NDFP INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION OFFICE
Utrecht, The Netherlands
In a letter to GRP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Alexander Padilla dated 5 January 2011, Luis Jalandoni, NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson declared that his panel “has received reports and complaints of numerous ceasefire violations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police” during the unilateral, concurrent and reciprocal ceasefire from December 16, 2010 to January 3, 2011.
Among the cited violations were the following:
The arrest of NPA cadre, Edwin Brigano, at 3 a.m.on January 1 by the Special Action Force of the PNP. Brigano was in a relative's house to undergo medical treatment for a serious respiratory illness and hepatitis. He was detained and slapped with trumped-up charges.
The killing of 19-year-old cultural activist, Stephen Lester Barrientos, at midnight of December 23 in Barangay Bayotbot, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. The forces of the 80th IB under Lt. Col. Roger Percol indiscriminately strafed the house where a small NPA team was visiting. After the relatives retrieved the body of Barrientos, they were harassed by the 80th IB forces who further arrested Christian Bascos, an NPA member, and his two companions.
On December 23, military operations were carried out in Brgy. San Pedro, Mulanay, Quezon, simultaneous with military operations in Brgy. Busuk-busukan in San Narciso. On December 22, troops from the 74th IB in Brgy. Ilayang Tayuman in San Francisco town joined the operations of the 85th IB and harassed the residents of Brgys. Sinagtala and Whitecliff in San Narciso, maliciously taking pictures of the residents. Company-sized military operations continue to be conducted by the 85th IB and 74th IB in other barangays of San Narciso, including Binay, Busuk-busokan, San Vicente and Vigo Central.
For several days starting December 21, troops of the 61st IB conducted combat clearing operations in at least six upland barangays of Tapaz, Capiz and Calinog, Iloilo. The massive show of terrorism in these populated areas created fear among the local population..
On December 17, police operatives arrested NDF-North Central Mindanao officer Pedro Codaste and his companions at a checkpoint in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.
On December 16, the 5th ID sent a special commando unit to target NPA forces and sympathizers along the boundary of Aguinaldo town in Ifugao and Natonin town in Mt. Province. The following day, the 5th ID's commando forces positioned themselves in Sitio Tappo, Brgy. Banawel, Natonin. More military operations by the Re-engineered Special Operations Team (RSOT) of the 5th ID followed in many other barangays. In these and other communities, the AFP's RSOT units conducted “census” of barangays, tag residents in a list of “NPA sympathizers”, place them on “Order of Battle”, announce the list in community psywar assemblies, force those tagged to personally report to the military and subject them to various forms of harassment and coercion, including torture and threats of liquidation.
Jalandoni stated that these are partial and initial reports as of January 3 and that additional reports will be brought up to the GRP Negotiating Panel.
In closing, Jalandoni declared, “In the interest of the forthcoming preliminary peace talks and the scheduled resumption of formal talks, we urge you to take up these reports and complaints … with your Principal for adequate and urgent action.
Jalandoni furnished a copy of his letter to Ambassador Ture Lundh of the Royal Norwegian Foreign Ministry.
Ruth de Leon
NDFP International Information Office
Utrecht, The Netherlands