Bancasi, Butuan City – Troops of the 29th Infantry Battalion under the 402nd Infantry Brigade have strictly observed the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as they rescued and treated another wounded CPP-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs) in an encounter between the troops of 29th Infantry Battalion and CNT members of Sentro De Gravidad (SDG) 16, Guerilla Front (GF) 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) on November 2, 2019 around 10 o’clock in the morning, at the hinterlands of Brgy San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.
Alias Kent from Negros Oriental, 19 years old, was treated by government troops to prevent blood loss and successfully extricated him to the nearest hospital.
Kent added that he was rescued by the 29IB troopers in that fateful day when he cried for help after realizing he was abandoned by his comrades and under excruciating pain, “Pagkaigo nako, nawad-an nakog paglaom kay nag isig dinaganay na akong mga kauban. Nangayo kog tabang sa ila apan nipadayon lang silag panagan busa nakahuna-huna ko nga manawag og tabang sa mga sundalo.”
Kent is very grateful and felt blessed because the people he considered as enemies were the ones who saved him from dying. “Layo ra kaayo ang imahe sa sundalo nga gipasabot sa amo sa kalihukan. Dili tinood nga patyon sa militar ang mga samaran nga madakpan, tabangan pa nila hinoon. Ako gyud ang buhing testimonya”, Kent emotionally told.
Col Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade said, “Unlike the CNTs who kill innocent civilians and unarmed government troops who have no means to fight and defend themselves, our troops strictly abides with the principles and provisions of IHL wherein our soldiers treated wounded enemies, Kent is the newest living proof of the soldiers’ respect andcommitment to IHL and Human Rights (HR).”
Contrast to the Army’s respect for IHL and HR, the CNTs used violence to promote their cause. A CAFGU member, Pablo Omblero, was murdered in front of his wife Elizabeth Dela Torre despite desperately pleading for his husband’s life on October 27, 2019 in Valencia City. Recently, Pastor Alfonso Santi Gayento, 70 years old, a pastor of Fundamental Leader, was shot to death by members of CNTs under the command of Armando Rabanes alias Antoy at Purok 1, Brgy San Vicente, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on November 01, 2019.
“While our troops intensified our commitment to uphold and respect the IHL and HR at the center of every military operations, the CNTs continuously disrespect human lives and utterly disregarded the laws that promotes the welfare of the people. We hope that the remaining CNTs realized the futility of their armed struggle. Killing will not change our situation, it only adds up to pains and misery and derail our progress towards sustainable peace and development. I call on the remaining CNTs to surrender now before its tool late. They still have the chance to go back to their families and live a peaceful life”, Col Licudine ended.