By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The New People’s Army (NPA) Leonardo Panaligan Command officially claimed responsibility for the deadly July 21 ambush in Barangay Magsaysay, Guihulngan City, which claimed the lives of seven people, including the local police chief.
In a statement, spokesperson Ka JB Regalado said they are “cheering the successful tactical offensive” perpetrated by their members, calling it “payback for atrocities committed by the Guihulngan City police.”
Regalado denied their group committed any human rights violations, calling the police “legitimate military targets.”
The spokesperson also stated the Guihulngan City police are the ones committing human rights violations against the local residents.
He cited as an example the “illegal arrest” of a certain Irol Vergara in March 2008, who they claim was tortured to death by the police.
They also blamed law enforcement for the death of Vergara’s brother and father, who died in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The rebels went on to describe the city police force as “corrupt,” claiming they accept money to kill individuals, as well as money from drug lords operating in neighboring Cebu.
The group also vowed more attacks against military personnel in the Negros Island Region (NIR).
Last month, seven people were killed after they were ambushed by more than 60 armed NPA members./WDJ