Wednesday, February 1, 2012

News Update Rebel killed, 8 minors hurt in Bukidnon grenade blast

MANILA, Philippines - A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed while 11 civilians, eight of them minors, were wounded in a grenade blast that rocked a remote village in Bukidnon before noon Monday. Maj. Eugenio Julio Osias IV, spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, said the explosion happened during an NPA “teach-in” attended by villagers in Sitio Silahis in Barangay Sampaguita, Kibawe town at around 11:30 a.m. Osias said reports stated that an unnamed rebel speaker accidentally dropped a grenade he was using to teach villagers how to make an improvised explosive device. The fatality has not been identified. Confined at the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Maramag town for shrapnel wounds are Barceliza Sabellano, 42; Julieben Matunhay, 20; Aldie Capunay, 18; Daniel Meras, 19; a 17-year-old girl; a 16-year-old boy; three 12-year-olds; an 11-year-old; and two nine-year-old boys. “Our troops along with the local police are now conducting further investigation into the blast as we intend to file criminal charges and human rights cases against the rebels,” Osias said. The NPA has been recruiting minors in the provinces of Bukidnon, Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. Reports said the rebels have been threatening parents to hard labor in guerilla camps if they do not allow their children to train for the communist movement. – Jaime Laude, Ben Serrano, Roel Pareño, John Unson, Edith Regalado, Jigger Jerusalem