NPA Rebels Deny Surrender Of 21 Fighters In South RP

August 24, 2007 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DAVAO CITY, Philippine (Mindanao Examiner / 24 Aug) – The New People’s Army rebels on Friday strongly denied that 21 of its members had surrendered to the military in southern Philippines.

The Philippine Army under Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza paraded the rebels in Davao City on Wednesday and told the mayor Rodrigo Duterte and journalists that the 21, all Manobo tribesmen, were NPA members.

Holganza said the rebels also surrendered their weapons.

Boyet Makatindog, of the NPA Front 34 in southern Mindanao, said the 21 were not NPA rebels, but members of the so-called Mindanao Manobo Defense Force, a notorious paramilitary group, blamed for banditry in the provinces of Davao and Agusan.

He said the group is headed by brothers William and Jimmy Man-anohog. He said William Man-anohog, who was wounded in a clash last month with a rival faction, earlier surrendered to the military.

Makatindog branded the surrender of the 21 tribesmen as a publicity stunt by Holganza. “The were weapons are theatrical props given by the Army to bolster the lie peddled during the so-called surrender ceremony which was timed to coincide with the anniversary celebration of the 1001st Infantry Brigade under Holganza,” he said.

He said the NPA has been running after the bandit group because it has been victimizing innocent villagers and farmers.

“They are engaged in banditry, extortion, harassment and other criminal activities. It is a well known fact in the provinces that William and his brother and their gang are criminals. They are behind the murder of four members of a Lumad family,” Makatindog said.

“Misrepresenting civilians as NPAs is a worse and worn-out propaganda trick, but misrepresenting criminals and bandits as NPAs at the expense of the public, the media, and even Davao City Mayor Duterte, is the worst.” (Mindanao Examiner)

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