Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Family of slain IP militiaman in Surigao Norte cries justice

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 17, 2020): Family of slain IP militiaman in Surigao Norte cries justice (By Alexander Lopez)

Google map of Tubod, Surigao del Norte.

Family members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) militiaman and a member of the Mamanwa tribe who was killed by suspected communist rebels are now crying for justice, even as they called on the government to go after those responsible for the crime.

Rogelio Balangay Calinawan, 34, was gunned down in his residence in Barangay Caliwan, Tubod town in Surigao del Norte
by armed men believed to be members of New People’s Army (NPA) on Tuesday evening (June 16).

Calinawan was assigned as CAFGU member at the Army Patrol Base in Barangay Hinatigan, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, said Maj. Shalom Faye Cornelio of the information office of Surigao del Norte Provincial Police Office (SDNPPO).

“We already received the spot report from Tubod Police Station and we are still conducting follow-up investigations on the incident,” Cornelio told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.

Based on the initial investigation of the local police and the Army in the area, Cornelio identified two of the perpetrators as NPA rebels Shane Ortega and Justine CastaƱeda, who belong to the NPA's Guerilla Front 16.

1Lt. Benjamin de Dios, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 30th Infantry Battalion, confirmed that Calinawan was an active CAFGU member under their command.

A relative of the victim who asked for anonymity for security reasons told PNA that Calinawan and his family were about to sleep around 8:30 p.m. when they heard someone calling the name of the mother of the victim.

Though the voice was familiar, the relative said the family did not bother to answer until another person made a call and identified himself as an Army personnel.

Upon hearing, she said Rogelio came out from their house but before he could step on the ground they already heard bursts of gunfires.

“We dropped to the floor to avoid the bullets. I realized then that the armed men were not government forces but NPA rebels. The first voice we heard was familiar and we knew his linkages with the rebels,” she said.

She added that Rogelio managed to run in a distance to spare his family from the hail of bullets before his body fell down to the ground.

“We want justice for Rogelio. He did no wrong to be executed by the NPA rebels,” she said.

Investigators at the crime scene said Rogelio’s body sustained multiple gunshots.

The victim was rushed to the Provincial Hospital of Surigao del Norte but was declared dead on arrival.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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