MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino farmer unearthed a mass grave with the skeletal remains of up to 30 people believed to be victims of an internal purge by communist rebels in the 1980s, AFP reported Sunday (July 22nd).
Rommel Malinao was plowing his field in a remote village in Quezon province, south of Manila, when he made the discovery on Saturday, army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc said.
The army deployed a team to cordon off the site and with the help of police forensics experts exhumed the skeletons. "As of last count, there were about 30 human skeletons," Cabunoc told AFP.
"We believe these were victims of the New People's Army (NPA) 'kangaroo courts', which sentenced to death many members they had suspected as government intelligence agents."
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a Maoist rebellion since 1969. Various mass graves have been unearthed by the military since 2009, but Saturday's find was believed to contain the biggest number of skeletons so far, Cabunoc said.