The commander of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion assigned in this province has resigned from his post after 13 of his men were allegedly found to have made tactical lapses over the death of the wife and two sons of a B’laan tribal leader in Kiblawan town here.
Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, said that Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo had resigned “to allow other third party groups to investigate (the incident) freely and to prove that there is no cover-(up) in the search for truth in this incident.”
Paniza said Bravo’s resignation took effect Monday, and he would be replaced by Lt. Col. Shalimar Imperial.
“(Bravo’s) action is laudable and an example of a true gentleman and courageous leader who is willing to accept the consequence of his action and of his subordinates,” Paniza said.
The resignation came after a military inquiry found that the 13 soldiers under Bravo, led by 1st Lt. Dante Jimenez, committed tactical lapse in the military operation on Oct. 18 that killed the wife and two sons of tribal leader Daguil Capion.
Killed were Capion’s 27-year-old wife Juvy and their sons Pop, 13, and John, 8.
The soldiers said they were fired upon as they neared a hut of the Capion family in an isolated part of Kiblawan town, prompting them to fire back.
But they were found negligent when they engaged in a shootout with the tribal leader because they did not try to avoid civilian casualties.
Jimenez had been temporarily relieved from his post pending the results of the investigation. The 13 soldiers could face life in jail if found guilty.
Bishop Guillermo Afable of the Diocese of Digos earlier commended military officials for initiating the investigation by the Board of Inquiry on the 13 soldiers.
“I commend the Army’s 10th ID (Infantry Division) for the reported outcome of the investigation,” Afable said.