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Army blames NPA for killing of tribal chief in Agusan del Norte

The military described Porogoy as a staunch peace advocate who denounced NPA atrocities and led his tribesmen in supporting government programs. Contributed photo

The military said on Wednesday, suspected communist guerrillas were behind the killing of Datu Rustico Porogoy, the municipal tribal chieftain of Santiago, Agusan del Norte on Tuesday.

Lt . Col Glen Aynera, commander of the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion, said the brutal execution of Purogoy was a clear and undeniable proof of the New People’s Army’s human rights atrocities in tribal communities.

Aynera described the slain tribal leader as a “staunch peace advocate” who denounced NPA atrocities and led his tribesmen in supporting government programs for peace and development.

“The killing of Datu Porogoy is a blatant execution. This is another lumad killing purposely to sow threat and violence among the peace-loving Lumads and to the Filipino people as a whole,” Aynera said.

“This is also a solid proof of the NPA’s continuing campaign to take control of our Lumads and anyone who gets in their way is killed in the process,” Aynera added.

Purogoy, 53, was killed on his way to work on a motorcycle around 7:00 a.m on Tuesday. Upon reaching Purok 3, Barangay Comagascas, Purogoy was shot several times by three male suspects on board a separate motorcycle, resulting to his instantaneous death.

Police from Cabadbaran have started investigating the killing.

But NPA Front Committee 16 spokesperson Ka Oto denied any hand in the killing .

A Manobo militia leader, Porogoy was killed by his fellow tribesmen due to infighting, Ka Oto said.

Oto claimed aside from Porogoy’s armed group, two other groups known as the Red Cobra and Red Cobra break-away group were embroiled in a bitter dispute involving ancestral land claim and money from mining and other alleged illegal activities.

“We suspect this infighting among groups of Porogoy, Red Cobra and the Red Cobra break away may have caused the killing of Datu Porogoy,” Oto said.

“Aside from mining and other illegal activities whose money proceeds becomes now the main reason they fight with each other including fight also of territories. It is now up to Philippine law enforcement to investigate this, as there are already many killings due to their infighting among themselves.” By Ben Serrano

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