NPA admits killing Lumad leader

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/30 July) — The New Peoples’ Army has admitted killing on July 27 a tribal chieftain in North Cotabato.

In a statement dated July 29, Isabel Santiago, spokesperson of the Herminio Alfonso Command of the NPA Front 53, said they executed Datu Libontos Ansabu, also known in Arakan, North Cotabato as Commander Ibon, based on the sentence handed down by a “People’s Court”.

Santiago accused Ansabu of involvement in at least 11 shooting incidents since 2003 where 19 people, many of them Lumads, were killed.

She said the killings included the massacre of the Alcontin family in Sitio Kilukag, Barangay Amabel in Magpet, North Cotabato in 2010; murder of Faustino Amasing on May 1, 2010; Jimmy Quitario on August 20, 2010; Thomas Igot on August 13, 2008; and Sofronio Asenjo on October 29, 2003.

The tribal datu was also responsible for at least four cattle rustling cases, arson, and three cases of theft and robbery in Arakan and Magpet, she further alleged.

The NPA also accused Commander Ibon of helping the Army in their counterinsurgency operations in the province.

But Ansabu’s family described his death as “evil and inhuman” and urged authorities to give them justice.

Juvelyn Ansabu likened his father to The Christ, “who was killed for the crimes he did not commit.

She claimed his father was tortured before he was killed. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)