By Joey Natividad
LEGAZPI CITY (BicolToday.com/05-May-2012) – The New People’s Army (NPA) group here in Albay province denied Army reports that the young civilian killed in Pio Duran town on April 30 was a victim of alleged encounter between Army soldiers and NPA guerrillas, but, it claimed that he was gunned down by soldiers of 2nd IB.
Florante Orobia, spokesman of the NPA Santos Binamera Command in Albay, said in a statement, the dead civilian Alvin Moratalla, 24 years old, was walking with his friend, Charlie Bartolome, 15 years old minor, in the village of Tibabo toward the village of Basicao-Interior about midnight to attend a public dance when they met government troops of the 2nd infantry battalion. They were fired upon by the soldiers, which killed Moratalla, and traumatizing minor Bartolome who survived the shooting incident.
The NPA spokesman, in the statement, also said there was no clashes nor encounter between NPA units and Army soldiers in areas in Albay on April 30.
However, Major Narzan Oboyes, 901Bde Army spokesman, on Wednesday said over radio broadcasts that the two civilians were members of the rebel group, and that there was an encounter between Army units and the NPA rebels.
The NPA blamed the military for fabricating lies and resorting to black propaganda by hiding their abuses against civilians through allegations about “imaginary encounters with rebels” when they fired upon innocent civilians.
Orobia, in the statement, said the civilians are not members of the NPA. [BicolToday.com]
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