Army exec scores militant group over lies on nabbed Reds in Mindoro

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 10, 2023, 1:30 pm

MANILA – A ranking official of the Philippine Army (PA) has scored militant group Karapatan for spreading lies on the recent capture of three New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Oriental Mindoro and for using the issue to amass money through an “alert-surface-donation-release” (ASDR) scheme.

“Mga sinungaling kayo, mga mandurugas (you are liars, scammers)," Brig. Gen. Randolph Cabangbang, 203rd Infantry Brigade chief, said during the online conference Monday of the Integrated Communications Office Center (ICOC), the media bureau of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed (NTF-ELCAC).

NTF-ELCAC spokesperson and ICOC head and director-designate Joel Sy Egco also lambasted Karapatan for duping the public for calling the captured rebels – Alia Encela, Peter del Monte and Job David – as “IP (indigenous people) advocates.”

“They are fake IP advocates. Hindi nga nila (three rebels) alam na IP advocates sila. Ang alam nila ay NPA sila (not even the three rebels know that they are IP advocates, they know they are NPA members)," he added.

Cabangbang echoed Egco's remarks, saying that even the three were stunned when they learned Karapatan called them IP advocates.

Egco said Karapatan and other "communist terrorist groups" use the “ASDR” template not only to generate funds to aid terror activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA, but also as a tool to recruit from the youth sector as young as junior and senior high school students and out-of-school youth (OSY) from vulnerable communities.

“The three are not aware they’re IP advocates,” Cabangbang said, urging the public not to support the donation campaign of the insurgents.

He said the three NPA rebels were not abducted, presenting a video of the location where Encela, del Monte and David were captured in a legitimate military operation on Sept. 23 in Sitio Malaglag, Barangay Lisap in Bongabong town.

The three NPA rebels are charged with the violation of Republic Act 8294, or illegal possession and manufacture of explosive devices, a non-bailable offense. (PNA)