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PIA Press Release

1 soldier killed, 2 civilians wounded in NPA rampage

Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (27 October) -- In a continuing trail of violence and human rights violations, suspected members of local terrorists (NPA) murdered a soldier and wounded two innocent civilians while attending a religious activity at the mountain village of Malabog in Paquibato District, Davao City about 1 p.m. Sunday, October 25.

Cpl Orly Pedregoza, a resident of Paquibato and assigned with the 10th Infantry Division PA, died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds on his head.

He was practically defenseless as he was attending a religious festivity of Filipinista, Philippine Independent Church, a local Christian religious sect, when simultaneously attacked by at least two youthful gunmen while talking to some friends and acquaintances.

The two wounded civilians were identified as Jefrey Labtic, a motorcycle-for-hire or "habal-habal" driver, and Jolito Atig, a Lumad farmer who both suffered gunshot wounds and are now recuperating in a local hospital.

Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, Commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division based here, expressed grief over the incident and condemned the murder saying, "The killing of an individual and wounding of two others in the middle of a community activity shows the true nature of the organization where the perpetrators belong. This is a total disregard to the safety of civilians and contempt to a peaceful gathering in a community."

"We condemn the killings perpetrated by this atrocious group in the strongest term possible and pray that the wheel of justice grind in the interest of truth and of the people. We commiserate with the families of the many victims of these terrorists as we appeal for sobriety in the pursuit of legal remedies so that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes could be brought before the bar of justice and ultimately serve the punishment due them." Mapagu added.

Pedregoza is the latest victim this month in the string of murder cases in Southern Mindanao Region that involved local communist terrorists including the dastardly killing of the Tulang brothers, the 71-year old Datu Intoy Baguio, the 72-year old Pablo Ebero, and Silvano delas Alas, a 50-year old farmer who was mistakenly shot dead by members of the Local Terrorist Front-20 (LTF-20) at Brgy San Jose, Boston town in Davao Oriental Province early morning the other Sunday.

In all of these atrocities, the local terrorists (NPA) admitted excesses and mistakes on the part of their men who were tasked to carry out its death orders but made no effort to punish them.(10th 1D) [top]

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