Sunday, May 31, 2009

NPA admits killing rebel leader's sister who doubled as military spy in southern Philippines

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 31, 2009) – Philippine communist rebels executed a sister of a top guerilla commander after they discovered she was working as a spy for the military in Mindanao.

The New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), said Evelyn Pitao was killed after she was found guilty by its own court.
The woman was the sister of NPA leader Leoncio Pitao, a rebel spokesman said.

She and her husband, Roberto Dadula, were killed last week inside their house in Santo Tomas town in Davao del Norte province.

Rigoberto Sanchez, of the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command, said the woman was punished for being an intelligence agent of the military.

He said Pitao’s sister was behind the Killing of her brother Danilo Pitao in Tagum City on June 2008 and the arrest of her own husband, Ka Emong, an NPA rebel, in Panabo City on January this year.

She was also implicated in the arrest of Leoncio Pitao, alias Kumander Parago, on November 1999.

“Evelyn Pitao's involvement in military intelligence operations started in 1998 when the Armed Forces of the Philippines hatched a national plan to capture her brother, Ka Parago. Evelyn Pitao and her live-in partner at that time relayed accurate information on the exact whereabouts of her brother. This resulted in the capture of Ka Parago. Her then live-in partner, a former NPA guerrilla turned military intelligence spy was killed in 2001 for various crimes,” Sanchez said.

Leoncio Pitao was eventually released from jail and returned to fight the government, but the NPA said her daughter had been abducted and killed March 4 by government troops.

Her naked body was found the next day floating in a shallow creek in the village of San Isidro in Davao del Norte’s Carmen town. Her family said the woman’s body bore torture marks and was believed raped.

“We take this occasion to expose that as a matter of fact, the AFP has long utilized all possible foul means in its military intelligence operations versus the revolutionary forces. One such dirty tactic is directed against family members and close relatives of revolutionaries who are targeted by the AFP.”

“Under pain of sustained harassment and increasing threats as well as of arbitrary arrests, forcible abductions, involuntary disappearances and killings, family members and close relatives of revolutionaries are being pressured to work as intelligence assets and agents of the AFP. Many have fallen victims while out of the few who have succumb, some later willfully performed intelligence duties with the enemy. Evelyn Pitao was one such case,” Sanchez said.

The NPA also apologized for the killing of Dadula.

“It was a tactical operational error with serious, albeit, unintentional consequence was committed in the course of implementing the penalty on Evelyn Pitao. The fatal shooting of her live-in partner Roberto Dadula should have not been resorted to since he was not a target nor did his resistance take place in an armed manner and thus, posed no threat to the NPA team,” he said.

“Appropriate measures are being undertaken to continuously address this distressing concern and implement the NPA rules on the matter in accordance with the international humanitarian law.”

The CPP earlier issued a statement condemning the killing of Pitao’s sister and husband and blamed the military for the murder. (Mindanao Examiner)

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