Aying Thumbs Down NPA Ambush Victory Claim

Major General Jon Aying, 3rd Infantry Division commander based in Jamindan, Capiz downplayed the claim of New People’s Army (NPA) that their ambush of Guihulngan City policemen in Sitio Mandi-i, Barangay Magsaysay, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental “was a victory for the people”.

In an interview with Sagay City-based Hapi Radio dyAG, Aying said their (NPA) claim that it was the victory of the people “is contradicting their own cause and motives”.

“How can they shout ‘Mabuhay ang NPA’ when there were lives lost and they claim victory? They refuse peace and still continue to hurt and kill civilians and even police officers tasked to maintain peace and order”, Aying said.

“How can they claim that they are behind the people’s cause when they continue extorting and harassing them in the mountain?,” Aying adds. He said the government has been inviting them to live peacefully and join the government in its pursuit for peace.

Last July 31, the NPA issued their official statement through its spokesperson, JB Regalado of the Leonardo Panaligan Command-New People’s Army Central Negros justifying their ambush on Guihulngan policermen.

The statement claims, it was a tactical offensive of the NPA against Guihulngan PNP and they are celebrating their “victory”.

They claim that the long overdue demands of the people to punish the police in Guihulngan have been achieved and that the mass base “anak balhas” is rejoicing.

The NPAs charge Guihulngan PNP of injustices against the people of the city and are allegedly responsible for many killings, torture, protecting of group of thieves, protector of illegal drugs and many others, the statement claimed.

The rebel group also said that the police committed illegal arrest (without warrants) and tortured to death Irol Vergara of Larena Street, Guihulngan in 2008. He was tortured by making him drink water until he was bloated and by putting cayenne pepper (sili) on his private parts and eyes until he died; the killing of his brother, Rolando Vergara in 2009 after he filed charges against a suspect in the killing and torture of his brother to police authorities; the killing of their father, Rolando, Sr., after he also filed cases in the killing of his two sons in 2010.

The NPAs also claimed that the police hired a killer against former Guihulngan councilor Cyrus Fat on February 12, 2014 in his residence; the massacre and burning of Barangay Kagawad Enrique Calago and wife Rosalie Calago of Barangay Tacpao on May 25, 2015.

It was also stated that the police accepted money from an individual who wanted to kill their enemy. Allegedly, the police are also protectors of druglords who supply shabu in Guihulngan and Cebu and are also are coddling thieves who ransacked groceries, including the Catholic church.

The ambush resulted to the killing of 6 policemen, including their police chief, Superintendent Arnel Arpon and the wounding three others.

Earlier that day, the bodyguard of City Councilor Edison de la Rita was killed in a separate ambush the reason they called the police to reinforce them but they too were ambushed.

The NPA also justified their getting the firearms and bullets of the victims that included, six M16 assault rifles; three M14 assault rifles, seven .9mm pistol; one .45 caliber and nine bandoliers with magazines and bullets of about 1,000 rounds and four cell phones.

They denied taking the money and watches of the victims.

They also justified the ambush because they are ‘legitimate military target’. *(Cyrus M. Garde)