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NPA disputes military’s claim on Nanta death

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The New People’s Army yesterday issued a statement disputing military claims that the death of Romeo Nanta, reportedly the top NPA leader in Negros Island, was a result of an encounter in Sitio Medel, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City.

It was cold blooded murder, not an encounter, that happened, the NPA alleged.

Ka Juanito Magbanua (Romeo Nanta), spokesperson of AGC (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command) NPA Negros, was summarily killed by elements of 94th Infantry Battalion after he was captured in the area, it further claimed.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, reported that Nanta was killed after a 10-minute gun battle with 94IB soldiers, the fifth encounter in the area since Oct. 6.

“Under the laws of war, Ka JM should have been accorded the status of hors de combat (combatants who are not in a position to fight). His rights should have been respected and treated with humanity,” the NPA stressed.

“Suffering from hypertension and arthritis, Ka JM chose to stay in Sitio Medel to closely monitor the situation of the masses while the NPA unit maneuvered away from the area after the October 6 encounter,” the NPA added.

“The AGC-NPA Negros with the entire revolutionary movement vows to exact justice for the cold-blooded murder of Ka Juanito Magbanua and for all victims of state terrorism perpetrated by the AFP and PNP by carrying on with intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever widening and deepening mass base,” it further said.*

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