By MAGNO UDYAW
Spokesperson, NPA Leonardo Pacsi Command
NPA Mountain Province Provincial Operations Command
A special unit under the Leonardo Pacsi Command of the New People’s Army operating in the Mountain Province implemented the death sentence on Willie Degay, a native of Bangaan, Sagada, and an active agent of the Philippine National Police-Regional Intelligence Unit (PNP-RIU)-14.
For several years since 2006, Willie Degay continuously spearheaded intelligence operations against the revolutionary movement in the Province and the Cordillera region. He was able to build intelligence networks in Sagada and other towns, and duped numerous kailians (townmates) into joining his unwanted activities.
Willie Degay played a vital role in the numerous big military operations and campaigns launched by the 54th Infantry Battalion, 50th Infantry Battalion, Regional Public Safety Battalion, and other units under the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police under Oplan Bantay Laya II and the ongoing Oplan Bayanihan that have devastated and continue to wreak havoc on the lives and properties of the people of Mountain Province. Particularly, he served as a forward scout clearing the way for the Army and PNP in launching troop deployments in the municipalities of Bontoc, Sagada, Tadian and Besao, and other revolutionary areas in the Province.
He was able to build and sustain an intelligence network in the municipality of Sagada which serves the military and police in trying to monitor and strike units of the NPA, and harass legal mass leaders and activities. These activities of Degay resulted in numerous atrocities of the military and police in the said areas, and were instrumental in a number of strike operations where some combatants under the Leonardo Pacsi Command were killed. These are the main bases of the Revolutionary People’s Democratic Government in deciding his death sentence in 2008.
In addition to his counter-revolutionary activities, he indulged in bounty hunting through former members of the NPA and the revolutionary movement, and led operations for their capture and mock surrender in exchange for money and his rank promotion. Most notable of these operations are the cases of Joe Cawiding and Leticia Banasan in 2008, Grayson Naogsan in 2012, and the recent case of Corsio Ganima last year. Both Naogsan and Ganima are still languishing in jail.
Up to the time of his death, peasant masses and villagers of Sagada have continually forwarded to the NPA complaints and cases against Degay, and have longed for justice for a long time. Cases include his nefarious activities from victimizing his kailians in the trading of mine tailings from Pidlisan mines, harrassments of particular village mates in Bangaan, and physical threats to his neighbors.
The NPA, which serves as the armed implementing unit of the people’s government, strictly followed existing rules and guidelines in the conduct of its operations, and has extensively considered the indigenous sensitivities of the people of Sagada and the Province. In effect, the cumulative heavy weight of Willy Degay’s crimes call for the ultimate action of the NPA. Once again, we wish to clarify that units and individuals such as Intelligence officers and agents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP are legitimate targets of the NPA. Individuals and units are punished based upon the gravity of their crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement. This action of the LPC exemplifies the fact that the revolution metes out justice and punishes units and agents of the enemy who commit crimes against the people.