DAVAO -- The New People's Army (NPA) confirmed on Saturday that it was the one behind the abduction and execution of a town mayor and his son in Butuan City last October 19.
A statement furnished by the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Southern Mindanao to Sun.Star Davao revealed that NPA groups from North Central Mindanao and Compostela Valley-Davao-Agusan Sub-Regional command were given green light to kill former NPA commander and Loreto, Agusan del Sur Mayor Dario Otaza and his son, Daryl.
The NPA-SMRC spokesperson Rigoberto F. Sanchez said that Otaza and his son were both guilty of constituting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and committed other human rights violation.
Sanchez also dragged the victims into several crimes, including murder and frustrated murder of lumads in Agusan del Sur, arson, robbery, creation of paramilitary group, and espionage, among others.
"In refusing to rectify to reform to non-violent civilian governance, they continued to employ and arm paramilitary and bagani troops to secure and fortify their oppressive and bureaucrat-capitalist rule," Sanchez said in the statement.
The NPA rebels, who disguised as National Bureau of Investigation operatives, raided Otaza's house, subdued the mayor's security personnel and seized four bushmasters rifles, one AK-2000, and two .45 caliber pistols last October 19.
The NPA-SMRC commended the successful operation of the two sub-regional commands.
Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson for the 4th Infantry Division (ID), said that military troops have been conducting pursuit operations against the NPA rebels.
"Mayor Otaza has been instrumental for maintaining the peace and order situation in Loreto. He has been considered as a role model by his fellow local chief executives for his effort and initiatives for the development of Loreto," Martinez said in the vernacular.
The slain mayor was a former NPA commander but he surrendered and had been advocating against armed struggle, welcoming a total of 154 NPA rebels back to the government side.
Joint operation conducted by both the Caraga police and 4th ID against the NPA rebels is still ongoing.
A total of 19 NPA rebels who are responsible for the death of Otaza and his son are facing charges for kidnapping, robbery, and murder before the City Prosecutor's Office in Butuan. (Sun.Star Davao)