By ROGER M. BALANZA
The communist New People’s Army has admitted the killing of businessman Vicente Ferrazini was a mistake, based on grounds “insufficient to warrant the maximum penalty of death.”
To make up for the error, the NPA said it would apologize to the Ferrazini family and would make indemnification for what it admitted was the result of a flawed decision by a lower NPA unit.
The NPA earlier claimed responsibility for the killing of the businessman last month in downtown Davao City, accusing Ferrazini for “counter-revolutionary and anti-people acts.”
In a statement days after the killing, Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman of the Merardo Arce Command, said Ferrazini was killed for allowing the military to set up a camp in his orchard farm in Catigan, Toril at the city’s outskirts. Sanchez named the rebel unit that carried out the assassination as the Ka Paking Quimbaolibot Red Partisan Brigade.
The police had filed a murder charge against Sanchez and several others after the NPA said it was responsible for the killing in a statement posted on its website.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had assailed the killing, that came as military officials warned of the return of rebel liquidation squads, known here as the Sparrow Unit, targeting military and police personnel and civilians.
Ferrazini, who was managing a 100-ha family farm in Catigan, was shot dead at a busy intersection while aboard his car after tending to a fruit stand in Bankerohan Public Market.
In a new statement, Sanchez blamed the local NPA unit for its flawed decision to impose a death sentence on Ferrazini, whose family owns Merco, an old business in the city operating a string of ice cream parlors and pastry shops.
In the statement posted at Philippine Revolution Web Central yesterday, Sanchez said the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (SMRPC-CPP) and the Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army (MAC-SMROC-NPA) conducted an internal investigation on the Ferrazini slay “in light of various reactions from within and outside the revolutionary movement.”
“The result of this investigation established the conclusion that the grounds on which a lower unit command of New People’s Army based their decision to mete out the particular action taken against Vicente Ferrazini are insufficient to warrant the maximum penalty of death,” said Sanchez.
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