By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Hundreds of residents in E.B. Magalona town in Negros Occidental held a condemnation rally earlier this week protesting the atrocities committed by the New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents.
The rally was held last Monday during the internment of Barangay Consing tanod Elmer Ortencio, who was murdered by NPA insurgents after witnessing the rebels burning three backhoes in the area last April 13.
The family, friends, local residents, and officials of Barangay Consing strongly condemned the inhumane and unjust act of the NPA rebels.
Aside from the local populace, representatives from the Youth for Peace Northern Negros Chapter, ACT-CIS, Guardians and other organizations also joined the condemnation rally.
Lt. Colonel Gerard Alvaran, commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion, said they appreciate the effort of the barangay officials and the local populace in condemning the atrocities committed by the rebels.
“This incident is another wake up call to all Negrenses to shun whatever support they have to the NPA. Do not be deceived by their twisted ideology,” Alvaran said.
303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, meanwhile, said the locals’ protests showed that they are aware of the NPA’s deception, and are fully supportive of the government’s thrusts in restoring peace and bringing development and progress in their locality.
Earlier on April 13, insurgents torched three backhoes in Barangay Consing.
The rebels then released a statement admitting to the attacks claiming that the heavy equipments were owned by Silay City Mayor Mark Golez and are actively engaged in quarrying operations at the Malogo River which caused heavy flooding in the 3rd district of Negros Occidental earlier this year.
Golez, meanwhile, denied the backhoes that were burned were his and hit the NPA as liars.
Both the Philippine Army and the E.B. Magalona police, meanwhile, believe the attack was more connected to extortion activities.
They also owned to Ortencio’s murder, claiming the barangay tanod was a military agent./DGB, WDJ