PNP chief maintains regularity of Bilar, Bohol operation

PNP chief maintains regularity of Bilar, Bohol operation
Photo from 3rd Infantry "Spearhead" Division, Philippine Army

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. maintained on Monday, February 26, 2024, the regularity of the operation in Bilar, Bohol last week that resulted in the death of five suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

In a press conference, Acorda said that based on reports from the Central Visayas police, the encounter happened between police personnel and suspected NPA rebels in Bilar, Bohol on Friday, February 23, 2024 during the service of arrest warrant against Domingo Jaspe Compoc, the top leader of the NPA insurgents in the province.

Compoc, along with four other suspected NPA rebels identified as Hannah Cesista, who served as former field investigator and paralegal of cause-oriented group Karapatan; Parlito Segovia; Marlon Omosura; and an individual only known as Juaning, was killed during the operation.

Police Corporal Gilbert Amper was also killed during the gunfight while another cop was wounded.

“Based on [reports] we have received from our regional office, there was an encounter. It was a legitimate encounter. In fact, it was very unfortunate that one of our police force died and one wounded. Siguro naman parang masyadong kuwan na yon if we will sacrifice one life of our personnel and wounding another one just to draw an encounter,” said Acorda.

“Nevertheless, if there are complaints, we are open for investigation but based on the report, it’s a legitimate operation. In fact, it’s an intelligence driven operation and an implementation of a warrant of arrest…So far, with the report of the police regional office, there is no irregularity,” he added.

Earlier, Karapatan Central Visayas called for an independent investigation on the operation, as it claimed that what happened to the five “victims” was a “massacre.”

It noted that based on the accounts of the residents in the area, the five were accosted alive.

“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,” Karapatan said in a statement.

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


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