20th IB stages “peace rally” for military asset punished by NPA-Northern Samar


Read in: Waray

Residents of a barangay in Las Navas, Northern Samar were hoodwinked into attending a “peace rally” staged by troops of the 20th Infantry Battalion for an active military asset and criminal element, the New People’s Army in Northern Samar (Rodante Urtal Command or NPA-RUC) today reported.

Troops under the 20th IB conducting Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) operations called the residents of Brgy. Paco to an assembly in the dancing hall of their barangay last June. The agenda of the meeting was not announced, residents told the NPA-RUC.

They found out at the actual assembly that the activity was a “peace rally” staged by the soldiers to condemn the punitive action imposed a month earlier by the NPA-RUC against Jonie “Banong” Tortuna, a member of the barangay council and chairperson for the barangay committee for peace and order. Soldiers coerced the residents to hold up ready-made placards with defamatory calls against the NPA.

The NPA-RUC said that unlike how the 20th IB portrayed him, Tortuna was no ordinary civilian. “Among his crimes against the people were serving as an active asset for the 20th IB and killing two innocent civilians. He was a counterrevolutionary and a criminal element,” the NPA command said.

After the military asset was killed, fascist state troops retaliated against the residents of Brgy. Paco. Aside from deceiving the residents, they also arrested their barangay captain and detained him to the police headquarters in Las Navas. He was later temporarily released.#

20th IB stages “peace rally” for military asset punished by NPA-Northern Samar