A civilian was killed while two others were wounded when the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) allegedly indiscriminately fired using their high powered weapons at the community of Brgy Lahi town of Gigaquit in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday, April 18.
Capt. Al Athony Pueblas, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 402nd Infantry brigade, identified them as Jepti Acido, 32, resident of Tayaga, Claver while the two wounded are identified as Virgil Flor Ortiz, 23, from Tayaga, Claver and Adner Malaque, 20, from Villafranca, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.
The Army captain said “It is very unfortunate that despite being a signatory to the CARHRIHL, the NPA, with the guidance of their leaders, still continue to attack and murder innocent civilians.”
Part IV, Article IV, item number 4 of the CARHRIHL provides that Civilian populace and the civilians shall be treated as such and shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property, shall not be the object of attack.
” We strongly condemn the NPA’s acts of terrorism by attacking, and again, murdering a civilian and the wounding of two others in Brgy Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte this morning, which poses an even bigger threat to the civilian populace and to the economic situation of Surigao del Norte,” Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, the commander of 402nd Infantry brigade said.
“Nevertheless, these attacks only fuel our utmost desire to protect our people from these thugs,” Gacal said.
“In coordination with the PNP, we will hunt them down to bring justice to the victims and their families,” the brigade commander added.