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JTF Bicolandia condemns killing of vendors in Masbate

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur --The Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia condemned in the strongest term the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) for perpetrating the wicked killing of three innocent vendors in Brgy. Miabas, Palanas, Masbate.

The victims were identified as Jose Lalaguna- 51, Joey Lalaguna – 30, and Jestoni Lalaguna, 22.

According to the report, on August 14 at around 7 o'clock in the morning, the victims were on board their motorcycles together with two others to sell mirrors, floormats, and speakers when they were flagged down by at least 20 heavily armed communist NPA terrorists (CNTs).

The CNTs under Rogelio Suson AKA Manong, terrorist leader of Platoon 1, Larangan 2, Komiteng Probinsya 4, forcibly conducted body search before dragging the victims to a secluded area where they were ruthlessly executed.

Two of them, on the other hand, managed to escape.

Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB), said that they are now in close coordination with the PNP to hunt down the fleeing communist insurgents.

One of the slain vendors in Masbate believed to be perpetrated by the CTG. (Photo credits: 9ID)

"Hindi tayo titigil hangga't hindi natin nahuhuli at napaparusahan ang mga walang kaluluwang gumawa ng karumal-dumal na krimeng ito (We will not stop until we put those responsible for the killing behind bars)," Lt. Col. Awichen added.

Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, warned the CTG members responsible for the killing to surrender as they can never hide from the security forces' on-going pursuit operations.

"There is no way you can run from us. Maliban sa mga otoridad na humahabol sa inyo, tiyak na ituturo kayo ng mga Masbateño upang mabigyang hustisya ang ginawa ninyo sa kanilang mga kababayan (Except for the authorities who are running after you, we are certain that Masbatenos will show us where you are to give justice to their townmates)," Col. Almase said.

Meanwhile, MGEN HENRY A ROBINSON JR PA, Commander of JTF Bicolandia rebuked the CTG for its terroristic attack against the innocent civilians who, unlike them, were making a living legally for their families.

"Hindi pa nga humuhupa ang galit ng sambayanang Pilipino lalo na ng mga Masbateño sa CTG dahil sa pamamaslang nila sa football player na si Kieth at sa tiyuhin niyang si Nolven Absalon, may tatlong inosenteng sibilyan na naman na walang awang pinatay ng mga teroristang ito. These crimes are purely desperate acts to threaten

 the people using terrorism. Pero hindi nila basta-basta matatakot ang mga Pilipino, sapagkat gising na tayo sa katotohanan at hindi na natin hahayaan na manaig uli ang mga terroristang ito at magpatuloy ang mahigit limang dekadang pananamantala nila sa atin. To all  Masbateños, let us continue the fight. Huwag ninyong hayaang bastusin ang inyong lugar ng mga kriminal na ito. Hahanapin natin sila kahit saan man sila magtago (The anger that the Filipinos felt towards the CTG when they killed Kieth, the football player and his cousin Nolven Absalon has not subsided yet and now, the CTG killed another 3 innocent civilians. These crimes are purely desperate acts to threaten the people using terrorism, but this will not intimidate the Filipino people. We will not allow them to continue their five-decade exploitation and atrocities.  To all Masbatenos, let us continue the fight. Let us not allow these criminals to malign this place. We will look for them in all nooks and corners, and will not allow them to hide)," MGen. Robinson said.

JTF Bicolandia emphasized that with the recent incident, the CTG again violated the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity. (Source:Division Public Affairs Office/Cpt. JP Belleza) 

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Ana-liza Macatangay

Regional Editor

Region 5

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