DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 19, 2010) – Communist rebels have seized assorted weapons from a village chieftain they briefly held in Davao Oriental province in the southern Philippines, a spokesman said Sunday.
Dyomabuk Kadyawan, of the New People’s Army’s Antonio Nerio Antao Command, said rebel forces have confiscated two automatic rifles, two automatic shotguns and a .45-caliber pistol from Romeo Antuling, of the village called Old Macopa in the town of Manay.
“The Red fighters’ successfully confiscated two M16 high-powered rifles, two automatic shotguns and one .45 caliber pistol,” said Kadyawan, who branded the village leader as “despotic reactionary official.”
“He used his influence to amass high powered armaments and build himself a private group of armed goons. He is a noted human rights violator in the town of Manay who deploys his armed thugs to intimidate and harass civilians,” Kadyawan said. “The disarming of Antuling was a dispensation of revolutionary justice against his coddling a private armed group and the use of such to perpetrate human rights violations.”
He said the village official was not harmed and eventually released. “This latest military action of the Red Army serves as a stern warning to all reactionary officials of the GRP, big landlords and capitalists who maintain private armies and terrorize the masses for their interests,” he said.
The rebel spokesman also criticized President Benigno Aquino III, who promised but failed to dismantle private armies in the country following last year’s gruesome massacre of 57 people, including at least 32 journalists, by followers of a powerful political clan in Mindanao.
“This is likewise another slap in the face of the Aquino regime that froths in the mouth about being serious in disbanding private armies yet is doing hardly anything to discourage the mercenary and fascist culture of warlordism. The Filipino people are coming to terms with the fact that the revolutionary government and its People's Army are their lone hope to curtail the proliferation of private armies,” Kadyawan said.
The New People’s Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is waging a secessionist war for decades now. (Mindanao Examiner)