Sorsogon rights workers: July 28 ‘encounter’ was a massacre


SORSOGON—  Activists and human rights workers say the killing of two New People’s Army (NPA) members and two civilians last July 28 in Casiguran town was a “massacre” and not an “encounter” as the raiding government forces claimed.

At a rally in this town Saturday, the protesters said NPA members Andres “Ka Magno/Ka Carlo” Hubilla and Miguel “Ka Billy” Himor as well as civilians Arnel Borres and Dick Laura were massacred as there was no evidence the victims put up a fight.

The Communist Party of the Philippines said Hubilla was its Sorsogon Party Committee secretary and head of the NPA’s Celso Minguez Command operating in this province.

The protesters said no encounter happened, much less a 30-minute fire fight as claimed by a Philippine National Police-Sorsogon statement after the incident.

A fact-finding mission led by Karapatan Bicol last July 31 that said Hubilla was walking along a dirt road 50 meters away from the house where the three others were found dead.

Karapatan-Bicol said the incident was obviously planned by the government forces.

According to residents of Sitio Namoro, Purok 2, Trece Marteres, Casiguran, they noticed check points by men in full battle-gear uniforms hours before the incident.

Gunfire only lasted about five-minutes, the mission said.

Tim Hubilla, brother of Andres, who accompanied police crime investigators immediately after the incident, also told alternative media outfit Baretang Bikolnon Online his brother was found beside a fish pond with a rusty small calibre pistol on his right hand.

“It did not even have a magazine. One thing I also noticed was that the gun he was holding was in his right hand when, in fact, my brother was left-handed,” he told Baretang Bikolnon Online.

Alex Castidades, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Sorsogon spokesperson said the incident was a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law as the victims were clearly surrounded and did not put up a fight.

“They could have just ordered the victims to surrender and arrested them,” Castidades told fellow protesters.

Castidades also condemned the killing of civilians Borres and Laura who were just having coffee in the house where they were killed.

Report by Raymund B. Villanueva/Altermidya

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