Despite the skepticism of Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez and the provincial government of Palawan over the New People’s Army’s (NPA) claim that their group is behind the death of Gilbert S. Baaco, the rebel group has reiterated their previous claim in a recent radio interview of DWEC with Salvador “Ka Badong” Luminoso, spokesperson of the NPA Bienvenido Vallever Command.
Ka Badong admitted in the interview that they are behind the death of Rescue 165’s chief and personnel of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office on April 14 at an ‘operation’ conducted at the victim’s house in Bgy. Barong-Barong, Brooke’s Point, Palawan.
Ka Badong revealed that they didn’t plan to kill Baaco and merely wanted to neutralize the latter over allegations on his supposed involvement in illegal drug trading and gun running. However, according to the NPA spokesperson, the victim took the first shot, prompting their group to shoot back.
“Sa katunayan si Gilbert wala kaming balak na patayin. Ang nais lamang namin i-neutralisa at magbagong buhay. Ang sistema n’yan nagpaputok kaagad kaya na-obliga tuloy na gumanti ang mga kasama,” Luminoso clarified.
Luminoso also denied that they were commissioned by some politicians to kill Baaco. He said that if they are ‘for hire’ they should have robbed the banks to enrich themselves.
“Kung kaya naming pasukin ang mga estasyon ng pulis, mas kakayanin namin mang-holdap ng bangko. Bakit namin ipagpapalit sa maliit na halaga ang aming ipinaglalaban?” Luminoso said.
He added that some people are trying to divert the issue by pointing to other politicians because of fear that their illegal activities will soon be exposed.
“Yang ganyang akusasyon na nili-link nila sa ibang pulitiko ay upang iwasan na malantad ang tunay nilang mga hangarin. Gusto nilang iligaw ang tunay na isyu. Ang isyu dito ay iligal drugs, gun running at kung ano-ano pang anomalya sa probinsya na dapat bigyan ng pansin,” said Luminoso.
Meanwhile, former NPA member Glenn Silagan, who is currently detained at the Palawan Provincial Jail, said in a radio interview of Bandera News FM that the way Baaco was killed defied the rebel group’s own protocols. Silagan’s comment has prompted authorities to doubt whether the incident at Baaco’s residence was legitimate NPA activity or not.
Ka Badong, on the other hand, challenged Silagan’s statement, pointing out that the latter has lost his credibility when he surrendered his principle a few years ago.
“Paniniwalaan ba natin ang mga taong hindi marunong manindigan sa kanyang prinsipyo?” he asked.