ANDA, BOHOL (2001) – The lady town mayor of Anda, Bohol is not accepting the theory that it was the New People’s Army hit squad that killed a barangay chairman last March 24, 2001 Saturday evening.
“I don’t believe that the NPA revolutionary movement, who claims to be fighting for the poor and the oppressed, can kill a barangay chairman that had been serving well his people with honesty and dedication,” Mayor Inday Simacio said.
The lady mayor, who appeared holding back her tears, told the Bohol TIMES that the victim, barangay Tanod chairman Rodrigo Handayan, alias Rudy, could not be a possible target of the NPA.
“If there is indeed a revolutionary court, there would have been an investigation on the person of the barangay chairman. The victim served without a blemish, and lived a simple life.”
“Handayan died a poor man and left a wife and 10 children. How could the NPA mercilessly kill such kind of man,” the mayor said with her eyes in the verge of tears.
The victim was shot to death at 6 o’clock in the evening in front of horrified people near the boundary of barangay Katipunan and Tanod in Anda town.
The victim was shot at close range while his 13-year old son was made to lie down beside him.
Witnesses said the assailants included two men and one woman.
Found in the victim’s pocket was a letter saying Handayan was sentenced to death for his sins against the revolutionary movement. The same letter said it is the NPA Arnulfo Mendez Command which executed the death sentence on Handayan.
Posters were also placed in the area stating that the death was an execution for a man who had sinned against the movement.
Vice Mayor Paulino Amper personally visited the family the morning after the killing of the barangay chairman.
Amper said he was so moved by the sight of the dead barangay chairman that he did not care anymore for his own safety.
“Pag-abot nako mingaw kaayo ang lugar apan wa madugay daghan na ang nagtapok ug wala ko kabantay kon diin sila gikan (the place was quiet when I arrived but later on I noticed I was surrounded by many people whom I did not notice where they came from),” Amper recalled.
The vice mayor who had served for more 10 years as the town mayor told the crowd that an injustice has been done in the death of the barangay chairman.
“Nganong kini man ang ilang gipatay kon tinood man ugaling nga NPA ang mihimo niani. Boutan nga tawo ang biktima ug nagserbisyo pa gayod sa iyang barangay. Nganong dili man hinoon ako, o’ ang ubang opisyal sa lungsod, kon kami man kaha mga dautan. Hain man ang ilang giingon nga paglaban sa mga kabos nga katawhan. (I don’t understand why this man has to be killed. He served well his people. Why not me or other officials. I thought they are for the welfare of the poor people),” Amper told the crowd in barangay Tanod.
Doubts are growing stronger as the NPA Regional Command, up to this writing, has not confirmed or owned responsibility on the death of Handayan. Most of the time, Silvino Clamucha, the regional party spokesman, releases the official statement owning any activity conducted by the revolutionary movement here in Central Visayas.
Barangay Tanod, Anda was the sight of the February 19, 2001 military-rebel encounter where 3 alleged NPA militia members were killed. The 15th Scout Rangers Co. under the 801st IB, which conducted the operation suffered no casualties. (The Bohol Times Archives/Y-Knot A. Deloso)