A MURDER case was already filed against the three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) under Guerilla Front 34, for the brutal execution of a tribal leader in Davao del Norte last Sunday, December 17.
Davao del Norte Provincial Police Director Police Senior Superintendent Allan Manibog said the case was filed on Tuesday, December 19, by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against the suspects behind the killing of Datu Benandao Maugan, 59, tribal leader of Ata-Manobo tribe, at Sitio Luno-luno, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
He succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds. The suspects were identified as Bugat Matog alias "Masoc"; Renard Catarata alias "Tata"; and Rene Catarata alias "Gilbert."
The 10th Infantry Division - Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief, Captain Jerry Lamosao, said the troops are now conducting focused military operations with the information provided by the witnesses.
“Hopefully, sa lalong madaling panahon we could bring justice to the slain datu or chieftain,” Lamosao said.
Maugan was killed by the NPA for alleged corruption in front of his people in the village. Lamosao said the rebels' accusation is not true and that they were merely justifying their crime.
"We believe the victim is innocent and this is just part of the propaganda of the terrorist group NPA," Lamoso said.
Based on the police report, around 1 p.m., Sunday, around 60 armed men under Guerilla Front 34 gathered and forced the Lumads to attend their meeting and then when Maugan arrived he was blocked by this group.
Maugan was hogtied, blindfolded, and then peppered with bullets by two rebels in front of the horrified villagers.
The rebels also announced other names that they intend to execute for alleged crimes.