‘Sparrow Unit’ behind assassinations in Bukidnon, Misamis, says military
byCamcer Ordonez Imam
Published in mb.com.ph
Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental — The military is verifying reports of the presence in this region of the New People’s Army’s (NPA’s) “Sparrow Unit” from other parts of Mindanao.
Major Christian Uy, spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division, said the presence of the NPA”s trained assassins from other parts of Mindanao came up in the investigation into the killing of a Bukidnon town mayor and a Misamis Oriental councilor, recently.
It will be recalled that suspected NPA rebels killed Impasug-ong Mayor Mario Okinlay in an ambush in his own town in Bukidnon, last July 2.
Likewise, a statement released by the NPA owned up to the killing of a Councilor Cecilio Abuhan last Thursday in the town of Opol, Misamis Oriental.
The NPA statement read: “A team under the Regional Command of the North Central Mindanao Region assassinated councilor Cecilio ‘Anggong’ Abuhan, at 4:00 p.m. on August 21, 2014, at Bagocboc, Opol, Misamis Oriental.”
Uy said a Sparrow Unit of the NPA from another part of Mindanao could be behind the assassination of Abuhan, even as witnesses said the assassins are in their young ages and armed with .45-caliber and .9mm handguns.
Abuhan succumbed to eight bullet wounds – six in the head and two in the body – from .45-caliber and .9mm pistols.
He was riding a single motorcycle when ambushed by armed men who escaped using two motorcycles.
Uy said it appears that the communist rebels are not just into banditry anymore, but also entered the gun-for-hire business, even importing Sparrow Unit’s assassins from other parts of Mindanao.
Margilen Abuhan, wife of the slain councilor and who is a chairwoman in Barangay Bagokbok, said she received information that her husband was among the targets of a liquidation squad of the NPA.
Senior Inspector Alwin Baclao, Opol police chief, said the investigation is focusing on the motive of the killing to identify the gunmen. Abuhan had been in politics since 1994 and was serving his second term as councilor.
The NPA statement accuses Abuhan of accumulating firearms for his private army, alleged involvement in various human rights abuses and crimes that are anti-people, and for burning more than 20 houses in 2004 and 2008.
The NPA also accused the slain Abuhan of “direct involvement” for the death of farmers and Lumad leaders Gilbert Paborada ug Rolen Langala.