Groups hold simultaneous caravans to condemn soldier’s killing

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Several of so-called pro-peace and development groups, some composed of former CPP-New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, took to the street to condemn the killing of a Philippine Army corporal on August 11, 2021 in Tapaz, Capiz.

The groups, spearheaded by members of anti-insurgency organization Sentrong Alyansa ng Mamamayan para sa Bayan (SAMBAYANAN), simultaneously staged the condemnation rallies at Roxas City in Capiz province and Iloilo City on Monday, August 16.

The groups peacefully marched bearing placards, “Hustisya sa Brutal nga pagpatay kay Corporal Frederick Villasis. Sikwayon ang Terorista nga CPP-NPA-NDF!”

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Marion Sison, 301st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the groups’ efforts in supporting the government’s campaign to end local communist armed conflict.

He also assured that the 301st Brigade is one with the whole Armed Forces of the Philippines in extending their condolences to the loved ones left behind by Corporal Villasis.

“Ang mga tao na mismo ang naninindigan na tama na at tapusin na ang walang kwentang armadong pakikibaka. Hindi lang isa, kung hindi karamihan ng mamamayan ay ayaw sa terorismo at sa mga teroristang NPA. Dapat ay tuldukan na ang kanilang paghahasik ng kaharasan, tulad ng ginawa nila kay Corporal Villasis na ang tanging hangarin ay makatulong sa kapwa niya Pilipino,”‘he said.

Sison also urge the public to be with the government in its relentless efforts in fighting for peace.

“Only with peace will there be development,” Sison said.

Villasis was to follow up peace and development initiatives in Barangay Lahug when NPA members waylaid him in the hinterland village of Lahug.

He was flagged down while on board a motorcycle with a woman back rider, later identified as Barangay Kagawad Analyn Giganto.

Incidentally, Analyn was the wife of Roy Giganto, one of the nine persons killed during a police operation in several Tapaz villages on Dec. 30, 2020.

Villasis was abducted and his bullet-riddled body was later dumped not far from where he was snatched.

His motorcycle was also partially burned and left near his body.