Bishop commends Army officials over military probe result

By Anthony S. Allada

DAVAO CITY – Bishop Guillermo Afable of the Diocese of Digos has commended military officials for initiating the investigation of the Board of Inquiry that later found 13 soldiers to be guilty in the death of the wife and two sons of a B’laan tribal leader in Kiblawan town in Davao del Sur.

“I commend the Army’s 10th ID (Infantry Division) for the the reported outcome of the investigation of Bong Mal investigation,” Afable was quoted as saying in a text message.

He said that “truth and restorative justice do prevail in our AFP. You make us proud. There is hope for matuwid na daan.”

This came as 13 members of the 27th Infantry Battalion are set to face a military court-martial for allegedly violating the Rules of Engagement.

“Investigation showed that there is a tactical lapse and gross negligence of duty,” Paniza said, adding the involved soldiers could be discharged from military service and face criminal charges and be jailed.

He said that this is to show that the military is not condoning any wrongdoing committed by the rank and file of the Philippine Army.

“We shall let the rule of law to prevail,” he said.

It can be recalled that soldiers swooped down into the reported house of Daguil Capion, a known bandit leader who was blamed to a number of killings in Barangay Kimlawis, Kiblawan over his opposition to the Tampakan copper and gold project, and engaged him in a firefight.

But they missed on Capion but hit his two-month-old pregnant wife, Juvy and two sons, Pop and John, who died to gunshot wounds on their heads and bodies.

The Capion family was backed by so-called human rights groups and anti-mining organizations based in Marbel, South Cotabato and Davao City, which instigated them to filed murder charges against the soldiers involved in the operation.

The planned $5.9-billion mine project is run by Swiss mining giant Xstrata and Australia’s Indophil Resources NL.

The mine would be the country’s biggest source of foreign investment if it begins operations in 2016 as scheduled, although influential local church figures, tribal groups and environmental activists fiercely oppose it. (ASA)



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