Secret AFP 'dirty war' paying hired killers bared in Escanilla assassination probe | BICOL TODAY

Secret AFP ‘dirty war’ paying hired killers bared in Escanilla assassination probe

Teodoro Escanilla, Radio anchorman and spokersperson of human rights group Karapatan in Sorsogon province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Teodoro Escanilla, Radio anchorman and spokersperson of human rights group Karapatan in Sorsogon province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By News Team

SORSOGON CITY – Sometime in November 2014, An Army officer offered a detained civilian, under torture, a gun and money of PhP 50,000. to kill human rights activist Teodoro “Ka Tudoy” Escanilla. The detainee refused and, later went to Manila out of fear for his life after his release.

This revelation now exposed the secret “dirty war tactic” used by the State in offering civilians money as bounty to kill “quality targets”, the victims mostly dissenters and members of cause-oriented groups and militant organizations. The money comes from public funds.

Elements of the “peace and development team” (PDT) of the 31st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA), previously based in Brgy. San Antonio, Barcelona, Sorsogon, are the main suspects in the killing Wednesday midnight of “Ka Tudoy” Escanilla, spokesperson of KARAPATAN-Sorsogon, and radio anchorperson of a human rights advocacy program.

This came up after human rights probers of non-government organizations have dug up information regarding the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Escanilla.

This fact was deduced from a sworn statement by a resident of the said barangay whose name was intentionally withheld for his safety.

According to the affiant of the sworn statement, the Army PDT of the 31st IBPA arrived in their barangay in October 2014. The Army PDT had engaged in population survey and interrogation of select residents whom they suspected of either being members, supporters or sympathizers of the New People’s Army (NPA).

The affiant was one of the residents “invited” for questioning by a certain Army trooper Alex Buenaobra, whom he presumed to be the leader of the Army PDT.

Army trooper Buenaobra interrogated him inside the barangay hall of San Antonio on November 22, 2014.

In the course of this interrogation, Buenaobra offered the affiant a calibre .45 pistol and the sum of Php50,000.00 to kill Tudoy or Teodoro Escanilla. He refused to do the bidding of Buenaobra.

The said affiant was released after suffering long hours of mental and physical torture. He went to Manila for fear for his life and his family’s, and came back on February 21, 2015 when the Army PDT left their place.

According to a fact-finding human rights team led by Karapatan-Sorsogon, there is no lingering doubt about the killers of Ka Tudoy.

Only the 31st IBPA, based in Rangas, Juban, Sorsogon, have the motive and orientation (Oplan Bayanihan), weaponry, logistics and training to execute the operation to kill Ka Tudoy.

The 31st IBPA, like all other state security units, have gained notorious expertise through the years in implementing operations in accordance with the counter-insurgency guidelines and dirty war manuals of the US military.

The war manual expressly encourages “mercilessly killing defenseless, legal and legally protected activists and innocent civilians in the name of national security which considers all opposition to government policies as enemies of the state.”

Many civilians, branded by the military as “rebels” had been killed by unknown gunmen in Sorsogon during intensive military operations inside conflict-torn areas.

The pattern of extra-judicial killings is similar to other killings that had been happening in other provinces. []

Posted by on August 23, 2015. Filed under Headlines,Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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