' right to live, and it is about justice," he said.
"If they (NPA) just pay damages to the victims' families, will this justify that they can kill people unarmed and just compensate them with money?" he asked.
Lactao added that the Army and police in Negros will continue to work hard and solicit local government, non-government and private individuals' support for the victims’ families.
"We are very willing to support and assist all initiatives that will help bring justice to the victims and alleviate the sufferings of their families," he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 05, 2013.