Victims’ next of kin continue push
to probe Moises Padilla violence
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
After the families of those victimized by New People’s Army (NPA) atrocity in Moises Padilla penned a letter to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier this month seeking assistance from Secretary Eduardo Año, they have since called upon the government agency again to review the affidavit filed earlier by former Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas chairman and Moises Padilla resident Noli Garinggo, who is currently on the rebel group’s hitlist.
According to the letter, they are requesting Año to evaluate the new statements, noting, they are “beginning to see light over the cases.”
“We hope that you will give us an even better hope by giving this recent development in the unsolved cases of our loved ones your utmost attention and time,” the letter continued.
With Garinggo naming Moises Padilla Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo and Vice Mayor Ian Villaflor in his affidavit, along with several other personalities, they said Año has the authority to delve into the allegations and investigate any connection between the public officials and the insurgent group.
In his affidavit, which was also submitted before the Negros Occidental Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Garinggo claimed he saw Garcia-Yulo and Villaflor at a meeting centered on NPA “datos,” or those identified for liquidation.
When he reviewed documents from the meeting, Garinggo claimed he saw the name of “Nonong Grande” on the NPA hitlist for allegedly blocking private roads and disallowing people from passing unless they join him in his cause and/or support his political candidates in the 2016 national elections. He later found out the reason why Garcia-Yulo allegedly added Garinggo to the list was because he reported the names of her close associates and employees, who are reportedly involved in the town’s illegal drug activities.
He said the list was later approved by NPA-Leonardo Panaligan Command spokesperson, Ka JB Regalado, who instructed members of the NPA Special Partisan Unit to carry out Grande’s murder.
The accuser further claimed he also saw the names of Joerito Amable, Rusty Caminade, and Town Councilor Jolomar Hilario on the said list, all of whom were later murdered in separate incidents.
In 2018, Garinggo said he was forced into hiding after he separated from his wife, who made false accusations against him before the NPA, until he later learned that he, along with fellow rebel Jerry Turga, were sentenced to death.
After reportedly opposing kill orders, Turga was later shot to death by the rebels.
Garinggo said he decided to come forward because he pitied the families of those killed, especially Grande’s family. He also claimed his fellowship with the NPA only caused trouble for him and his family.
Meanwhile, the murder complaint filed against Garcia-Yulo and Villaflor based on earlier affidavits filed by Jully Opiar and Robert Sualog were earlier dismissed on the prosecutorial level, although they can be refiled.
Both Garcia-Yulo and Villaflor previously denied the allegations./DGB, WDJ