In a statement, Front-51 spokesperson Ricardo Fermiza said “murderers never admit a murder in the same manner as thieves never confess to a theft; they only mouth alibis and employ diversionary tactics to undermine prima facie facts that establish their guilt.”
A week after the June 19 killing of George Vigo and wife Macel, Col. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of the 602nd Brigade based in Carmen, North Cotabato, dared the NPA to show proof that a military "death squad” killed the couple.
Pabustan denied reports the military organized a ‘death squad’ in North Cotabato to silence government critics.
“We live in a democratic society, where everybody has a right to speak his position, principles, or ideals. That is guaranteed in our Constitution. We respect that right,” the Army official earlier said in an interview over DXND.
The Task Force Vigo, created to probe the Vigo couple’s killing, announced that the NPA Sparrow Unit of the NPA killed the Vigos, a claim the NPA denied.
But Fermiza said that Pabustan's challenge that the Magtanggol Roque Command (MRC) present an evidence and lodge a complaint in the proper forum “can only mean that he is feeling the heat after strong public opinion shows that many people in North Cotabato are convinced that a covert AFP death squad is behind the ambush-slaying of George and Maricel Vigo.”
Fermiza stressed that Pabustan’s statement that the AFP has always valued life “is a cheap and empty program that makes a mockery out of and adds insult to the pain and sufferings borne by the families of countless civilians who were killed by the AFP and trivialized as collateral damage of its counter-revolutionary war.”
The more than 600 political activists who were summarily executed since 2001, not including journalists, “is a proof that political killings had become a national state policy implemented by the AFP through its motorcycle-riding assassins,” the statement said.
The communist rebels had also accused politicians, including North Cotabato Gov. Emmanuel Piñol, “of the rising tide of crimes against the people.” Pinol earlier said he didn’ t have to answer the NPA allegation.
The Vigo couple was buried at the Cotabato Memorial Park here last Saturday.
Relatives said they will pursue the case against those behind the killing now that the victims had been buried.
“We won’t stop until justice is served,” said Mabel Alave-Porras, younger sister of Macel. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)