Small miners in Sarog massacred by the 29th IBPA and SAF-PNP

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Statement | February 14, 2017

The NPA in Front 16 strongly renounce the statements made by Lt. Col. Glenn Joy, commanding officer of the 29th IBPA and its spokesperson Capt. Angelo Gomez, that they encountered and were fired upon by Red fighters of Front 16 in the mountain area of Sarog, Barangay San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte last February 11, 2017. One soldier and 2 civilians were reported killed while another 2 were wounded.

There was no encounter between the New People’s Army (NPA) and 29th IBPA troops of the AFP because no member of the NPA in North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR) was in Sarog during that time. In the area were armed paramilitaries controlled by the 29th IB such as Alan Lagangga and those they no longer can control who are former CAFGU and LUPACA members who have mining tunnels. These armed paramilitaries are assets of and accompany 29th IBPA and PNP, and plotted with them in ransacking mine tunnels of high grade gold.

According to the investigation of Front 16-NEMR on the incident, last February 11, 2017 at around 4:30 in the morning, armed men with their faces covered and who were with the 29th IB and SAF-PNP troops conducting joint operations in the area, fired upon the small miners in the mountains of Sarog. Eventhough the small miners begged and shouted that they were civilians, the armed men continued to shoot at them. Killed were two civilians Jerson Beto ,17 years old and Pepito Tiambong, 40 years old, residents of Brgy. Guinoyoran, Santiago, Agusan del Norte. Another seven were wounded, Samuel Jaum, 40 years old; Orly Cuyo, 38 years old; Oca Sandag, 40 years old and another 4 whose names are still unknown.

Two enemy columns were shooting at each other or were in a crossfire. Killed and wounded in the crossfire were Msgt. Marlon Balais who was with one column of the 29th IBPA, and another who was in the other column maneuvering in the upper portion of the mountain. Also wounded were portal guards Oka Sandag, a CAFGU of Brgy. Pangaylan, Santiago and two member of the CVO in Purok 5, Brgy. San Isidro, of Santiago, AN.

A day before the massacre, intelligence assets of the 29th IB Danny Munoz, Mat Manlapas, Jun Perez and Tata Villegas, attempted to enter the tunnels. The miners refused and the four left after threatening the miners that they will return. Before the shooting also happened, 29th IBPA troops detained two small miners who were nearby.

To conceal their killing of civilians and because a soldier, CAFGU and CVO members were also killed, Lt. Col. Glenn Joy and Capt. Angelo Gomez of the 29th IBPA immediately proclaimed that their troops were fired upon by NPA members even though there were civilians nearby. Capt. Angelo Gomez even shamelessly said that the action of the Red fighters violated the CARHRIHL.

But the people know the true character of the 29th IBPA under the 401st Brigade of the AFP. They are notorious for committing brutal crimes and lying to cover their deplorable actions. In May 2016 its troops ambushed and killed Datu Arnel sa Kalatinga; July 2016 they shoot and killed Jun-Jun Hudyawon near a tunnel in Manhopaw; Abril 27, 2014 they fired upon the Sarmiento family while they were walking in Kamingawan killing Rusen L. Sarmiento; November 2015, they shoot and killed Ricardo Tuazon, a farmer of Brgy. Pianing; November 2015 they killed and half buried Jerry Sagsag, a Lumad from Kotom, Alegria; November 2015, they arrested and mauled 5 farmers from Henimbangan of which a Jerry Banao, civilian from Dahon-dahonan, remains in prison; and many others. All these were blamed by the 29th IBPA to the NPA.

The NPA-Front 16 calls on the people not to be silent about the criminal acts of the 29th IB and SAF. These abuses should be exposed and opposed. We also call on the Duterte government, the provincial and local government units of Agusan Del Norte and the municipality of Santiago, to investigate such brutal killings to prove what have been committed and to give justice to the victims.

Withdraw and punish the criminal 29th IB and SAF in Agusan Del Norte!

Justice for all the victims of the killing!
Long live the people’s democratic revolution
Love live the NPA!

Ka Oto
Spokesperson, Front 16

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