The VPC-NPA condemns in the strongest possible terms the heinous slaying of Herminio Nim Autillo in Brgy. New Janiuay, Mlang, North Cotabato, on January 25, 2013, Friday last week.
Herminio, or Dodo, was gunned down by men riding in tandem inside the Autillo compound past 4:00 in the afternoon. He was having a haircut when the 2 assailants armed with pistols approached, and then one of them shot him at the back of his head in close range.
The VPC-NPA expresses its deepest sympathies to the Autillo family and the friends of Dodo at the time of their grief and injustice. In the initial investigation conducted by the VPC-NPA, two most possible motives behind his murder were established – (1) he could be a victim of an AFP perpetrated extra judicial killing; and, (2) the motive could be political and election-related.
AFP agents have been following Dodo because he is a known former NPA member. He was a peasant activist before his brief stint in the underground movement. It has been more than a decade after he resigned; and since then he was not actively involved in any revolutionary activity. But he remained a military target and constantly under surveillance. At the time the AFP conducted RSOT operations in New Janiuay, the military plotted to kill him because he refused to surrender. But he was able to thwart the military’s attempt.
The military intelligence unfoundedly believes he is still active in the underground movement, placing him in their order of battle. He was their attainable target for retaliation after the AFP have undergone defeats and incur a number of casualties in a series of fire fights in Makilala town.
Under the Oplan Bayanihan framework of the US-Aquino regime, murdering of innocent civilians like Dodo have become rampant. Death squads backed and funded by government and military authorities are tasked to perform the butchery. Extra-judicial killing is the state’s execrable ploy to silence the revolutionaries, the mass activists they suspected as sympathizers or supporters of the revolutionary movement, and including government critics by sowing terror and creating turbulence.
On the other hand, the motive could be political and election-related. Dodo was an active organizer in the local election campaign. He was a plucky attacker and critic of corrupt local politicians. Heated conflicts between political groups are escalating as the election campaign period approaches. Dodo is a defenseless victim caught in a clash between feuding powerful political cliques.
The aggravating political and election-related crimes and the growing number of its victims only prove that the US-Aquino regime’s campaign to disband warlordism in the Philippine politics is a dud. In this situation, a “peaceful, honest and free” election is never possible.
With regards to the Dodo Autillo murder, the VPC-NPA is still conducting its further investigation. The masterminds and perpetrators of the crime must be held accountable and must be punished. In response to the grave abuses and ruthless persecution of civilians perpetrated by the state and its agents, the VPC-NPA calls on all NPA units in the region to carry out tactical offensives in order to punish human rights violators, political warlords and the most brutal armed units of the AFP for their grave crimes against the people.