NPA denies responsibility for killing of Gonzaga family

The denial was made through a press statement signed by a certain Ka Parago, spokesperson for the 1st Pulang Bagani Company of the Merardo Arce Command of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command.

Parago said his group is categorically denying any hand in the brutal slay of the Gonzaga family in sitio Bulan-Bulan, Barangay Dalagdag Calinan, and put the blame on Alamara, a group of armed natives connected to the 73rd Infantry Battalion of the Army stationed at Calinan.

The Alamara, according to Parago, is the brainchild of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) operating in Davao provinces, including Davao City.

“The group (Alamara) has been responsible for years of banditry, salvaging and other deplorable acts of intimidation in the hinterlands,” he said.

The military, under Col. Alex Ambal of the 73rd IB, has tagged Commander Parago as the mastermind in the killing of the Gonzagas.

“But this was just an attempt to win propaganda points and depict the NPA as terrorists and criminals and to deflect attention from the victorious (Davao Prison and Penal Farm) raid and public condemnation over the military's indiscriminate firing and killing of 9-year old Grecil Galacio in Compostela Valley,” Parago said.

On April 9, a couple and their two kids were killed in Sitio Isled, Barangay Dalagdag in Calinan.  The victims were identified as Fernando Gonzaga, 45, his wife Fe, 35, and their daughter Ritchel, 15, and son Ferdinand, 9.   

Initial investigations showed the couple and their children were killed with M14 and M16 armalite rifles.

Reports from the 73rd IB said the victims could have angered the communist group over their refusal to give in to its extortion demands.   

The military added that the massacre “was apparently part of the NPA's diversionary tactic to shift the military's attention away from the (penal farm)  raiders.”  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)