CHR condemns deaths of 2 soldiers in April 3 CPP-NPA attack

Published April 8, 2021, 3:07 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

“No ideology can justify senseless violations on the right to life.”

This was stressed anew by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as it strongly condemned the ambush of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA) members against the soldiers of the 15th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Yaoyao in Cauayan, Negros Occidental last April 3.


Two intelligence operatives – Cpl. Alaster Balboa of Zamboanga City and Sgt. Jhoem Meguillo of North Cotabato — who were conducting a Community Support Program in the barangay were killed in the shooting incident.

CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia, in a statement issued on Thursday, April 8, said they condole with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) because of the incident.

“Buo ang suporta’t pakikiisa ng Komisyon sa pahayag ng opisyal ng AFP na magsasagawa sila ng karampatang imbestigasyon para mabigyang hustisya ang pagkamatay ng kanilang dalawang kasamahan, (The Commission fully supports and sympathizes with the statement of the AFP official that they will conduct a competent investigation to bring justice to the deaths of their two comrades),” De Guia said.

“Nakikiramay rin ang Komisyon sa mga naiwang mga kamag-anak nina Cpl. Alaster Balboa ng Zamboanga City at Sgt. Jhoem Meguillo ng North Cotabato at hiling din namin ang kapanagutan sa kanilang pagpanaw, (The Commission also extends its condolences to the bereaved relatives of Cpl. Alaster Balboa of Zamboanga City and Sgt. Jhoem Meguillo of North Cotabato and we are asking for responsibility for their deaths),” she added.

The CHR has repeatedly spoken out against attacks perpetrated by the CPP-NPA especially in the midst of a health crisis triggered by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

When the NPA reportedly carried out attacks against soldiers and civilians last Oct. 2020, De Guia said the CHR issue a statement that “no ideology can justify these senseless violations on the right to life.”

“That these hostilities are happening in the midst of a pandemic compounds the insecurity, fear, and vulnerability that conflict-ridden communities are already experiencing,” she stressed.

On Oct. 3, 2020, the NPA killed Private First Class Ariel Guinsod Maca, a member of the 36th Infantry Battalion and the Manobo tribe in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. Maca was shot several times and was even tortured, as evidenced by his flattened face and plucked-out eyes.

Then last Oct. 7, the NPA struck again in Pinabacdao, Samar as five persons, including a policeman and two teachers, were hurt in an ambush.