MANILA, Philippines — “Sorry sa pagkakamali ng tropa (Sorry the troop’s mistake).”
This was the statement released by Rino “Ka Oto” Colaste, spokesperson of Guerilla Front 16 of the New People’s Army for the attack last week in Barangay Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte that killed one and injured two others.
The incident last Wednesday, April 18, killed Jepti Acido, a pastor of Jehovah’s Witnesses while two of his companions were wounded.
“Ka Oto” said they are conducting their own investigation on the incident to find out why their men attacked civilians instead of the military in the area.
The Guerrilla Front 16 vowed to shoulder the needs of the victims’ families but the Armed Forces of the Philippines said no amount of money can pay the loss and damages the group has caused.
“Hindi mababayaran ng pera. Hindi mababayaran ng kahit anong bagay ang buhay ng isang tao. Iyon ang ikinalulungkot namin,” said Capt. Al Anthony Pueblas, Spokesperson of 402nd Infantry Brigade, PA.
(Money cannot redeem what happened. Nothing can equal the value of a human life. It’s what saddens us.)
Meanwhile, Gigaquit Mayor Elvira Egay condemned the attack.
“The attack on non-combatants was uncalled for and a clear violation of human rights,” said Mayor Egay in a statement.
The AFP is now preparing for the charges to be filed against the rebels.
“Meron na tayong coordination sa kapulisan. At the same time para serve po natin sa family noong victim ang justice na hinihingi nila, of course, iyon ding pagpasa ng kaso doon sa mga NPA na may gawa nito,” Capt. Pueblas said.
(We are coordinating with the police. At the same time we are filing charges against the NPA rebels behind the incident so that the victim’s family can have the justice they’ve been clamoring for.) — Raymond Octobre | UNTV News & Rescue