THE New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao claimed the responsibility over the death of a tribe leader who hailed from Davao City last Saturday.

In a statement issued to the media, the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command (SMROC) lauded the NPA First Pulang Bagani for carrying out the standing order of the People’s Revolutionary Court (PRC) issued to them.

NPA-SMROC spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez said the standing order of the people’s court was to provide justice against Datu Ruben Labawan.

Labawan has been the target of the NPA since the 1990s.

Labawan, who hailed from Paquibato District in Davao City, was riding a motorcycle driven by Romeo Tanio Escosar, when they were ambushed by five armed men in Barangay Gredu in Panabo City around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Sanchez said the government troops with Labawan’s Alamara and other paramilitaries at their heels committed the most barbaric acts of war crimes around the region.

”Labawan was guilty of blood debts and thereby meted with the death penalty for serious crimes against the people, especially the Lumads and peasant settlers of Davao City and North Cotabato," Sanchez said.

He added that Labawan was also guilty of grave acts of collusion in the reactionary regime's campaign of duplicity and disunity among Lumads.

Sanchez said Labawan was conscripted as an intelligence operative for Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), specializing in the implementation of the National Internal and Security Plan for Indigenous People.

”He had been a fanatic implementer of a counter-revolutionary military campaigns that resulted to numerous deaths, displacement, suffering and hardships of the Lumad and peasant masses of Davao City and North Cotabato,” he said.

Sanchez also said that Labawan conspired with Army's 69th Infantry Battalion in a massacre in Paquibato in 2015 that killed Datu Ruben Enlog and farmers Randy Carnasa and Oligario Quimbo.

Labawan was also an active organizer of the Alamara of the AFP and threatened helpess lumads of violent retaliation in order to force them to enlist in the paramilitary group, Sanchez said.

He added that Labawan, along with the troops of the 69th Infantry Battalion and 72nd Infantry Battalion, coerced 70 lumads to join the Cafgu and tagged those who resisted as supporters of the NPA.

Sanchez said the People's Democratic Government through the people’s court ruled that human rights violators and other enemies of the people must no longer be allowed to inflict further harm against innocent civilians.

In the exercise of revolutionary justice, Ruben Labawan has been made accountable for the heinous crimes he committed against the Filipino people, Sanchez said.