Suspected NPA mass grave found in Davao City

Posted at 02/28/2014 2:14 AM | Updated as of 02/28/2014 2:14 AM

DAVAO -- Troops belonging to the Philippine Army's 69th Infantry Battalion and police have discovered a mass grave believed to have been used by the communist New People's Army (NPA) in Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District in Davao City on Thursday.

Soldiers and police, upon reaching Sitio Malamboon, had to ride an all-terrain vehicle and walk for 5 minutes before a former NPA rebel could point where the alleged mass grave is located.

Authorities dug up skeletons of 4 people wrapped in tarp, malong, and duyan.

The former rebel identified the remains as that of persons named only as "Ka Lolong," "Ka Pogi," "Ka Allan" and his wife, who were all members of the NPA's Guerilla Front 56 and residents of Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

The victims were killed in 2012, the informant said.

The former rebel said he was disheartened about the killings.

Residents in the area surmise that the 4 were executed because they were suspected of betraying the communist movement.

The skeletons were blessed before being taken by authorities for further investigation.

The grave was filled and a white flag was placed on it.

"Ikinustodiya muna sa PNP Crime Laboratory ang mga buto," said 1st Lt. Ryan Velez, CMO officer of the 69th IB.

Government forces are coordinating with the local government unit of Talaingod in Davao del Norte to trace the whereabouts of the victims' families. -- Reports from Claire Cornelio, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao