A tribal leader was killed by alleged members of the New People’ Army in Sitio Dakulang, Barangay Bangonay, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte on Monday.
Capt. Francisco Garello Jr., the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer of 402nd Infantry Brigade, identified the victim as Datu Rodito “Bebot” Boklas, a Mamanwa tribal leader.
Boklas was reportedlyl abducted from his farm and later his body, riddled with stab wounds, was dumped on the hilly part of Sitio Amontay of the same barangay.
According to Nenit Cago Boklas, the victim’s wife, they were walking in the hilly part of Sitio Amontay when a group of five armed men confronted them and forcibly took the tribal leader with them. The military identified the rebels as members of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16A, Guerrilla Front Committee 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, acting commanding officer of the 29th Infantry Battalion, extended his condolences to the family of the victim.
“This is again a clear manifestation that the NPA terrorists are mere lowlife outlaws who do not respect Lumad leaders,” Criste said.
“This is a blatant disregard of the value of human life and clear violation under the International Humanitarian Law that sought to spare civilians from conflict. Killing a person will not pave the way to resolve issues,” he added.
Meanwhile, Col. Maurito L. Licudine, the 402nd IB commander, said, “We will pursue these terrorists and rest assured that we shall not rest until these perpetrators are brought to justice and will have no choice but to surrender or else face the consequences of being killed or captured.”