SECURITY forces lambasted the Gabriela Women’s Party for claiming that police brutally killed a suspect in an operation, calling the allegations as "malicious imputation" against them.
Cindy Tirado Libot, alias Jill, 28, an alleged deputy secretary of Guerilla Front 2-Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) of the New People's Army (NPA), was killed on April 15 in Purok 3-A, Barangay Canocotan, Tagum City, Davao del Norte in a police operation.
In a statement posted on Gabriela’s Facebook page, the group condemned the death of Libot as “brutal and inhumane display of macho-fascism.”
Alongside with the post is a graphic containing a quote of Emma Tirado, the mother of Libot, from a report of Inquirer Mindanao.
It said, "I saw her genitals shattered with a bullet, and her arms were fractured. How could they do that when she is a woman? They should have arrested her and filed charges for her offenses. If she was hit and still alive, they could have let her live and give her a fair trial."
Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao Director Marcelo Morales denied Gabriela's accusation and said they uphold women’s and human rights in all their operations.
“We vehemently deny the allegations of the group, Gabriela Women's Party, on the circumstance surrounding the death of Cindy Tirado Libot,” Morales said.
“For the fact, all the allegations were untrue and only implied ‘malicious imputation’ against us. We always safeguard and protect the human rights of everyone, especially the rights of women,” he added.
He said the operation was a legitimate one, conducted with the 71st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. He said they served the arrest warrant against Jay Mendoza, executive commander of Guerilla Front, Sub-Regional Committee 2-SMRC, and his comrades, including Tirado, for the crimes of murder.
During the service of the warrant of arrest, the suspects did not submit themselves and fired at the operating team. But Mendoza and his comrades managed to escape, abandoning Libot's body.
Recovered in the area were an improvised landmine, one M16 Rifle Elisco, improvised tooter, two empty sachets containing residue of substance believed to be shabu, 10 fired cartridge cases of M16, and one piece of camouflage lady short pants.
“It is very clear that our troops would not have used force if there was no threat to their lives. It was an encounter and we do not control where the bullets will hit. According to her medico-legal, Libot was hit on her pelvic area and on her femur part, in contrast to the allegations of the family that her vagina was shattered by a bullet,” Morales said.
Not a single gunshot hit her private area as claimed by her mother. It added that the family also waived their recommendation to undergo her cadaver into an autopsy.
Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey, meanwhile, challenged Gabriela or the Tirado family to file charges against the government to determine if there were lapses on their part.