KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/ 8 March) – The New Peoples’ Army (NPA) has owned the killing here on Wednesday of a Filipino businessman of Swiss descent.
In a statement issued today, the Merardo Arce Command of the Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the NPA said Patrick Wineger, 48, a trader from Barangay Saguing, Makilala, North Cotabato, was punished for his involvement in the killing October last year of Italian missionary Fausto Tentorio, PIME.
Rebel spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez said they implemented the standing order against Wineger whom they considered as a “Bagani” coddler. The Bagani, according to Sanchez, is a group of armed natives, which Wineger has organized in the 1990s with help from some of Lumad leaders.
“Text Messages in Wineger’s mobile phone confiscated by … NPA operatives revealed his role as handler of paramilitary baganis linked with Fr. Tentorio’s murder,” the statement said.
The NPA regional operations command has tasked NPA Front Committee 53 to execute the order.
Wineger, according to Sanchez, had long been on the NPA’s standing order for his anti-communist activities in North Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Bukidnon.
“His active participation in anti-NPA activities involved the supervision of Lumad military assets and passing of intelligence information to the fascist enemy that led to the death of two NPA Red fighters, and burning to death of a civilian in Saguing, Makilala town. He also placed the NPA units operating in North Cotabato in near-defensive actions, and actively campaigned for the forced recruitment of local lumads as paramilitary CAFGUs in cahoots with the 6th Infantry Division-AFP,” the statement said.
Wineger was shot dead Wednesday morning while buying some vegetables in one of the peddlers along Villamarzo Street in Kidapawan City.
The suspects also took the victim’s pistol which, according to witnesses, was used to finish him off.
The Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has released a statement blaming the death on the NPAs. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)