CHR investigates encounter deaths

Government soldiers retrieving the bodies of the rebels killed in encounters in Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City.*

The Commission on Human Rights is investigating the death of an alleged farmer and a female New People’s Army rebel in encounters between the 79th Infantry Battalion and the NPA in Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City, last week, CHR Negros Occidental head Vincent Parra said Tuesday, February 27.

Killed were as Emaryn Pastedio alias Jandie, Christopher Ebarle alias Michael and Jose Caramihan alias Jose of the NPA’s Northern Negros Front, it said.

The NPA claimed Caramihan was a farmer and not a member of its forces.

“It’s their usual response whenever there are casualties during encounters. But the fact remains that Jose died because he was with the communist terrorist group (CTG) when the incident happened. Had he been somewhere else tending to his farm, he would not be dead,” Lt. Col. J-Jay Javines, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said.

Parra said under the Magna Carta for Women, the CHR is mandated to conduct an automatic investigation when there is a female casualty.

The CHR is also looking into the case of Caramihan, Parra said.*

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