Army denies strafing family in Compostela Valley

THE 10TH Infantry Division (ID) of the Philippine Army denies allegations of the progressive groups on their involvement in the strafing incident, which killed Carolina Arado and wounded four others in Mabini, Compostela Valley last week.

“The 10th Infantry Division takes serious offense on allegations by NDF (National Democratic Front) allied organizations that the military was responsible on indiscriminately firing at Arado's residence in Kidaraan, Barangay Anitapan, Mabini, Compostela Valley Province,” the statement read.

The 10th ID stated that as per report from 46 Infantry Battalion (IB), the shooting incident at Arado Family residence happened around 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 13, adding that unidentified gunmen fired at the house of Arado Family.

The perpetrators were said to have withdrew towards Sitio Post 4 of the said barangay.

The statement said, the incident resulted to the death of Carolina Arado, 56 and wounded four other family members namely Charlito Arado, 59, husband of Carolina; Analisa Arado, 30, daughter-in-law of Carolina; and the two minors Arjun Arado, 12 and Junior, Arado, 8.

The troops of 46 IB responded first at the said incident, facilitated the giving of first aid to the wounded while providing assitance to the purok leader for the immediate evacuation of the victims to the hospital, the statement added.

“We are strictly implementing observance of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law and the rule of law. It is not part of our operations to target unarmed civilians. Our Community Support Program has been very effective in assisting the LGU (local government unit) in delivering services to the populace and the people in Comval (Compostela Valley) are well aware of the sincerity of the government and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” the statement said.

“We are saddened that the military was maliciously accused by NDF-allied organizations who are spreading propaganda to besmirch the good image of the military,” said the 10th ID in the statement.

The 10th ID instead urges the NDF-allied organizations to instead file charges against their soldiers to the courts of justice.

The army also assured progressive group of full cooperation on any investigations that shall be undertaken by duly instituted authorities as a way of ensuring professionalism in their ranks. (KVC)