By Reynard Magtoto
MASBATE CITY – Troops of 3rd Platoon Alpha Company of 2nd Infantry Battalion of Armed Forces of the Philippines are accountable to the recent killing of a 15-year-old student on September 16 in Cawayan town here contrary to news reports pointing red fighters are the ones to be blamed.
Victim Vincent Jaylord Veracis Pequiro was accidentally shot dead at 4:30 pm in Bgy . Libertad, Cawayan while playing basketball and his co-player Reymart Versaga, 23, was wounded.
According to Karapatan report, witnesses told them that soldiers of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Coy, 2nd IBPA led by a named Banaloyos was drunk during the incident. One of its soldiers fell down that caused his rifle to fire. Because of the drunkenness and humiliation, the soldier angrily turned his gun around and fired in the direction of basketball players nearby.
The rights group here also told Baretang Bikolnon that there are persons pretending to be human rights volunteers during the incident. These fake volunteers were asking the residents if they wanted the military to stay in their community.
Fr. Rene Invento of Kaparatan-Masbate condemns the recent killing in their province perpetrated by state forces. He also against falsifications of those persons using their progressive organisation as front.
Vincent Jaylord was the third minor here killed by soldiers of 2nd IBPA. An encounter between AFP and NPA in Bgy. Panan-awan in Cawayan town last April 20 ended the life of two elementary students, Reden, 9, and Crislyn, 11, who were caught in a crossfire.
NPA-Jose Rapsing Command (JRC)-Masbate denied allegations that their red fighters are the ones who killed the minor student.
“For everyone’s knowledge, the units of red warriors are not involved in this incident and it is clearly a cover up of soldiers of the 2nd IBPA to cover their offense in Bgy. Libertad and to divert the real incident,” NPA-JRC-Masbate spokesperson Luz Del Mar said.
“It is also a lie when the soldiers said that they were here in the barrio to renovate a day care center,” Del Mar. Said. “The truth was they attended a family reunion of the Bordaje family, relative of their colleague Ondo Bordaje.”
“No matter how the 2nd IB tried to hide the real incident and manipulate the news in favor of their side, the truth shall prevail. Many people witnessed the incident,” NDF Bicol spokesperson Ma. Roja Banua said.
National Democratic Front here in Bicol expressed that the entire revolutionary movement in the region is with the Masbateños to condemn further cases of AFP-PNP-CAFGU’s rights violations under the iron-fist of US-Duterte regime.
According to Banua, it is the right of Masbateños to fight against military abuses under state brutality. “It is the right of Filipinos to charge any state agent who desperately violates their rights,” she added. (BaretangBikolnon.com)