PRESS RELEASE 23 June 2016
CPT RHYAN B BATCHAR (INF) PA
CHIEF, DIVISION PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE, 10ID
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Statement on the reports of a rally organized by the NDFP-SMR in commemoration of the death of Leoncio Pitao alias Parago on June 27-28, 2016
The 10th Infantry Division has been receiving several reports from concerned civilians that for the past weeks, the NPAs and its allied groups from the NDFP-SMR had been coercing the people to join in a so-called peace rally scheduled on June 27-28, 2016 in Davao City. They are insinuating the people to join them in said peace rally as part of the thanksgiving of Honorable Rodrigo R Duterte prior to his oathtaking as President on June 30, 2016.
The NPA and its allied groups have resorted to intimidation and deceptive tactics in hiding the real purpose of the said rally which is the commemoration of the death of Leoncio Pitao alias Parago. Parago was a known notorious NPA criminal who has several standing warrant of arrests for various crimes ranging from murder, multiple frustrated murder and robbery. He further gained notoriety as an NPA Leader in Southern Mindanao since late 80’s.
It is at this point that we would like to forewarn the people on the real intention of these groups. They wanted to generate a number of people and draw a big crowd to highlight the deeds of alias Parago, the cause for armed revolution and failures of the government. On several occasions, the NPA and its allied groups made-up several deceptive approaches in exploiting the people to join a rally. Among their approaches range from offers of monetary payments in cash or in goods, field trips or meeting key government officials to address their needs. We fully realize that some civilians are not fully aware that they are just being deceived. Our purpose is to protect the people from manipulation and exploitation. The NDFP-SMR will obviously do deceptive tactics to vent out several political objectives at the expensed of hapless civilians
We fully respect the people’s right towards peaceful assembly as part of the freedom of expression but we also would like to protect the people from any exploitation. As part of our mandate, 10ID will remain as the people’s servant and will remain committed in preserving the democratic way of life.