The Lejo Cawilan Command, NPA─Kalinga condemns the shooting and killing by a member of the 21st IB PA of Abe Tinggangay, a civilian from Buscalan, Butbut, Kalinga and the wounding of Edwin Daligdig, also from Butbut. Abe was shot by Pcf Ringold Benedict Polittud Gomez inside the doctor’s office of the Kalinga Hospital in Lubuagan while the former was visiting his companion Edwin whose foot was injured after the motorcycle they were riding was bumped by a 6×6 truck of the PA.
On Feb 1, 2003, two platoons of the 21st IB PA riding in two 6×6 trucks went to Tinglayan to launch a brutal operation there. They again used the medical mission as their excuse. At 11 o’clock in the evening, they were at Manangol, Mabilong speeding and because of their arrogance did not follow the lane which was the reason why the other truck hit the motorcyle Abe and Edwin were riding. Edwin being injured, was rushed to the Kalinga Hospital. Abe was worried so he followed Edwin to the hospital. When he was inside the doctor’s office, Pcf Gomez entered and shot Abe’s feet. Because the people inside the hospital were shocked and terrified, they fled and when they returned saw a bleeding Abe who could not be saved anymore due to loss of blood.
“Abe ran,” this was Pcf Gomez’s reason. What was Abe’s fault, if ever, and was it right to shoot and kill him? He was inside the hospital and there was the police who should arrest, if indeed he had committed an offense, and let due process take its course. This civilian was already hit by a truck, wounded, then killed. It speaks of the AFP’s terrorism and violent lawlessness.
This is the common practice of the AFP. They do not observe the laws of the government they belong to and they do not recognize human rights and due process if anyone commits an offense. With these practices, have they been punished? It is even the victims who are blamed. Where is justice for these victims? Where is punishment for the individual, unit and PA officials responsible for this kind of crime? This AFP practice has worsened as a result of the ongoing Oplan Bayanihan being implemented by the AFP and the government.
The AFP and the government are deaf and blind to these incidents. They instead blame and pass on the burden to the tribes of the victims and the perpetrator. The Bodong is rendered useless between two tribes and could even possibly be a source of tribal war. Why put the burden of the AFP’s offenses on the tribes? The AFP must be accountable for these, they should be castigated and meted punishment, not the tribe of the perpetrator. This is not legal and it is not the Bodong and the tribe’s teaching to kill; as it is the practice of the AFP not to respect human rights and tribal rights. Because it is what they teach and what they do, it is the AFP that should pay, not the tribe of the perpetrator.
If the AFP passes the blame on the tribe, thus evading responsibility, it is the tribe that bears the burden of the offense or wrongdoing. The bodong loses its significance and oftentimes is severed as it is not possible to integrate the laws of the bodong into government laws, worse, the AFP and the oppressive government do not recognize customary laws and tradition.
This incident is only one of the continuing violations of the government, the AFP─PNP─CAFGU of human rights and rights of national minorities. The oppression of national minorities like us is proven by the government’s and the capitalists’ grabbing of our ancestral lands and plunder of our resources. They have tainted our honor, and abused our culture. They have destroyed our environment and are obliterating our race. This is the primary objective of the exploiting classes and their puppet government. They sow confusion among the people to easily divide them, sow terror so they can implement their objectives.
To the kakailians from Lubuagan and Butbut, we must carefully analyze what had happened, who was responsible and the reason for this. The tribe we come from do not wish this to happen. No tribe is at fault but the AFP. Because it is the AFP’s fault, the bodong between the two tribes must not be affected. What must be done is for the two tribes to help each other demand that the AFP, the individuals guilty, the unit and AFP officials be punished to attain justice. Let us work for the unity and strength of the two tribes to get justice from the government and the AFP. The tribes must avoid trouble so as not to be involved in the AFP’s misdeeds. Tribal wars must be avoided.
As your armed forces, we members of the New People’s Army led by the Communist Party of the Philippines uphold and defend the interest of the people, the rights of the national minorities and the democratic classes. Thus we are one with you in condemning and demanding justice for the victims of military abuses.
We mourn with you in the death of Abe Tingganangay and the wounding of Edwin Daligdig. Let us direct our sorrow in the pursuit of what is right and let us strive for the continuing strong unity of the poor classes so we can advance the people’s revolution, the armed struggle and achieve true freedom, democracy and justice.
Ka Raya Bannawagan