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PIA Press Release

MGen. Mapagu: No policy to hit civilian

Camp Panacan, Davao City (10 March) -- Major General Reynaldo B Mapagu, Commander of the 10th Infantry Division based here stated that it is not the policy of the Philippine Army to target civilians in its campaign against the Communist Terrorist insurgents.

Maj. General Mapagu's statement comes amidst various allegations that the military is responsible in the death of Miss Rebelyn Pitao, the daughter of renegade NPA leader Leoncio Pitao AKA Kumander Parago, who was abducted and later found dead on March 6, 2008 at Panabo, Davao Norte with multiple stab wounds.

"We would like to see the resolution of this incident as soon as possible so that those guilty of committing this barbaric crime will be punished and that justice be given to Rebelyn," said Mapagu. "The news of linking the military to the killings is no surprise. We are the usual suspect considering that the victim is a daughter of NPA leader Kumander Parago", said Lieutenant Colonel Rolando JD Bautista, spokesman of the 10th Infantry Division.

Lieutenant Colonel Bautista added that "It is unfair to immediately point fingers to the military. We encourage concerned individuals and groups to follow the legal process instead of airing accusations in the media."

In the ABS-CBN TV program entitled "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa," Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City cleared the military, police, and local government of having a hand over the killing. Duterte said "The national government will never issue a policy that will target civilians."

During his visit to the troops deployed in the Region, Maj. General Mapagu emphasized obedience and adherence to Human Rights. "We are the protectors of the people and the state. This is our primary duty", said Mapagu. (10th Infantry Div./PIA XI) [top]

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