CPP denies girl killed in clash was NPA member

Article posted April 07, 2007 - 09:02 PM

Even as it condemned the incident, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) vowed "revolutionary justice" Saturday for the killing of a nine-year-old girl whom the military killed in a firefight in Compostela Valley last March 31.

CPP spokesman Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal said that while the CPP denies nine-year-old Grecil Galacio was a member of the New People's Army (NPA), the NPA has been ordered to mete justice to her killers.

"The New People's Army will take every effort to make sure that the innocent child's killers will be made to pay for their vicious crime," he said in a statement on the CPP website (www.philippinerevolution.net).

Rosal also condemned the military Saturday for covering up the murder by tagging Galacio as an "11-year old child soldier of the New People's Army."

He said the Philippine Army's 67th Infantry Battalion "deliberately shot" Grecil Galacio, 9, while she was running from the military's volley of fire.

"The soldiers had initiated an attack against NPA fighters they spotted near the Galacio family's residence in Barangay Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley," Rosal said.

He also criticized the AFP for having �no respect at all for international humanitarian rules of war that protect noncombatants."

Citing reports from the area, Rosal said Grecil had been living in the area with her parents and siblings, and was on her way to the nearby creek to bathe when soldiers started firing at her from an elevated position.

She sustained gunshot wounds in her arms and head.

"The CPP and the entire revolutionary movement condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and savage killing of nine-year old Grecil Galacio by the fascist troops of the AFP," said Rosal.

Worse, he said the military tried to justify their heinous crime by coming out with the "incredible tale" that Grecil was a "child soldier," and that they saw her carrying an M-16 rifle even before the firefight and that she fired at them during the firefight.

Such tales, he said, are "a complete distortion of the truth."

Also, Rosal dismissed as "ridiculous" the claim made by AFP Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana that his soldiers mistook Grecil for an adult male combatant, "because she was good at using the M-16."

He said even Grecil's mother was incredulous.

"My daughter is so small. Nine years old. And then they say she's NPA?" she said.

Grecil had just recently finished Grade 2 at the nearby SimSimen Elementary School.

Rosal further condemned the AFP for "desecrating Grecil's fallen body by placing alongside it an M-16 rifle and taking pictures of her with the planted rifle in a devious attempt to cover up their crime.
"The photo showed Grecil's height was about the same as the length of the M-16 rifle," he noted. - GMANews.TV

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