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Soldiers Offer Inconsistent Testimonies During CHR Hearing on Botanist’s Killing

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Soldiers Offer Inconsistent Testimonies During CHR Hearing on Botanist’s Killing

 During the first public hearings into the deaths of Leonard Co and company conducted by the Commission on Human Rights, soldiers admitted that fired their weapons at the direction of the three victims but at the same time denied having killed them.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — The Philippine military was hard pressed this week to explain the inconsistencies in the testimony and statements of soldiers regarding the supposed encounter with communist guerrillas on Nov. 15 in Kananga, Leyte, where noted botanist Leonard Co and two other companies were killed.


Agham’s Dr. Giovanni Tapang, together with Renato Reyes Jr. of Bayan, witnessed the inconsistencies in the testimony of soldiers regarding the supposed encounter with the NPA and the circumstances behind the killing of the Kananga 3. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc. / bulatlat.com)
During the first public hearings into the deaths of Co and company conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Tacloban on Jan. 26 and 27, soldiers admitted that they fired their weapons at the direction of the three victims but at the same time denied having killed them.

Co, a renowned botanist and his companions, Julius Borromeo and Sofronio Cortez, were shot dead while conducting research inside the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) complex in Kananga, Leyte, on Nov. 15, 2010.

Based on information made public by Renato Reyes, secretary-general of Bayan, and Giovanni Tapang of Agham, who were at the public hearings held at the Leyte Park Hotel in Tacloban City, 11 soldiers belonging to the 19th Infantry Battalion came to testify. Lt. Col. Federico Tutaan said they only knew of the presence of the civilians at the EDC complex at around 10:30 a.m., 30 minutes before the three victims were killed.

All the soldiers were consistent in saying that they saw “three men in black who seemed to be observing something.” 1st Lt. Ronald Odchimar, the platoon leader, said he saw three to 10 armed men in the area..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/28/soldiers-offer-inconsistent-testimonies-during-chr-hearing-on-botanist%E2%80%99s-killing/

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