Military commends civilians for foiling NPA arson attempt

CAMP PANACAN, Davao City––A top military commander lauded the residents of Purok 3, Barangay Tapia, Montevista, Compostela Valley for successfully defending the equipment of a construction firm by throwing stones to three unidentified armed men who attempted to burn one back hoe and one pay loader Saturday night.

Lt. General Ricardo Rainier Cruz, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command said the action of the residents is commendable, calling the incident a classic example of helping one another in the community.

“It is a concrete example of the spirit of Bayanihan,” he said.

Captain Alberto Caber, public affairs officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command also called the incident as a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

He said civilians must be spared from any attack by the rebels.

Caber said it is clearly stated in the article IV, paragraph IV of the CARHRIHL that civilians shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property, shall not be the object of attack.

“Civilians are likewise be protected against fire, arson, strafing and other similar attack,” he pointed out.

A resident who requested not to be identified for security reasons said they were forced to stone the perpetrators while they simultaneously poured diesel fuel on the equipment.

He said they were even fired upon by armed men who backed the perpetrators up as they escaped using a motorcycle towards Monkayo proper.

No casualty was reported.

“The construction firm is not heeding to the demands of the rebels. It is the first time such incident happened in our barangay. There will be no progress if the rebels ask protection money. In the first place any development is for the benefit of our place,” he said.

Members of the 25th Infantry Battalion and the police from the Montevista Police Office responded in the area and pursued the rebels. (RGA/JSD/PIA-XI)


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