NPA admits killing Lumad leader in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 10 April) – The New Peoples’ Army (NPA) has admitted responsibility for the April 4 killing of a Lumad leader in Magpet town, North Cotabato.

Isabel Santiago, spokesperson of the Mount Apo Sub-Regional Command of the NPA Southern Mindanao Region said they imposed “revolutionary justice” against Antonio P. Takinan for aiding the military in counterinsurgency.

Takinan served as the indigenous peoples’ mandatory representative in Magpet.

On April 4, Takinan and his brother-in-law Robilio Tambunan, were on board motorcycles towards Barangay Tagbak, Magpet when ambushed by the rebels.

Takinan died on the spot while Tambunan fought back and escaped with injuries, Santiago said.

Tambunan is the IP mandatory representative in Tagbak.

Santiago said they seized from Takinan a caliber .45 pistol.

“The standing order imposed by the NPA against Takinan stemmed from his active intelligence gathering activities, forced recruitment of indigenous peoples for the paramilitary Cafgu (Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit) Bagani fighters and assisting the military in its combat operations that resulted in grave human rights and international humanitarian law violations,” she said.

She blamed Takinan for the shelling and aerial bombardment of Lumad communities on December 21 last year by the 39th Infantry Battalion.

She further accused him of helping the Army force civilians to either “surrender” or admit to being supporters of the NPA.

Last week, Lumad leaders in Magpet condemned the killing and asked for protection from the military.

The Army has yet to issue a statement on the killing. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)