The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Bohol field office headed by Jun Bayocot considered the couple caught dead in a crossfire between government troopers and Abu Sayyah terrorists in barangay Napo, Inabanga, Bohol on April 11, 2017 skirmish as civilian casualties.
The couple, identified as Constancio Petalco, 65, and his wife, Crisanta Doblas Petalco, 66, were hit by bullets when the pursuing government troopers exchange firepower against the Abu Sayyaf members, Napo barangay chairman Columbus Estoce earlier said.
The claim of the CHR that the couple were victims of the crossfire appeared to be contrary to military’s statement that they are considered to be conniving with the bandits.
The couple are close relatives of Joselito Melloria, a native in said barangay Napo who married to a Muslim woman and became Abu Sayyaf’s recruit. Melloria led ten of his comrades in their exploits in Bohol.
Melloria was one of the four Abus killed and their remains buried in Clarin, Bohol in less than 24 hours as practiced by Muslims.
Police thru Camp Dagohoy based leadership earlier said it has to look into the circumstances surrounding the couple’s death. But until now there’s no official finding yet whether the couple were indeed “sleeping with the enemy.”
As relative of the couple, Ronila Sabijon Kudemus, cried foul in her fb account that “Unsa man mo wala geapil ag gehostaged ug report?? Namatay aqong uyuan uban sa iya asawa …asag hustisya ani?? Kung nagol mis fallen comrades misamot kroon huhuhu. RIP TIYO ug TIYA.”
Bayocot said that CHR will help the couple by providing P15,000 apiece to immediate relatives. But till now no one came forward but CHR is still trying to reach out the relatives. He urged the relatives to visit his office so that the financial aid will be processed.
Inabanga town has reportedly shouldered the burial expenses of the couple, according to statement of its media outfit, Inabanga Communications and News Service (ICoNS). (rvo)