By RIGOBERTO SANCHEZ
Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
The New People’s Army Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command condemns the killing of Mayor Reynaldo Navarro and offers condolences with his family and colleagues in Laak, Compostela Valley.
While Navarro was part of the Big 4 in Agusan-Comval-Davao del Norte forests, the NPA has not considered him an enemy that warrants a standing order or a recipient of a death sentence. Navarro’s track record did not make him a legitimate military target, thus, no revolutionary punishment was executed against him.
As a long-time politician whose area covers territories of the People’s Democratic Government in Compostela Valley, Navarro has cooperated with comrades and in many ways have demonstrated actions that point to his recognition of the revolutionary cause.
In the last few years, however, his business interest in logging and agribusiness expansion has increased. Comrades have repeatedly warned him of his increasing anti-people activities. Navarro had merely ignored these warnings, thus, forcing the NPA Comval-North Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command to caution him publicly against wanton logging, militarization and the attendant human rights abuses that occur during these operations. In the midst of these warnings, there are no strong grounds showing Navarro’s grave offenses against the revolutionary movement that would necessitate the People’s Democratic Government to hand down the maximum penalty of capital punishment.
In accusing the NPA of Navarro’s ambush, the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command-Armed Forces of the Philippines shows that it is poised to agitate and conscript Navarro’s Lumad supporters and followers to become its new lackeys and bandits under the Oplan Bayanihan counterrevolutionary campaign. The masses in Laak should see to this latest anti-people machination and must struggle against fascism.