THE Cagayan Provincial Police Office (CPPO) in Tuguegarao City disputed the land grabbing and murder accusations the communist New People’s Army (NPA) made against slain Baggao town councilor Angelo Figueras Luis.
Senior Supt. Warren Gaspar Tolito, CPPO director, said he does not agree with the NPA Henry Abraham Front’s claim that Luis was a land grabber and a murderer.
In a statement sent to The Manila Times on Monday, Fernan Cagayan, media liaison officer of the NPA Henry Abraham Front, said the movement ordered the arrest of Luis because “he had a score to settle with the people.”
“The people’s revolutionary government ordered the arrest of Luis so he can face charges of land grabbing and murder filed against him at the people’s court,” Cagayan said in the statement.
Fernan also accused Luis of aiding military operations in October 2011 in Barangay (village) San Miguel in Baggao town which led to the “murder of four NPA fighters” including commander Dominador Javier alias “Ka Martin.”
Tolito said it was Luis who offered help to the peasant group called Kagimungan by allowing them to use his land for free in Baggao town.
“But when Luis asked them to vacate his land to convert it into a fishpond, Kagimungan members refused and instead filed a case against him for land grabbing. The court decided in favor of Luis,” Tolito said.
At about 7 p.m. on Saturday some 20 fully armed men barged into the house of Luis in Barangay Awallan, killed him and took away four firearms he owned.
In the statement, Cagayan also confirmed that the NPA is taking responsibility for killing Luis after “he attempted to escape from the ‘NPA revolutionary government’s arresting officers’ and even fired at them.”
Meanwhile, the military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) condemned the “treacherous act of killing [the Baggao town councilor]in his very own home.”
“[This] only reflects the real intention of the NPA criminal group to sow terror and instill fear in society to attain their inhumane and unlawful agenda. This further manifests the NPA terrorists’ total disregard for human rights,” Nolcom said in a statement.
Nolcom said Allawan village residents saw about 17 NPA rebels, four of whom were deployed in front of the councilor’s house while six others were at Zone 5 in the village manning a checkpoint.
The rebels arrived in the area and waited for the councilor who was in his farm in Barangay Lasilat. Upon Luis’ arrival from the farm, four armed NPA rebels forcibly entered his house, fired at him several times, killing him on the spot.
After the killing, the source said, the rebels fled to the far-flung sub-village of Kagurongan in Awallan and scattered leaflets saying “The people’s war, a response to Duterte’s martial law” in the vernacular and inviting young people to join the Henry Abraham Command.
“Ironically, the NPA insists on justifying their criminal act by sentencing people with ‘capital punishment’ for committing grave offenses against the people through extra judicial killing,” Nolcom said.