Sun, 02 Apr 2023

BACOLOD CITY - The top official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Visayas has vowed to seek justice for the series of killings recently perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in Negros Island.

Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the Visayas Command (Viscom), issued the statement after at least five persons died as of Friday due to summary executions.

"Rest assured the perpetrators of these horrible acts will be held accountable. We will further intensify our efforts to achieve justice for our people and put an end to the CPP-NPA's menace in the region," Arevalo said in a statement.

The Viscom chief, who was previously the commander of the Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Western and Central Visayas, denounced the "barbaric acts" of the CPP-NPA anew.

"They have once again displayed their murderous nature to terrorize and instill fear on the peace-loving communities in the region," he added.

Arevalo, who was in Negros Occidental earlier this week for the turnover of command at the 303rd Infantry Brigade in Murcia town, said he instructed the brigade and battalion commanders to address these incidents.

"We have no reason not to solve these. I want to see the results of their operations in the coming period. I already told the battalion commanders to really check these kinds of atrocities," he added.

The CPP-NPA in Negros Island had earlier claimed responsibility for the killings that all happened in January this year.

Records showed that Cerilo Balasabas, a village councilman, and Raffy Estorco, were found dead on Jan. 14 and 19 in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental and Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, respectively.

On Jan. 23, Ramel Europa was shot dead in Sitio Sambag, Barangay Manghanoy, La Castellana, and on Jan. 25, Regie "Gang Gang" de la Cruz was also killed in Sitio Maiti, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, both in Negros Occidental.

The latest victim, Silas Granada, was shot outside his house in Sitio Tugas, Barangay Pinggot in Ilog, Negros Occidental on Jan. 28.

"These cold-blooded murders are manifestations of the CPP-NPA's complete disregard to the lives of our people just to advance their terroristic goal," Arevalo said. (PNA)

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