A WATCHMAN in Barangay Carol-an, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental was shot to death by five unidentified armed men believed to be members of the New People's Army (NPA) in the said village on Tuesday, January 29.
Killed was identified as Cornelio Morales, 40.
Superintendent Jonel Guadalupe, city police chief, said Morales was resting in a waiting shed, a few meters away from their house, after he came from a farm, along with his wife, when the assailants passed by.
Armed with long firearms, the perpetrators went to his house and looked for him.
When they saw him from afar, they approached him, talked to him, and frisked him.
They then allegedly fired at him at close range and fled on foot while reportedly identifying themselves as NPAs.
Police recovered from the scene fired bullets and slugs of M16 rifle and AK47, which considered to be high-powered firearms.
The victim succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds.
Guadalupe said Morales was targeted as he was probably mistaken to be an “informant” to the government forces.
He said the five assailants were already identified based on the station's rogue's gallery.
Murder charges will be filed against them.
Lieutenant Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, in a press release, said: “I condemn this criminal and barbaric act of the NPA against an unarmed civilian.”
This is a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law which states that civilians together with their property shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property shall not be the object of attack, he added.
Dacoscos is calling for the support of the people to stop NPA atrocities and human rights violations by reporting any information on their activities and whereabouts.
Meanwhile, Major General Dinoh Dolina, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, slammed the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA terrorists for destroying the future of a rebel returnee, who admitted that he was only 17 years old when the communist terrorist group recruited him to become a fighter.
The CPP-NPA terrorists have no right to recruit civilians especially minors, Dolina said.
The communist terrorist group also blatantly and have always violated the provisions of Republic Act 7610 also known as Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, which states that children shall not be recruited by other armed groups, nor be allowed to take part in the fighting, or used as guide, couriers, or spies, Dolina stressed.
They are not legitimate armed forces, they are cold-blooded criminals, he said.
“We encourage the parents to be wary and watchful on the whereabouts and activities of their children for they are the vulnerable targets of the recruitment strategy of the CPP-NPA Terrorist and its support groups,” he said.
Earlier, the rebel returnee revealed that he is a member of NPA’s Squad 1, Sentro de Grabidad Platoon, Central Negros operating in Guihulngan City, and part of the group that staged harassment against the troops of 94th Infantry Battalion conducting Community Support Program in Barangay Tacpao on January 19.
He is the living proof of CPP-NPA Terrorist’s fabricated stories. His revelations set us free from the lies and deceptions of the communist terrorist group, Dolina said.
The Army assured the rebel returnee of his safety after he recently left the armed struggle.