No matter how the military conceals the stench of its latest atrocity, hard evidence points to the fact that the 71st Infantry Battalion was not in an encounter with the New People’s Army at Kidaraan, Brgy. Maskareg, Mabini town on April 3, 2013. The fascist troops led by one Lt. Urca rained a haze of bullets against helpless children who came from a nearby farm, instantly killing 9-year old Roque Antivo, and wounding Earl Antivo and 13-year old Jefrey Hernan.
Unable to defend itself from this gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the military twisted the facts to save face by giving the barefaced lie that the children were victims of crossfire. The military distorted the events on April 3 to pass the blame on the NPA to cover up the military’s gross human rights abuse.
More than an hour before the strafing incident, at 4:30 pm, the front guerilla unit of Guerilla Front 2 under the Comval-Davao Gulf Sub-Regional Command punished the abusive 2nd Scout Rangers Battalion-10th ID in an ambush that killed two fascist soldiers, wounded nine others; two others are still missing. The ambush occurred in Candinuyan, a village that is 15 kilometers away from Maskareg where the strafing incident took place.
At 6am that same day, Red fighters also held a checkpoint and arrested Pfc. Mark Anthony G. Conception, 25, of the 71st IB. While under NPA custody, the custodial force found, upon further perusal of his enlistment papers, that Conception was not anymore in active military duty as of December 2012. Thus, his release from NPA custody shall be undertaken soon once conditions at the ground warrant a safety reunion with his family.
These coordinated NPA actions were active defensive NPA campaigns directed against the Special Operations Team and combat forces of the 10th ID in Mabini-Pantukan-Maco range cluster that are among its priority areas under the Oplan Bayanihan. To insinuate that these NPA operations directly or indirectly killed the child Antivo is the height of gross dishonesty and cowardice. That the 71st IB is the same Army unit responsible for the killing of another child, one 7-year old Sunshine Jabines in Pantukan town, on September 2, 2011, was not incidental. It only indicates that the 71st IB soldiers are children butchers, weaklings who can only engage war against children.
(sgd.)Ka Daniel Ibarra
ComVal-Davao Gulf Sub Regional Command-NPA