Iloilo City- Family members of slain Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) research and propaganda staff, called Antique 7, slammed 3ID Major General Dinoh Dolina on Wednesday saying their kin are not criminals and are ‘cherished by common folks’.
A joint police and military operations in San Jose, Antique killed Antique 7 after an alleged firefight that lasted for 33 minutes on midnight of August 15. Police and military officials have claimed the individuals to be part of the CPP taxation group. The NDF later denied the claims of the military saying the seven were their own ‘unarmed and non-combatant research and propaganda staff’. The individuals are Jason Sanchez, Jayson Talibo, Liziel Bandiola, Karen Ceralvo, Peter Mecenas, Eldie Labinghisa, and Felix Salditos,
Human rights groups and family members have rejected police and military reports that an encounter happened. A day after claiming the bodies, family members called the incident a massacre upon discovering gunshot wounds in the head and front upper extremities of the bodies. An autopsy was conducted on the bodies proving the gunshot wounds fatal.
“People are fed up with your lies” said Ruth Salditos, wife of slain Felix Salditos.
“My husband should not have been murdered defenselessly by the police and military” she said. Felix Salditos is an ex-seminarian and a guerilla artist famous among the intellectual community.
Lina Mecenas, wife of Peter Mecenas also belied police and military allegations saying her husband “is not doing extortion activities, not a criminal and deserved due process”. Mecenas came from a well-off family in Antique.
A statement by the NDF-Panay released on August 18 said they are “proudest to acknowledge and claim” the seven “unlike the fascist troops who conceal their casualties”. The NDF hailed the seven as “among the best sons and daughters of our motherland…with full ability, talent, intelligence and [were] most assiduous”.
Human rights groups and family members will stage a protest on Friday to “denounce the ruthless murder” of the believed to be unarmed Antique 7. They said the police and military violated the Geneva Convention Protocol 1 Common Article 3 referring to those obligations in non-international armed conflicts which the Philippine government and NDF have acknowledged in their past agreements. The families also said that the government forces violated RA 9851 which penalizes war crimes and other acts prohibited under the Geneva Convention. Various groups from the left have expressed support for the bereaved families of the Antique 7.