Army slams Anakpawis representative

THE Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division (ID) slammed Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao for his unproven accusations against the government soldiers allegedly being behind the abuses and killings in Compostela Valley.

The 10th ID challenged Casilao to present evidences to ascertain the veracity of his claims.

"The 10th Infantry Division takes a very strong exception on the statement of Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao accusing the AFP of being responsible for several alleged killings and demanding the pull-out of our troops in Compostela Valley Province," 10th ID spokesperson Captain Rhyan Batchar said in a press statement he issued after Casilao demanded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to immediately withdraw its troops in Compostella Valley province following the death of Federico "Pande" Plaza, a Lumad farmer-activist and a village indigenous people representative of Poblacion in Maragusan, Compostela Valley.

Plaza was reportedly shot dead by an unidentified person on May 3.

Casilao blamed the military as responsible for the killing.

"As we have always said, we call on the good Congressman and all others who are making allegations against our units and troops to file the appropriate complaints in the proper investigating government agencies and courts," Batchar added.

He also urged those who cited rogue soldiers to appear before the court and testify to clear their ranks and not resort to black propaganda against the soldiers.

"We will be very grateful to those who will bring formal complaints against any of our erring officers and personnel as this will help us purge our ranks of misfits and abusive personnel," he said.

"We call on Casilao to go beyond mouthing the usual propaganda of the communists against the AFP and instead bring these alleged abusive soldiers before the bar of justice," he said.

The military, he said, is willing to support if their claims was proven true as they do not tolerate such unlawful acts. He added that they should present the alleged victims and bring the case before the court instead of maligning the name of the whole AFP organization and the government as a whole.

"Nevertheless, we shall also conduct thorough investigations on these allegations within our mandate and authority. We will not allow our organization to be instruments of any unlawful act. We do not condone any wrongdoings of our soldiers and we ask the people to help us purge our ranks of misfits," he said.
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