Army killed Kalinga hunter – Rights group

BAGUIO CITY —Another farmer-hunter was killed in cold-blood by the military elements in Kalinga.

According to the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), Rocky “Ungki” Aboli a village councilman, went to his farm in Mt. Bulos in Upper Uma last July 20 to guard his crops from wild animals.

At around 4:15 P.M., residents heard gunshots and immediately sent some youth to check what is it all about. The military in the area, however, did not allow them to pass through and just said that Aboli was safe with them and was being fed.

The next day, some members of the Uma tribe went to the site of the incident and found Aboli dead on the ground. The AFP troops just said to the community members that Aboli fired a gun to their direction and thus was fired back.  The CHRA identified the troops as belonging t the 21st and 77th Infantry Battalion f the Philippine Army.

The military, in a press statement by the 5th Infantry Division based in Upi, Gamu, Isabela, said Aboli was killed during an encounter between the military and members of the rebel group New People’s Army (NPA).

But according to a July 25 statement sent to the media by the Lejo Cawilan Command of the NPA-Kalinga, the military’s reports are nothing but “brazen lies.”

The NPA command said Aboli was shot to death by troops led by Lt. Jay Alambra, Lt. Aries Apduhan and a certain Major Domingo.

It was not the first time this year that elements of the 21st IB murdered a civilian, the statement added. Two witnesses identified Apduhan as the commanding officer of the troops who killed Rey “Aginawang” Logao in Kalasan, Mabongtot, Lubuagan on April 4.

According to CHRA statistics, at least 13 civilians were already killed by the government’s armed forces in Kalinga since 2002, all of whom were either wrongly accused of being combatants or supporters of the communist armed group.

“We, condemn in the strongest terms these military atrocities, the culture of impunity and the killings of innocent civilians,” the CHRA statement said. # (BarangayRP News Team)

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