Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. (File photo by NOY MORCOSO / INQUIRER.net)
MANILA, Philippines — The allegation that the operation of the military and the police in Negros Oriental that killed 14 individuals is a massacre is nothing but a communist propaganda.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday that the communists are floating this idea to put the government in a bad light.
“[This is] part of the typical disinformation and propaganda campaign of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) and their communist front organizations to portray government in the baddest light even in the face of evidence to the contrary,” Año said in a statement.
Several groups condemned the operations launched on Saturday against loose firearms that killed 14 believed to be farmers and whom authorities alleged to be hitmen and supporters of the NPA.
READ: 14 killed in PNP, Army operations vs loose firearms in Negros Oriental
But for Año, tagging the operations as massacre was questionable since 12 other suspects were arrested by authorities on the same day.
“Halatang-halata na naman na pilit na sinisiraan ng mga makakaliwa ang pamahalaan at pumopostura na naman sila na kakampi ng mamamayan,” he said.
(It is obvious that leftist groups are again trying hard to put the government in the bad light and portraying themselves as allies of the citizens.)
According to Año, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will also provide the best legal assistance to police officers involved in the operations after being accused of committing irregularities.
READ: PNP: No massacre in Negros Oriental operations
READ: Police: Nothing illegal in ops that killed 14 in Negros Oriental
“We stand by our police officers and we will provide them with the best legal defense to help them overcome whatever legal challenges that may arise as a result of several Negros Oriental operations,” he said.
He said the operatives, who claimed to be armed with search warrants, “acted professionally” and “in accordance with the law.”
“They simply returned fire when the subject of the search warrants engaged them in a shootout” Año said.
The DILG chief also appealed to the public not to condemn the policemen and soldiers involved in the operations as they only tried to protect themselves from the suspected rebels who allegedly opened fire at them.
“Hindi po ang pulis ang kontrabida dito. Ginagawa lang nila ang kanilang trabaho para sugpuin ang krimen at panatiliin ang kapayapaan sa ating komunidad. Mas gugustuhin ba natin na sila na nagtatanggol sa atin ang mamatay?” he said.
(The police is not the antagonist here. They are just doing their job to eradicate crime and maintain peace in communities. Do we want that those who protect us should instead die?) /jpv
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