BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Two top soldiers on polar opposites of the political divide traded barbs over the latest killing by the New People’s Army of an alleged military informant.
“It was part of revolutionary justice,” Juanito Magbanua, spokesman of the NPA’s Leonardo Panaligan Command told DNX in an exclusive phone interview as the Communist Party’s armed wing admitted carrying out the death penalty on Randy Rosiana in the sub-village of Asaran in the upland barangay of Buenavista, Himamaylan City.
Himamaylan, about 60 kilometers from this provincial center, had long been a critical area owing to the presence of armed rebels in the place.
The relatively young city shares borders with Kabankalan further south and several towns in the Oriental side, making it an ideal base for the Maoist rebels who are “fluid” in their movements at this stage of their so-called three-stage protracted people’s war patterened after the Mao Tse Tung-led revolution in China.
Rosiana was “sentenced” by the “people’s court” under the NPA’s Mt. Cansermon Command and was responsible for the trumped up charges against the Buenavista 7, alleged rebels who were arrested last year in the village of Buenavista.
“It only showed them for what they truly are: barbarians,” Army Major Cenon Pancito III told DNX when sought for reaction over the admission of Magbanua.
Pancito said he could not confirm nor deny the NPA claims that Rosiana was a military asset but scored the rebel group for executing someone based on hearsay and gossip.
“It could be possible that our soldiers could be talking to Rosiana, it could even be possible that he had been helping us but that is not a reason for them to kill him,” Pancito added.
“We are not cowards,” Magbanua said when asked why the NPA makes public admissions about people they kill.
He pointed out it is part of the power of the people’s court to mete out the death penalty if the crimes against the revolution are serious enough.
The NPA only carries out these decisions, he said.
Magbanua also lashed out at the Army for not owning up to anything “even if a lot of people have already died as a result of the “riding in tandem executions.”