Karapatan demands probe on 'massacre'

Karapatan demands probe on 'massacre'
SunStar File

CAUSE-ORIENTED group Karapatan Central Visayas has urged an independent investigation into the deaths of five suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Bilar, Bohol on Friday, February 23, 2024.

One of the fatalities, Hannah Cesista, who passed the 2022 Bar examinations, was Karapatan Central Visayas’ former field investigator and paralegal.

“We call for an independent investigation of this gruesome incident given the propensity of state security units to summarily execute suspects under the guise of its worn-out ‘nanlaban’ narrative,” the group said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Sunday, February 25.

“We can never put faith in the narratives proliferated by state forces, whose legacy has consistently revolved around deceit and fabrication,” it added.

Karapatan Central Visayas said “reports reaching us from the residents of the site echo the assertion that the victims were all accosted alive” by personnel of the 47th Infantry Battalion and Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO).

Aside from Cesista, the other fatalities were Domingo Jaspe Compoc, identified by police as the NPA’s top leader in Bohol; Parlito Segovia, Marlon Omosura, and an individual only known as Juaning.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) issued a statement on Saturday, February 24, on its online portal, Philippine Revolution Web Central, saying the five individuals were tortured and massacred by government troopers.

CPP identified the fifth individual as Alberto Sancho, and Parlito Segovia as Parlito Historia.

According to CPP, a photo of Compoc captured alive has circulated on social media.

Police’s statement

However, BPPO information officer Lt. Col. Norman Nuez denied the allegations. He said one of the two police officers who were hit in the gunfight died, and that government forces retaliated after being fired upon first. They were about to serve warrants of arrest to Compoc when the clash happened.

Compoc had a bounty of P2.6 million for criminal cases including robbery, homicide, attempted homicide, multiple murder, attempted murder and rebellion.

Meanwhile, the remains of Cesista, Omosura, Compoc and Segovia were claimed by their relatives on Saturday. Cesista’s father claimed her remains, which will be brought to their home province in Samar.

Nuez said Cesista came to Bilar because she was in a relationship with Omosura, and that Compoc’s group was conducting mass recruitment of civilians to join its cause.


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