TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Army has welcomed the investigation of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the killing of a civilian by the New People’s Army (NPA) in an upland village in Carigara, Leyte.
Capt. Kaharudin Cadil, Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade spokesperson, said in a phone interview Wednesday they are very supportive of the ongoing investigation as part of the soldiers’ promotion, adherence to and respect of human rights.
Cadil said they accompanied on Tuesday a team from the CHR regional office led by Raquel Barastas that launched a special investigation on the killing of civilian Jesus Sarcilla, 61, by members of communist terrorist group led by Juanito Sellesa.
The NPA killed Sarcilla on Dec. 7, 2021 as witnessed by the victim’s daughter, Zosima, 26, “despite the goodwill he extended to the said terrorist group by providing them food and shelter.” He was shot multiple times outside their house in Binibihan village in Carigara town.
“According to the CHR, the case was already filed before Branch 48 of the Regional Prosecution Office for International Humanitarian Law violation. The CHR came in to identify human rights violations and demand accountability. Through this investigation, we will be able to prevent future atrocities, targeting innocent civilians,” Cadil told the Philippine News Agency.
The town of Carigara has been the focus of military operation against the NPA in Leyte province in the past three years.
Between 2019 to 2020, NPA remnants have moved to the mountains of Carigara after soldiers cleared the infiltrated areas in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte.
Carigara is about 48 kilometers northwest of Tacloban, the regional capital. It is a 2nd class town with a population of over 51,000.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)