Army condemns NPA for pastor’s death

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SURIGAO CITY, Philippines  –– The Philippine Army condemns the New People’s Army on the recent ambush of the members of the Congregation of the Jehovah’s Witness that resulted in the death of a pastor.

Major General Ronald Villanueva, Commander of Army’s 4th Infantry Division said the Infantry Division is one with the local government of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte and the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witness in condemning the heinous NPA terrorist attack to civilians at the community of Brgy Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Sur.

“We extend our deepest condolence to the family of late Pastor Jepti Acido. Civilians are not direct participants to hostilities (DPH) and should not be part of the target of the NPA. The continuous attacks to civilians show proof that New People’s Army are worthy to be called as TERRORISTS! I am calling for the people who constantly seek for the resumption of peace talks – be one with us in condemning this attack to civilians and further ask the NPA to show sincerity so that resumption of peace talks will pursue,” he expressed.

Acido succumbed to a gunshot wound on the left eye while his two companions, Virgil Flor Ortiz and Adner Malaque both suffered gunshot wounds.

Under the Part IV, Article IV item number 4 of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the civilian populace shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property, shall not be the object of attack.

Brigadier General Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of 402nd Infantry brigade said these attacks only fuel the military’s desire to protect our people from these thugs.

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