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PIA Press Release

No whitewash in the investigation against an army colonel assured

by Freddie Lazaro

NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur (28 January 2005) -- The commander of the Army's 503rd Infantry Brigade has assured on Tuesday that military officials will investigate seriously the complaint aired by an Abra town mayor against a senior army military officer.

Colonel Melchor Dilodilo, Brigade Commander of the 503rd Brigade, said the AFP would not condone any malpractice or any violations of AFP Rules and Regulations by a soldier.

Earlier, he recommended the separation from the service of a soldier due to his proactive actions which alarmed residents in Vigan City while he was under the influence of liquor.

"If a military soldier is found guilty, he will be punished commensurate to the offense committed," Dilodilo said.

A Brigade senior officer, Lt. Col. Noel Mislang was relieved as commander of the Army's 41st Infantry Battalion based in Barangay Tagudtud, Lagangilang, Abra, to give way to the investigations on the allegations filed against him by two army soldiers. Corporals Eduardo Barcelona and Antonio Rosqueta, who were reportedly detailed as intelligence operatives of the 41st IB, allegedly accused Mislang as the one who ordered them to assassinate the family of Lagayan town mayor Cecillia Luna.

Rosqueta was killed last December 23, 2004 in a shooting incident in Isabela and Cpl. Barcelona was wounded and survived in said incident. The two soldiers were reportedly ambusged while they were on their way to Aurora, Isabela to attend a birthday party.

Luna sought the help of AFP Chief of Staff, General Efren Abu, and the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), General Edgardo Aglipay to conduct of immediate investigation on the alleged assassinations plot.

Lt. Col. Angelito De Leon replaced Mislang as new commander of the 41st Infantry Battalion of the Army.

"This alleged illegal order of Lt. Col. Mislang to his two soldiers is now being investigated by higher headquarters and Mayor Luna is assured that there will be no whitewash of the case," he said.

With the relief of Mislang from his post, Dilodilo said that the morale of the soldiers of the 41st IB still high and the counter-insurgency operations against the communist terrorists continue to maintain the peace and security in the area.

"Actually, few days after the relief of Mislang, elements of the 41st IB engaged the enemy in an encounter in Barangay Basar, Sallapadan town. However, there were no reported casualty on both sides," he said. (PIA Ilocos News) [top]

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