Police yesterday filed murder and frustrated murder charges against 20 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels suspected to be behind the ambush of nine people in La Castellana, Negros Occidental last Jan. 27.
Senior Superintendent Celestino Guarra Jr., acting Negros Occidental Police Prov’l director, said they have filed nine counts of murder and 14 counts of frustrated murder against the NPA suspects before the Prosecutor’s Office, yesterday afternoon.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has found that the New People’s Army (NPA) violated both the human rights and the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in killing eight civilians in Brgy. Puso La Castellana last Jan. 27.
Lawyer Jaime Arroyo, secretariat head of the OPAPP-Government of the Philippines Monitoring Committee, said that the NPA’s admission of the crime and the testimonies of the eye witnesses whom they interviewed in La Castellana yesterday would prove that the NPA indeed violated the human rights of civilians and the IHL.
Sr. Supt. Celestino Guarra, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) caretaker confirmed yesterday, February 5, 2013 that murder and frustrated murder charges were filed yesterday afternoon, against about 20 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels suspected to be behind the ambush massacre in Barangay Puso, La Castellana town last January 27 which left nine dead and 14 others injured.
Guarra said nine counts of murder and fourteen counts of frustrated murder were filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office yesterday against the suspected perpetrators.
NPC vice gubernatorial bet, Eugenio "Bong" Lacson, issued his clarification yesterday on how justice will be attained by the families of the ambush victims in Barangay Puso, La Castellana, now that the Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army admitted to the crime.
According to Lacson, though the NPAs admitted to be behind the ambush, it is still a wonder how the families could find justice especially for those who lost their loved ones. He pointed out that justice should be served despite the admission because there is no justified excuse for a crime committed against civilians. The casualties include a police officer and eight other civilians while many were wounded.
The NPA leaders should also surrender the perpetrators to the police so as to give justice to the victims and their families, the governor stressed.
Marañon, who had long been encouraging the rebels to go back to the fold of the law, also criticized the NPA statement on the La Castellana ambush as "irresponsible."
Six days after the ambush, the NPA issued a statement admitting the crime and lapses on their part, but stressed they did not plan to stage an ambush.
In an audio-recorded statement furnished the media Friday last week, Ka JB Regalado, spokesman for the NPA’s Leonardo Panaligan Command, said their only plan was to disarm the policemen and armed BPAT (Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team) members.
CASH ASSISTANCE & PNP WOUNDED PERSONNEL MEDAL TO PO3 VILLEGAS. Police Regional Office-6 director Police Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr hands the check as financial assistance from PSMBFI and pins the Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting to Police Officer 3 Constantino Villegas of the La Castellana Police Station during last Friday’s visit at Camp Montelibano.*
‘We Reject Money Offer’
Families of the La Castellana massacre heve condemned what they called as an excuse on the part of the New People’s Army rebels as the latter justified the killing of eight civilians and one policeman and the wounding of 12 others.
Five of the victims were laid to rest Saturday amidst cries for justice by the families who have expressed disapproval of the press statement released by the lawless New People’s Army (NPA) yesterday, calling it a lame excuse.
Buried Saturday at the Barangay Cabacungan, La Castellana town were civilian massacre victims Ramir Complesa, Joselito Lucban, Virginia Ordoñez, Tiotimo Esplegera and Enrique Dingcong.
By Nico Delfin & Romeo Subaldo (ABS-CBN News)
The New People’s Army (NPA) has owned up to a deadly attack in a non-military truck at Barangay Puso, La Castellana town in Negros Occidental last Sunday which killed 9 people, and apologized to the victims’ kin.
In a recorded statement sent to ABS-CBN by JP Regalado, alleged spokesperson of the Leonardo Panaligan Command of the NPA, the group said they originally planned to conduct a checkpoint in Barangay Pusok at La Castellana town with the intention of disarming alleged members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team who were carrying firearms. However, the rebels claimed someone from civilians on board the truck fired shots at them, which forced them to return fire at the passengers of the vehicle heading towards them.
The Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army (NPA), has apologized for what it said was the unfortunate incident which happened in Puso Village, La Castellana town January 27, very early in the morning, which resulted in the death of nine policemen, village watchmen or tanods and members of the BPAT men, its spokesman Ka JB Regalado said in a tape-recorded statement yesterday, which were made available to print, radio and TV journalists in Bacolod City.
But the circumstances which resulted to the death of policemen, three of them namely PO1 Richard Canja, driver of the Canter cargo mini-truck, BPAT and tanod members with civilians including Virginia Ordoñez and the wounding of many others.
Local News: Slain Cop, Two Wounded Colleagues in La Castellana Massacre Get Medals ‘Don’t be Like Cops Involved in the Other Activities’ - Cruz
Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, PNP regional director here lauded the two policemen who stood it out against about 20 New People’s Army rebels who ambushed and massacred a truckload of fiesta goers in Barangay Puso, La Castellana town, Sunday, which left nine persons dead including their colleague and injured twelve others.
"Don’t be like other policemen involved in other activities," Cruz told PO3 Constantino Villegas and PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez who are still recuperating at the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) dispensary.
Asked what he meant by other activities though, Cruz declined to elaborate.
CASH ASSISTANCE. Chief Superintendent Manuel Felix (2nd from right), deputy regional director for administration of Police Regional Office 6, turns over the check amounting to P83,500.00 to Jolemar Canja, wife of the late Police Officer 1 Richard Canja, who was a victim of ambush-massacre at Brgy. Puso, La Castellana Negros Occidental last Sunday. Also in photo are SPO4 Adolfo Cabansal, regional executive senior police officer, and Gladys Ebro, regional manager of Public Safety Mutual Benefit Fund Inc., Camp Delgado Iloilo.* (Photo by POI Mary Grace U Calzado)