Police General Oscar Albayalde said he will speak with the police regional and provincial directors to look into the existence of Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (Kagubak).
The STAR/Boy Santos
PNP to look into anti-communist 'Kagubak' group in Negros Oriental
(Philstar.com) - August 29, 2019 - 12:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police will investigate alleged killings by a supposed anti-communist death squad in Negros Oriental, Police General Oscar Albayalde said Thursday, saying also that the deaths may just be rebel propaganda.

Sens. Ronald Dela Rosa and Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called for a police probe into Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (Kagubak). It was learned during the Senate probe into the recent string of killings in Negros island that five of 15 people tagged as New People’s Army supporters in the group's flyer have since been killed.

News5 reported that Albayalde said he has yet to receive a report from the regional director and provincial director in the area regarding the group.

He said he will confer with the police director in Negros to determine whether the group really exists. He also assured the public that police are looking into the cases of the victims of the supposed death squad.

 

The report said that the police chief is also looking into the possibility that the killings were either part of a "purge" or are for propaganda.

"They sacrifice their own and then they blame the security forces—the PNP and AFP. This is not a new propaganda espoused by these left-leaning groups," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Albayalde made a similar statement after nine sugar workers were killed in Sagay City, also on Negros island, last October.

He said a bungkalan, or land cultivation activity, that ended in the deaths was "a grand design to occupy private and government property using their mass base and to create untoward incident then blame it on the government." 

 Rights group Karapatan and the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers earlier said that Trinidad’s murder showed that “hit lists” often translate to killings.

“This only proves as well that the perceived dangers of being arbitrarily, maliciously and baselessly red-tagged are neither imaginary nor contrived, but constitute real threats to life, liberty and security,” Edre Olaila, NUPL secretary general, said.

Both the Karapatan and NUPL, as well as other rights groups, earlier sought protection from Philippine courts against red-tagging as they point out the rising killings among their members. They failed to receive favorable ruling from the Court of Appeals.

'Hit list' discussed at Senate probe

During the Senate hearing on August 27, Hontiveros pointed out that a third in the Kagubak’s “hit list,” has been killed. This included human rights lawyer Anthony Trinidad.

Trinidad’s killing, the senator said, confirms that the “hit list” is “real.”

Lt. Col. Bonifacio Tecson, Guihulngan City police chief, also revealed that several people on the list—including Trinidad—had approached the police to clear their names when the flyers came out in 2018.

“Many went to the police station. They wanted to clear their names [and clarify] that they are not supporters of the NPA,” Tecson said.

Dela Rosa, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, called on the Police Regional Office 7 “to account for the 10 living persons on the list.” — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from News5/Greg Gregorio

NEGROS KILLINGS OSCAR ALBAYALDE SENATE
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