Thursday, July 2, 2015

Army's 2nd IB head apologizes to sisters' group for 'hostage drama' in convent

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 2): Army's 2nd IB head apologizes to sisters' group for 'hostage drama' in convent

The 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army led by Lt. Col. Perfecto Peñaredondo and two of his men personally and officially apologized and asked for forgiveness from the administration of the Good Shepherd Home sisters and the women-residents of the institution for the incident that happened on July 16, 2014 involving the unit's two members.

It can be recalled that two 2IB's men -- Pfc. Ariel Licayan and Cafgu Auxiliary Army member Ronel del Castillo -- forcibly entered the convent in Barangay San Roque, Legazpi City, with their firearms hidden in a sack, and held hostage the occupants of the convent.

Typhoon "Glenda" had just ravaged the city and neighboring areas.

Licayan and Castillo allegedly had family problem and were starving at that time, factors that forced them to do the crime. Hundreds of kibitzers swamped he area, prompting Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal and other city officials to come to the scene and appeal to the two not to harm all those inside the Good Shepherd Home.

The two finally yielded to the call for them to give up to the authorities.

After surrendering and thorough investigation, Licayan was committed to the V. Luna Hospital for mental rehabilitation.

Peñaredondo personally handed the copy of the "nostra culpa" to Sister Ma. Alicia Andres, head of the Good Shepherd Home.

In the letter dated June 25 2015, Peñaredondo said Licayan and Del Castillo apologized and swore that the incident will never happened again.

Another letter with the same date, signed by lawyer Juan D. Peralta, 2IB legal counsel, expressed the battalion's official request for apology and forgiveness.

Peñaredondo said in the document that as the commander of the battalion, he assumed the full responsibility of what Licayan and Del Castillo had done -- entering the convent without permission and bearing their firearms placed inside a sack.

He stressed that what his men had done violated their sworn duty to the Filipino people as their protectors.

“Kami ay nanunumpa sa abot ng aming kakayahan, na hindi na hahayaang maulit ang ganitong pangyayari at sisikapin namin na gampanan ang aming tungkulin na pangalagaan ang kapayapaan at maging tunay na lingkod ng mamamayan (We swear, to the best of our ability, never to allow this incident to happen again and try our best to fulfill our duty to ensure peace and be true servants of the people),” the soldiers said in the signed nostra culpa.

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