DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 3, 2009) – Communist rebels have blamed Philippine troops for the killing of the father of one its members in Mindanao.
Rebel spokesman Ka Nadem said soldiers killed the 57-year old Conrado Cañete, whose son Ka Jinggoy is a member of the 4th Pulang Bagani Company of the New People’s Army.
He said the victim was last seen at the weekend together with soldiers during a village celebration in Compostela Valley’s Monkayo town. The next day his body was recovered peppered with bullets.
“The 4th Pulang Bagani Company of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao condemns the brutal killing of Conrado Cañete, a 57-year old civilian, and farmer whose being a father to Ka Jinggoy became the sole basis that made enemy forces target him for murder,” Nadem said.
Nadem said the man failed to return to their house and the following day, several witnesses noticed a car that slowed down in the village and from inside the vehicle, the body was dumped on the roadside and armed men proceeded to riddle it with bullets.
“Conrado Cañete’s body bore 12 bullet wounds. All indications clearly point to the culpability of the 25th Infantry Battalion in this gruesome murder. Conrado Cañete and his family had long been under surveillance by the military.”
“The series of successful tactical offensives by the NPA unit commanded by his son made him a marked man. Indeed, the Armed Forces of the Philippines murder family members of known comrades in a bid to exact revenge and pressure the targeted NPA personality just like what had befallen on Ka Parago’s daughter Rebelyn,” Nadem said.
Nadem was referring to the abduction and murder of Rebelyn Pitao, whose father, Leoncio Pitao, is a senior rebel leader blamed for the series of attacks on security forces in Mindanao.
Pitao, 20, was abducted in Davao City on March 4. 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 body bore torture marks and was believed raped before she was stabbed in the chest.
The Army’s 10th Infantry Division said it has no report about the NPA allegation, but would investigate the claim made by the rebels. “We have no reports about this allegation, but we will look into it,” Captain Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, a regional army spokeswoman, told the independent newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.
The NPA is fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)