Show proof of abuse, Army challenges victims
10th Infantry Division (ID) challenged the alleged victims of abuses perpetrated by their soldiers and militiamen to provide evidence to back their claims through legal process.
"We urge the alleged victims to substantiate their accusations on the alleged involvement of any of our personnel, whether CAA (Cafgu Active Auxiliary) or active military members, to allow them to answer in the courts of justice," 10th ID spokesperson Rhyan Batchar said in a statement issued yesterday.
This developed in the wake of the killing of Obillo Bay-ao at Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte last September 5 in which militant groups accused the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) as behind it but authorities maintained that the suspects are not members of the CAA or any paramilitary group sanctioned by the military.
Investigation on the incident is ongoing and authorities are still waiting for its result to determine the identity of the suspect.
"The 60th Infantry Battalion who takes operational control of CAAs deployed within its area is fully cooperating with the Talaingod PNP and Davao
del Norte Police Provincial Office (DNPPO) who are conducting investigations on the said case," he said.
He further said the AFP unit does not tolerate abuses of human rights committed by their personnel and vowed to make those erring personnel accountable if proven guilty.
"The 10th Infantry Division does not condone any violation of Human Rights by any of our soldiers. Likewise, if any case our soldiers are found to have committed violations thereto, we assure the victims and the people we serve that we shall take serious actions against violators of human rights, administratively or criminally," he said.
Batchar noted that on the same day, there were five civilians onboard two motorcycles from Central Baugan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte who were ambushed by 10 New People's Army (NPA) members under Guerilla Front 55 at the vicinity of Sitio Mambandulan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte at 7:50 a.m., September 5.
Also, a victim identified as Tikoy Manampao suffered gunshot wounds but was immediately brought to the nearest hospital for medication and shortly after the said ambush, at around 2 p.m. of the same day, another shooting incident transpired where the victim was identified as Bay-ao, 18.