CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City—The 3 soldiers who were killed by the NPAs were in civilian clothes and sustained a total of 76 gunshots of different calibers based on the report of the PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. Initial investigation revealed that the three soldiers who were killed last February 1, 2017, along Sitio Kaleb, Brgy Kibalabag, an outskirt community of Malaybalay City, were found dead and sustained a minimum of 24 gunshots each.
Recovered near the killed soldiers are 21-Fired Cartridge Cases (FCC) of 5.56 mm (for M16 rifle), 1- 5.56 mm cartridge, 7- 7.62x 51mm FCC (for M14), 10- 7.62x 39mm FCC (for AK47), 2- 7.62x39mm cartridges (for AK47), 5- 7.62x63mm FCCs (for Garand), and 1- Cal 30 FCCs (for Carbine).
Further, the investigation revealed that the soldiers are on board two motorcycles traversing the route of the said outskirt community when the NPAs flagged them down and eventually killed them.
There are NPAs firing from the high ground and that they went near the three unarmed soldiers to finish them off, considering that the bulk of the rounds were found near their dead bodies.
Colonel Eric C Vinoya, 403rd Infantry Brigade Commander described the act as inhuman and overkill in nature, he said, “We condemn the recent act of violence perpetrated by alleged NPA members against three (3) personnel of the 8th Infantry Battalion who were conducting Community Support Program in Brgy Manalog, Malaybalay City. They left the barangay because they needed to secure some documentary requirements for a livelihood project that they were facilitating in the community and to get their Subsistence Allowances. Unfortunately, they were flagged down and murdered by armed men as they were about to go back to the community. They were in civilian attire and unarmed when they were slain.”
“This act perpetrated by the NPA only shows that they are not fighting for an ideology anymore. They have resorted to criminal acts and banditry the moment that they murdered our troops and took their money and personal belongings.”
For his part, MGen Benjamin R Madrigal Jr, 4ID Commander lambasted the barbaric act of the NPA. “Is this what they call achievement of “just peace?” he said. “How can this NPA say that they also want peace if they still continue to kill with impunity, continue to burn construction and production equipment, and kill innocent people?”
“If they really want peace, then they must lay down their arms and start working with the whole nation on the solutions of these socio-economic problems. They must show sincerity and finally end their violence for the benefit of every Filipino.”
This incident will not hinder us to continue our mandate that is to protect our people and secure their communities against any threat. To the perpetrators, the full force of the law will be implemented until justice is served to our soldiers.”