Thursday, April 26, 2007

Solon reiterates call for court-martial of Army commander in 9-year old's brutal killing in Compostela

Thursday April 26, 2007

Solon reiterates call for court-martial of Army commander in 9-year old's brutal killing in Compostela

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today reiterated his call for court martial against Army Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza and elements of the 101st Infantry Brigade which he commands. Holganza and soldiers of the 101 st IB are responsible for the brutal slay of nine-year old Grecil Buya in Compostela Valley.

"Holganza is now backtracking on his previous statements that he stands firmly behind his men that Grecil was an NPA combatant and hence a legitimate target. He should be made accountable for Gecil's death and all the pain and anguish her family has been subjected to because of the ordeal. The soldiers deliberately shot and killed Grecil and it was not result of an accidental shooting," he said.

Beltran, 74 and a grandfather and great-grandfather, said that the Holganza should be court-martialed. "He has even taking to criticizing Grecil's father Gregorio for being brave enough to seek justice for his er slain little girl. Was Holganza really expecting Gregorio to cooperate with the military? With the same soldiers and unit that shot and killed their daughter, and branded her an NPA fighter? Is Holganza really that naïve and stupid?"

The activist lawmaker said that the national leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should at the least issue a public apology to Grecil's family and make sure that they receive financial indemnification. He also demanded that AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Ebdane personally see to that Holganza is court-martialed and the rest of his unit subjected to investigations.

"The AFP has long taken to executing civilians, but this is the first time that it will be directly taken to account for the deliberate killing of a child, a strictly non-combatant civilian. It was not an accidental shooting, it was a impaired sense of judgment. They shot and killed the Grecil even as they saw that she was a mere child, and then afterwards insisted that she had a gun with her. Even if in the remotest possibility that Grecil was with the NPA, under no circumstances should the soldiers shoot her because there are strict guidelines pertaining to child warriors and their circumstances," he said. #


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