From the Mindanao Times (Apr 20): Pastor killed, 2 hurt in NPA attack: army
A JEHOVAH’S Witness pastor was killed and his two companions wounded when they were ambushed by the New People’s Army rebels in Barangay Lahi, Gigaquit in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday, April 18.Capt. Al Athony Pueblas, the civil-military operations officer of 402nd Infantry Brigade, identified the fatality as Jepti Acido, 32, resident of Tayaga, Claver. The two others were Virgil Flor Ortiz, 23, from Tayaga, Claver and Adner Malaque, 20, from Villafranca, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.
“It is very unfortunate that despite being a signatory to the CARHRIHL, the NPA, with the guidance of their leaders, still continue to attack and murder innocent civilians,” Pueblas said.
Acido succumbed to a gunshot wound on the left eye and exited to the back of his neck. Malaque sustained a gunshot wound on the neck, which exited on his right shoulder, along with another wound on his elbow and two more on his left chin.
Meanwhile, Ortis also sustained gunshot wound on the left elbow and back of right chin, splinter shot wounds behind the neck and left foot.
Part IV, Article IV, Item 4 of the CARHRIHL provides that the civilian populace shall be distinguished from combatants and not be the subjects of attack.
“We strongly condemn the NPA’s acts of terrorism by attacking, and again, murdering a civilian and the wounding of two others in Barangay Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte,” Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of 402nd IB, said.
“Nevertheless, these attacks only fuel our utmost desire to protect our people from these thugs,” Gacal said.
“In coordination with the PNP, we will hunt them down to bring justice to the victims and their families.”
The body of the victim was brought to the Gades Funeral Parlor in Barangay Campo, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte while the two are already in stable condition at the Surigao Medical center.