Duterte dares NPA: Make public penalty imposed on rebel attackers-A A +A
Sunday, September 16, 2012
DAVAO CITY -- Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the New People's Army (NPA) should make public the punishment to its members who perpetrated the grenade attack in Paquibato District that wounded 48 civilians.
Duterte welcomed the decision of the NPA to discipline the rebels involved in the attack in Barangay Fatima last September 1.
"(That will) test the sincerity of the NPA, because a lot of people are expecting to hear the actions taken by the group. This will be a positive step and I hope that for the sake of transparency, they will also tell us what they did or what was meted out as a punishment for that incident in Paquibato," Duterte said Sunday.
The NPA's First Pulang Bagani Company was earlier reported as responsible for the attack.
But in a press statement released last September 7, Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson for the NPA's Merardo Arce Command, said the group takes full responsibility for the attack.
Sanchez said they are "standing firm for justice and truth and that their organization will conduct a disciplinary action on their members who were behind the incident."
The NPA earlier said it made a wrong decision in initiating a tactical offensive against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) detachment located near the village’s covered court where a carnival was going on.
Duterte said it would be a positive step for the NPA to place their members behind the attack to disciplinary action.
"It is a positive step and I am quite aware of some incidents before, that the NPA is operating beyond the acceptable norm of warfare as prescribed by the Geneva Convention," the vice mayor said.
Duterte also called on the NPA to make true to its promise to indemnify victims of the grenade explosion.
"That is not a very hard thing to do since all those who want to assist can convene anytime and perhaps agree even within 15 minutes how to do it. For after all, this is not the first time such incident happened in the area," Duterte said.
Brigadier General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division and chair of the Government's Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities, said if the NPA is sincere on the peace negotiation, they have to surrender their members who were behind the incident. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 17, 2012.