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Philippines: Communist guerrillas execute faction leader
Group justifies murder saying that the target committed ‘crimes and atrocities against the people’
Manila: Communist guerrillas in Panay recently executed a leader of its breakaway faction in the Central Philippines Island justifying their actions saying that the target committed “crimes and atrocities against the people”.
Demetrio Capilastique Jr, who goes by the nom de guerre “Hugo”, was killed at the village of Linayuan, in Badiangan, Iloilo province on December 30, 2013, after he allegedly resisted “arrest” by a unit of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA), a statement issued by the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Panay claimed.
“The People’s Court had ordered the arrest of Demetrio Capilastique Jr in order to face the charges against him. Aggrieved parties are interested to directly investigate Capilastique about his crimes and the whereabouts of those they had abducted...” the NDF Panay statement said.
Capilastique is a former member of the NPA, which is under the umbrella of the NDF. Sometime during the 1990s, an ideological schism, resulting from differing views on how a people’s revolution should be carried out, led to an organisational split resulting in the formation of the peasant Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA) and its insurrectionary-armed partisan wing, the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB).
“After a thorough and objective investigation of these accusations, the People’s Court had passed a judgment that these crimes were indeed heinous and Capilastique has blood debts.
“Since 2001, Capilastique has already been sentenced to death on the series of crimes committed by RPA-ABB in Iloilo where Capilastique was its provincial commander,” the NDF said.
While some of its members were once comrades at arms, the NDF-NPA, which is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), had long been at odds with the RPA-ABB.
The NDF implicated Capilastique in at least 15 incidents that took place in the island of Panay, ranging from kidnap for ransom, to assassinations as well as extortion.
“The crimes and accusations against Demetrio Capilastique Jr alias Hugo have been piling up since 1994 to the present,” the NDF said.
But the NDF said, Capilastique’s money-making racket is controlling quarry operations at Suage River.
“The killing of Jerry Colaja of Quipot, Janiuay was over the control of quarry at the Suage...Capilastique has never been arrested for extortion but rather does it brazenly. The collapse of Suage Bridge wrought by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last November 8 was in fact due to uncontrolled quarrying. Not a single municipal official of Janiuay nor any provincial official ever complained and proposed a law to put an end to this ruinous quarrying,” the NDF said.