Abra rebels belie troops claim of killing guerrillas
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - February 6, 2013 - 1:27pm

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Communist guerrillas on Tuesday evening belied the military and police’s claim of killing four New People's Army rebels in an encounter in Lagangilang town in Abra on January 30.

“Magkatuwang na pangungurakot at pagsisinungaling ang nasa likod ng mga hungkag na pahayag,” said Diego Wadagan, spokesperson of the Abra-based Agustin Begnalen Command (ABC) of the CPP-NPA. wadagan also said the alleged surrender of a supposed NPA leader in Abra last week was also a hoax.

He added that officials of the AFP and PNP pocket rewards whenever they make up news about killing or arresting rebels.

The 503rd Bridage earlier announced that its forces in Abra killed four guerrillas in armed skirmishes in sitio Manipit, barangay Kayapa, Lagangilang morning of January 30.  No body count was however showed by the government forces.

Wadagan confirmed that a unit of the Procopio Tauro Front of the ABC clashed with government forces, but he said  no rebel was killed or hurt.

The rebel group spokesperson also said the alleged surrender of  Connie Santiago Valera, 29 of Poblacion Lacub, Lacub town also in Abra was a lie.  First, Wadagan said, Santiago is not an official of the ABC and particularly not a high-ranking leader of the Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee of the CPP-NPA as claimed by the Cordillera police.

Wadagan said it is a “modus operandi of officials of the AFP and PNP to tag ordinary citizens as high ranking leaders of the CPP-NPA  so that they can collect the bounty reaching millions of pesos.”

The Cordillera police earlier tagged a son of Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF) spokesperson Simon Naogsan – Grayson Naogsan—as a high ranking leader of the CPP-NPA in the region and placed a more than P10 million reward money for his arrest.

The younger Naogsan was reportedly arrested while having coffee at a huge mall in Baguio City last year and is now being held at the Ifugao provincial jail for various criminal charges.

The government earlier earmarked P400-million reward money for the arrest of top ranking CPP-NPA-NDF leaders in the country.

“Kaya’t ilang mga ordinaryong mamamayan na ang arbitraryong dinadakip at pinaparatangang matataas na opisyal ng CPP-NPA-NDF,” Wadagan said.

The rebel spokesperson also claimed that  four farmers who were looking for honey were held for a least five days by the military during the day of the encounter.  They were even told, Wadagan said, not to tell anyone about that incident.  Those reportedly held for days were Anacleto “Killito” Tugade, Ceferino “Boying” Poclani (Barangay Kagawad of Kayapa), Jemmy Esmie Bageng,  and Bonifacio “Pacio” Bagang.

Also before the January 30 encounter,  young Kayapa villager Meymar Alcantara, who was tagged as an NPA supporter, was  reportedly mandhandled by soldiers.- Artemio Dumlao

ABRA AGUSTIN BEGNALEN COMMAND ARTEMIO DUMLAO BAGUIO CITY BARANGAY KAGAWAD OF KAYAPA CONNIE SANTIAGO VALERA CORDILLERA PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC FRONT NPA WADAGAN
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