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Nation

Soldiers in 'Kiblawan massacre' not yet off the hook

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Army is looking at the possible liability of a former battalion commander whose subordinates were involved in an operation that left three civilians dead in Davao del Sur.

Col. Rhoderick Parayno, chief of the Army Human Rights Office, said Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo, the former commander of the 27th battalion, is not yet cleared as they are looking at the command responsibility aspect of the operation.

“On our own, we are determining whether the battalion commander was really excluded (in the conduct of the operation). There are no results yet so he (Bravo) is not yet off the hook,” Parayno said.

He said the Army cannot exonerate Bravo without proving that he should not be liable for the lapses committed during the operation.

Last month, a mother and his two sons were killed in an operation against armed bandits by members of the 27th battalion.

The victims, identified as Juvy Capion, 28, and her sons Jordan, 13 and John Mark, 6, were killed by soldiers in barangay Kimlawis in Kiblawan town. The incident was initially reported as an encounter with communist insurgents.

An Army officer – 1Lt. Dante Jimenez – and 12 other soldiers are now facing general court martial over the incident.

In a report to the Army’s Board of Inquiry, Jimenez admitted he failed to assess whether the individuals in the area of the operation were rebels or civilians. Jimenez was the company commander who figured in the incident.

Jimenez and the 12 soldiers will face the military tribunal for violations of the Article of War 76 (Misbehavior before the Enemy), Article of War 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman) and the Article of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline).

ALEXIS BRAVO

AN ARMY

ARTICLE OF WAR

BOARD OF INQUIRY

CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL

CONDUCT UNBECOMING

DANTE JIMENEZ

GOOD ORDER AND MILITARY DISCIPLINE

JIMENEZ

JOHN MARK

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