LEGAZPI CITY --- The Romulo Jallores Command (RJC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) has condemned the killing of five farmers in an alleged encounter with government forces in a remote village in Bulan, Sorsogon on Friday (May 8) morning.
The military tagged the five individuals who were slain as communist rebels.
Raymundo Buenfuerza, RJC spokesperson, in a press statement on Sunday (May 10) has accused the military and police forces for committing acts against human rights for the death of the five farmers.
He said the incident last Friday was a “massacre” where the military even planted high powered assault rifles and ammunition to justify their atrocities.
He denied accusation of the military that the farmers were members of the communist group.
Buenfuerza claimed that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the military has launched the Synchronized Military and Police Operation (SEMPO) against the rebel movement, where kidnappings, killings, arsons take place in remote villages in Bicol.
Meanwhile, MGen. Fernando Trinidad, commanding officer of the Army 9th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) chief, on Monday, May 11, has clarified that the incident that happened in Barangay Dolos in Bulan, Sorogon was indeed a legitimate encounter contrary to the NPA-RJC accusation that it was a “massacre.”
The Army categorically denied the accusation of a massacre. The police and Army troops were serving a warrant of arrest to a certain Golima, a suspected NPA facing charges for murder, when the incident happened, Trinidad said.
“I would like to inform the Bicolanos to be wary of the misinformation being spread by the NPA purposely to discredit the police and the military,” he said.
In a press statement, Trinidad said the suspected NPA rebels killed were: Jaime Tañada alias Ame, 54; Reymond Tañada aka Monding, 39; Jerry Palanca aka Ben, 31; Jerick Buno, 30; and Roberto Villafuerte aka Furgoso, 21, all members of Larangan 2, Komiteng Probinsya 3 of the Bicol Regional Party Commitee (BRPC).
The recovered high-powered firearms and subversive documents are proofs of their continuous lawless activities that has affected lives of innocent civilians and surrounding communities, he said.