By Diego Wadagan
Spokesperson, Agustin Begnalen Command (NPA-Abra)
The Agustin Begnalen Command condemns insinuations made by Col. Loreto Magundayao, commander of the Civil Military Batallion of the 5th Infantry Division (ID) Philippine Army, that the New People’s Army mutilated the body of Private First Class (Pfc) Joel Soria, 28 years, from Quirino, Naguilian, Isabela.
The said soldier was slain in an NPA ambush in Barangay Lenneng, Baay-Licuan, Abra on 30 October 2010. It was said that the face of Pfc Soria was not viewed during the wake because it was riddled with bullets and slashed with bolos.
The New People’s Army strictly adheres to international conventions and rules of war and strictly implements the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CAHRIHL), jointly signed and agreed upon by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The NPA also has its own Rules and Regulations, strictly followed by all its units, officers, and Red Fighters. The NPA did not slash the face of Pfc Soria, and if ever bullets hit his face, it was a result of a legitimate gunbattle.
On the other hand, it is the AFP and the Philippine National Police's practice to mutilate the bodies of slain NPA guerillas and kill those who were rendered “hors de combat” (captured or wounded and incapable of fighting back). Such were the cases of Antonio “Ka Leyap” Licawen, Brandon “Ka Tub-on” Ginaban, Sammy Rey “Ka Cholo” Cayago, and Magno “Ka Braga” Ayabo.
We sympathize with the relatives of those slain in battle, especially with the widow of Pfc Soria, whose married life was cut short with the death of her husband. Such is also the case when we mourn with the relatives of slain comrades killed in legitimate battles, or comrades and civilians arrested, tortured and killed by the AFP, PNP, and other covert terrorist groups of the fascist machineries of the state.
We call on relatives of AFP and PNP personnel and applicants to dissuade them from serving the interests of the oppressors and exploiters of the Filipino people, and instead join the legitimate struggle of the Filipino people for genuine national freedom and democracy.