AFP ''stands firm'' on report NPAs grabbed relief goods for Eastern Samar community
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stood pat on its report about a recent incident involving alleged New People's Army (NPA) members who grabbed relief goods for a community in Balangiga, Eastern Samar on April 7.
"The AFP stands firm with our account of the incident and earlier statements," said Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, on Tuesday.
"This is validated by the report rendered by the commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division (Major Gen. Pio Diñoso) that has Balangiga, Eastern Samar in its AOR (area of responsibility)," he said.
"He (Diñoso) maintains that the incident happened and that the town chief executive Mayor Graza, in a recent development, admits that indeed the NPAs seized part of the relief goods intended for his constituents," he added.
Arevalo said the municipality of Balangiga issued on Monday a resolution "condemning the NPA and their recent actions made against the residents of Brgy. Guinmaayohan by way of relief goods confiscation."
Through this Sanguniang Bayan resolution No. 01 Series of 2020 the local government also declared the communist group persona non grata in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, it said,
"For this, the Sangguniang Bayan is drafting a resolution that condemns this act of the NPA. The document will also attest to the truthfulness of military reports relating to the incident. Barangay Officials, for their part, also confirm the detestable acts of these terrorists in taking away what their neighbors badly need as well," Arevalo said.
"We reiterate the AFP’s willingness to assist local government units in the distribution of relief packs?even to the members of the NPA if they will be seeking aid from government," he said.
Arevalo noted that the "AFP frontline units will (also) provide security during the distribution of the amelioration program of government when so requested".
"This is to ensure that the money intended for the people really gets to the beneficiaries and not to unscrupulous groups like the terrorists-extortionists NPA," he said. Robina Asido/DMS