Militiaman’s wife slain in DavNor NPA attack

By Lilian Mellejor and Rhoda Grace Saron

December 16, 2018, 5:53 pm

DAVAO CITY -- The wife of a member of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) died when armed men believed to be members of the New People's Army (NPA) attacked the house of the couple in Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on Saturday.

Capt. John Louie Dema-ala, public information officer of the 56th Infantry Battalion, said the victim was identified as Gina Mantayona, 23, whose husband, Mario, is an active member of CAFGU.

Dema-ala said Mario was on duty when two armed men attacked the couple’s house.

He said one of the armed men was identified as Rommel Tausan, member of the NPA's Guerrilla Front 55.

"They conducted liquidation attempt against Gina Mantayona, wife of CAA Mario," he added.

According to a report from the Police Regional Office (PRO)-11, Gina, who sustained a gunshot at the right portion of her abdomen, died on Saturday night at the Davao Regional Medical Center in Apokon, Tagum City where she was transferred from the Davao del Norte Hospital-Kapalong Zone on board a motorcycle due to her critical condition.

Chief Insp. Jason Baria, spokesperson of PRO-11, said the Talaingod Municipal Police conducted checkpoints to track the perpetrators in their possible escape.

Baria said a follow-up investigation is ongoing.

Lt. Col. Edwin Paredes, 56th IB commander, said the NPA's desperate move to inflict casualties is evident considering that Sitio Nasilaban is under the control of Datu Guibang, one of the tribal leaders who abandoned the communist armed group to support of the government.

Paredes said an army unit is currently coordinating with the Talaingod municipal police station for the appropriate conduct of investigation and documentation for the filing of cases against the NPA.

This latest attack came following an order from the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA (CPP-NPA) leadership to mount offensives in response to the martial law extension in Mindanao.

Baria said the CPP-NPA order prompted the police leadership to stay on high alert for possible tactical engagement of the CPP-NPA members against government and prized civilians.

Meanwhile, PRO-11 director Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales has ordered the Talaingod police to dig deeper into the incident and the arrest of the perpetrators.

“We condemn such vicious attacks on the civilians by the CPP-NPA,” Morales said.

Authorities are eyeing a case for violation of Republic Act 9851 against the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines leadership for hitting on civilians without direct participation in hostilities.

RA 9851 is an act defining and penalizing crimes against international humanitarian law, genocide, and other crimes against humanity, organizing jurisdiction, designating special courts and other related purposes. (PNA)