Masses rejoice in achieving revolutionary justice in the punishment of the most despotic Lumad mayor in Mindanao

New People’s Army
Southern Mindanao
Regional Command

Press Statement
October 25, 2015

Revolutionary justice prevailed when the Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army, acting on the decision of the people’s court, authorized the imposition of standing order and punished warlords GPH mayor Dario Otaza and Daryl Otaza to give justice to the thousands of indigenous peoples and peasants terrorized by their despotic tyranny in Loreto and surrounding municipalities of Agusan del Sur.

The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command commends the revolutionary fighters and officers of the Comval North Davao South Agusan Subregional Command who, in joint operations with the NPA-Northern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, meted the maximum sentence of death penalty against Loreto Mayor and Bagani paramilitary leaders Dario Otaza and his son, Daryl, on October 19, 2015 in Butuan City.

NPA operatives posing as NBI elements raided the Otaza residence in Brgy. Baan, Butuan City, subdued Otaza’s security details and confiscated 4 bushmaster rifles, 2 .45 cal. pistols and 2 9mm pistols. The NPA operatives  found in Otaza’s possession of some PHP 25,000.00 which had been secured and shall be returned to the family through a third party in the soonest possible time.

The people’s court found Dario Otaza guilty of masterminding and ordering the execution of the following heinous crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement:

1.    Brutal murder and torture of the Lumad and ordinary civilians, namely, Benjie Planos of Brgy. Kauswagan, killed September 13, 2013; Gabriel Alindao of Brgy, Kauswagan killed October 10, 2013 and Gerry Villamor of Datu Ampunan, killed September 10, 2014, all in Loreto, Agusan Del Sur.

2.    Multiple frustrated murder and robbery of some families residing in Km 16, Brgy. Datu Davao, Loreto on September 9, 2014  perpetrated by Bukakang Banggaan and certain Augit and Intoy who are members of the Otaza-created Taptap paramilitary group. (The names of the victims have been withheld for their protection.)

3.    Arson and destruction of the homes of the farmers in Brgy. Kauswagan by Otaza’s paramilitary men Mariel Dioganon, Aki Dioganon, Jordan Dioganon, Abdon Dioganon, Abdon Dioganon, Abdon Sinkok, Peping Maamib and Loloy Cedilla in 2013. (The names of the victims have been withheld for their protection.)

4.    Intense military operations jointly conducted by Otaza’s Bagani forces and 26th IB under Oplan Bayanihan which resulted to gruesome right abuses against Lumad population:

a.    Torture of four minors, two of whom have also been subjected to illegal arrest and illegal detention, all from Brgy. San Isidro,  Loreto.
b.    Hamletting and imposition of food and economic blockade in five villages in Brgy. Kauswagan, Loreto
c.    Forced evacuation, which also translated to the economic dislocation of at least 459 indigenous Manobo individuals from Brgy. Kauswagan and other villages of Loreto. Many from among the evacuees have not reclaimed their land to this day as their villages continue to be Otaza’s Bagani war zone.
d.    Divestment and destruction of not less than 100 hectares of agricultural land and upland farms which had been rehabilitated and tilled by the evacuees after typhoon Pablo;
e.    Attacks against and closure of two community based learning centers which constituted violations of the rights of children to development and education.
Otaza’s Bagani Force and the 26th IB continue their atrocities through forcible arrest, fake surrenders, arbitrary detention, psychological warfare, threat, harassment, threat against the families of NPAs, even after entering an agreement brokered by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with the evacuees that no retaliatory attacks will be waged against them upon their return from evacuation.

5.    On September 5, 2009, two of Otaza’s intelligence operatives infiltrated an NPA unit based in Loreto bearing poisoned food which rendered NPA troops unconscious and defenceless. Otaza’s operatives then relentlessly fired at the incapacitated NPA troops, resulting to the death of four NPA  officers and fighters, capture of one NPA fighter and other casualties.

The elder Otaza, then acting as NCIP provincial chieftain together with Capt. Gusi, Officer of MIB 4th ID, planned and ordered the execution of this carnage which was part of the AFP’s Task Force Gantangan, a major component of Oplan Bantay Laya 2, the centrepiece of which is the perversion of the Lumad Bagani culture for military counter-insurgency and para-militarism. This has been continued by Otaza when he became a mayor of Loreto in 2010 and has since marked his repressive leadership.

6.    Dario Otaza established and built intelligence networks within NPA territories in Agusan del Sur for purposes of counter-revolutionary operations of the AFP, including developing, maintaining, directing of assets for infiltration, espionage and sabotage.

7.    Coercion and forcible recruitment of Lumads into paramilitary/bagani group, to serve as counter-revolutionary spies, coercing and directing them to commit armed actions against the revolutionary movement and unsparingly, against unarmed civilians.

Over the last four years, the Otazas have strengthened their fascist rule as staunch lapdogs and implementors of the US-Aquino Oplan Bayanihan, despite repeated warnings by the revolutionary movement and appeals by the suffering masses to stop their atrocious acts.

They remained unremorseful, adhered to counter-revolutionary practice and continued to be hostile towards the people while they engaged in land grabbing and plundered the natural resources for their personal wealth by engaging in environmentally destructive logging operations and mining activities in the already denuded residual forests of Agusan. Dario Otaza was also complicit in the sell-out of more than 30,000 hectares of lands in Loreto, Agusan del Sur to a foreign palm oil plantation company.

In refusing to rectify to return to non-violent civilian governance, they continue to employ and arm paramilitary and Bagani troops to secure and fortify their oppressive rule and bureaucrat-capitalist interest. Hence, the Otazas made themselves legitimate targets by the NPA.

In the case of Daryl Otaza, aside from directly participating in the commission of the above-mentioned crimes, he was a notorious drug lord in the town of Loreto and surrounding areas.

In waging the people’s war, the NPA has been pursuing revolutionary justice by meting appropriate capital punishment against war criminals to remove the continuation of the human rights violations and render justice.
Truly, the masses rejoice in achieving revolutionary justice in the punishment of one of the most despotic anti-Lumad mayors in Mindanao!

(sgd.) Rigoberto F. Sanchez
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command