Posted to Kalinaw News (Apr 23, 2020): Father of former rebel slain by NPA hitmen (By 60th Infantry "Mediator" Battalion)
ASUNCION, DDN – Despite talks of a continued truce between government security forces and the CPP-NPA amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the said communist-terrorist group has been persistently attacking both military and civilian personalities, adding to their list the father of a former rebel who was killed at his home in Special Barangay Dalimdim in Laak, Davao de Oro on Tuesday.
The victim, identified as Roldan Geroche, was shot to death by at least three (3) gunmen alleged to be members of the CPP-NPA’s Weakened Guerilla Front 33. Geroche was celebrating the birthday of a family member when the said gunmen attacked them.
Among the witnesses was Geroche’s daughter, Ronalyn, who identified one (1) of the perpetrators to be Christian Pastor, more known by his alias ‘Khan’, one of the leaders of WGF 33.
Ronalyn is a former member of the Asdang Kultura which is a pseudo-cultural theater group composed of children and teenage youths used by the CPP-NPA in rallies, public demonstrations, and even during the conduct of their propaganda works in rural areas. Members of the said group, like Ronalyn, would eventually be integrated to the regular armed group and become full-time members of the NPA.
Ronalyn fled from the NPA and surrendered to the 60IB in 2018 after she was raped by her former comrade and NPA recruiter Elmar Etol (alias ‘Wendel’). She and her family have been targeted by the WGF 33 since.
Recovered from the crime scene were five (5) fired caliber .45 cartridges.
The family has already filed a report with the local police who is currently conducting further investigation on the incident.
Per 60IB’s assessment, WGF 33 took advantage of the COVID-19 situation to carry out their long-time plan of assassinating former rebels and suspected government informants in the boundaries of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro.
Meanwhile, the 60IB and the 25th Infantry Battalion is currently conducting its Community Support Program (CSP) in several barangays in Laak (to include Special Barangay Dalimdim), and in the municipalities of San Isidro and Asuncion in Davao del Norte.
60IB suspects that the WGF 33 deliberately executed their attack while the said CSP is still going on so they can sow fear among the residents and discourage them from cooperating with the government troops.
In a statement, 60IB Commander Lt. Col. Ronaldo Sarmiento says that these attacks are “clear signs of their [CPP-NPA’s] desperation.”
“They are evidently being hurt by our government’s current thrust in curbing the insurgency that would eventually flush them all out of our communities. This is the reaction we get from a communist-terrorist group who is now being pushed to the corner and has no where to run or hide,” Sarmiento said.
Col. Glenn Calambuhay, Acting Commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, adds that “…while we lament the loss of innocent lives—the precious lives of our troops and of our friends—we are also driven to push on our campaign even further and forward. We believe that lasting peace is within our grasp. We will not stop until the genuine national development we have been fighting on for so long, where our people can enjoy the true gifts of democracy, becomes our reality.”
The Philippine Army’s CSP, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 which directs a “Whole-of-Nation Approach” to ending the local communist armed conflict, has been significantly effective in dismantling the political and military structures put up by the CPP-NPA particularly in the countryside. Captured documents from armed encounters between government troops and the CPP-NPA revealed that the latter has been especially affected by the renewed counter-insurgency campaign and have even gone at lengths to launch their own anti-EO 70 effort.
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