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PIA Press Release

12 rebellion cases filed following recovery of skeletons of purging victims

Tacloban City (December 15) -– Twelve cases of rebellion have been filed regarding the uncovered bones of purging victims at Sitio Sapang Daku, Barangay Caulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte.

This was revealed by General dela Paz, regional director of PNP Region 8, who said that about 70 persons were charged including the top hierarchy of NPA, who, based on evidences gathered and based on the statements of former NPA members and leaders, ordered the purging.

The whole Region and the country were shocked when troops from the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade under Col. Allan Ragpala found 67 skeletons, after two days of digging, found a mass gravesite in the killing field known to the residents in the nearby barangays as “the garden” located some 370 meters above sea level at a ridge on Mt. Sapang Dako.

The troops were led to the Garden by some of the nearby residents and former members of the NPA who claimed that they themselves witnessed the purging. One even demonstrated how the victims who were suspected of being military assets, were tortured to death.

Forensic experts from the Philippine National Police were called to take care of the skeletons which were recovered. Days after the discovery of the gravesites, police and military authorities in Eastern Visayas announced that they were filing murder charges against exiled communist rebel Jose Ma. Sison; National Democratic Front Chief Peace Negotiator, Luis Jalandoni; and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, in connection with the purge. Sison and Jalandoni, who are living in exile in the Netherlands, and Ocampo reportedly signed the "death warrants" for the victims.

General dela Paz said that military investigators were able to compile documentary and testimonial evidence against those who were named as respondents in the cases filed. Two former NPA commanders and a rebel organizer, who witnessed the killings, faced the media at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday to tell their story on what really happened within the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee in 1985.

A former company commander of the NPA’s Southern Leyte Front Committee, said Sison, Jalandoni and Ocampo, then CPP Central Committee members, ordered the launching of Oplan VD (Veneral Disease). "The central committee ordered us to clean our ranks of the VD, a contagious disease," he said, referring to suspected government spies who were arrested and subsequently killed.

"VD is a germ that if left unchecked is highly contagious that could affect the movement," the former NPA commander said. He also claimed that he personally saw the order signed by Sison, Ocampo and Jalandoni to purge the Leyte Front Committee of infiltrators whom the central committee called "germs." (PIA 8) [top]

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