Army, fanatic group jostle over NPA bounty

Central Negros New People’s Army guerrilla front Leonardo Panaligan Command (LPC-NPA) declared in a statement that 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) soldiers and fanatic group leaders jostled over cash rewards promised by government counterrevolutionary arm National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to those who can pinpoint NPA encampments which, according to LPC-NPA spokesperson JB Regalado, resulted to recent fake encounters, murder and human rights violations.

Early this August, the Philippine Army told the public that encounters ensued between their soldiers and the NPA in Barangay Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental on August 3 and 5.

But the LPC-NPA strongly contradicts this saying that on August 5 at Sitio Binigsi-an, Barangay Santol, the 94th IB connived with criminal fanatic group leader Karem Calpis in shooting two members of a Barangay Santol fanatic group.

“Henry Brial and Junior Pedro were not aware that 94th IB officials and Calpis were planning to claim their cash reward and kill them while they were guiding military combat operations,” said Regalado, “killing Brial and Pedro was all for show because an encounter between the NPA and Army troops meant additional cash rewards from the NTF-ELCAC.”

Regalado added that fanatic group leaders Karem Calpis, Luis Pedro and Tikboy Bongaita and the 94th IB are currently fighting over said cash rewards. Calpis heads the fanatic group based in Sitio Irene, Barangay Apanangon, Jimalalud, Negros Oriental while Pedro and Bongaita led fanatic groups in Barangay Santol.

Regalado identified Brial and Pedro as Luis Pedro’s members. Junior Pedro died on the spot during the shooting while Brial passed away later at the Isabela District Hospital.

Meanwhile on August 3, the said 94th IB forces with Calpis’ men peppered residences belonging to the Ponsiano and Enriquez families with gunshots at Sitio Tibak, Barangay Santol. The same Brial and Pedro presented by the 94th IB as NPA members a few days later guided them to these homes.

“The strafed houses were a short distance from the NPA’s position, of course the Red fighters ran to the defense of the residents and the exchange of gunfire lasted around 10 minutes,” confirmed Regalado.

He further said that Ponsiano and Enriquez family members have been victims of atrocities instigated by Calpis and Bongaita’s fanatic groups.

The LPC-NPA reiterated that the presence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines only caused fascism, deception, schemes and terror among the peasants in the hinterlands of La Libertad, Jimalalud and Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental and Binalbagan, Isabela and Magallon in Negros Occidental contrary to the military’s declaration of wanting “peace and development.”

The LPC-NPA called the people of Negros to firmly unite and to not be afraid in driving away the fascist troops from the countryside, dismantle the most barbaric and vicious fanatic groups, and expose and defeat the NTF-ELCAC.###

Army, fanatic group jostle over NPA bounty