26th IB-AFP Punished for Violations of Human Rights in Agusan del Sur*
Alejandro Lanaja Command
Guerilla Front 3 Operations Command, New People’s Army-Southern Mindanao
26 August 2010
The August 24 tactical offensive by the Alejandro Lanaja Command Guerilla Front 3 Operations Command-NPA in Barangay La Fortuna, Veruela, Agusan del Sur is a punitive action against the 26th Infantry Battalion-AFP for its abuses and violations of human rights.
The daring early dawn attack wiped out a team of the 26th IB-AFP with five killed and one wounded. One Minimi machine gun, two M16 rifles, about 1,800 rounds of ammunition and 10 M203 grenades were confiscated. No Red fighter was wounded.
In Veruela town alone, the 26th IB-AFP committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law directed against civilians. After the February 24, 2010 harassment operations that resulted in the killing of a 26th IB-AFP lieutenant and four enlisted personnel, the 26th IB-AFP and other units of the 402nd Brigade-4th Infantry Division-AFP threatened entire peasant villages, mauled civilians on suspicions of being NPA members, ransacked houses and made illegal arrests and other abusive acts. And being an apologist of the AFP, the Commission on Human Rights-Caraga regional office did not lift even a finger to address these clear violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.
Being armed combatants of the GRP and legitimate military targets, the NPA launched a tactical offensive to punish the enemy fascists. And yesterday, the 26th IB-AFP suffered new casualties as a column of their operating troops were surprised and hit by NPA gunfire. Two enlisted personnel and a Cafgu were wounded.
Political and military victories in the armed struggle and the revolutionary mass movement are accumulated as the people’s war continues its forward march towards a strategic advance.