NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - Lt. General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command expressed his strong condemnation over the burning of a day care center in Purok 6, Brgy. Mahongcog, Magpet, North Cotabato yesterday morning November 15, 2018, and directed the military to support the PNP in pursuing the perpetrators and coordinate with other agencies in the area to initiate activities that will mitigate the trauma brought about by the incident to the learners, parents, and teacher of the center.
"We strongly condemn the burning of a daycare center in Purok 6, Brgy Mahongcog, Magpet, North Cotabato yesterday morning November 15, 2018. The incident is clearly a manifestation of a grave criminal act. While everyone is celebrating the children's month with activities and renewed their vows to respect and defend the rights of the children, the perpetrators are doing the opposite, busily harassing and instilling fear to the innocent kids, which is a gross disrespect of the children's rights and the principle that schools are zones of peace," Lt. General Madrigal Jr. said.
"The act did not only cause trauma to the teacher, Emelita Nebris who was hand-tied before setting the daycare center on fire, but to the supposed happy children who are about to enter the said center," he added.
"Military units in North Cotabato have already been directed to pursue the perpetrators who are suspected to be NPA members. While doing so, it is also imperative to coordinate with other agencies to conduct an intervention that will mitigate the trauma to the children, parents, and teacher caused by the incident," directed Lt Gen Madrigal Jr.
In a report made by Lt Col. Ehrlich Noel Paraso, Commanding Officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion based in Magpet, the perpetrators numbering to 25, clad in military-type uniform easily entered the Barangay and set the daycare center on fire after the Barangay failed to give P50,000.00 as being demanded by the alleged NPA members.
The perpetrators withdrew towards the general direction of Sitio Katindo, Brgy. Malibatuan, Arakan, North Cotabato after the incident.