Continuing simultaneous attacks in Negros Oriental are EJKs and illegal arrests, not at all related to drugs and criminal activities

PRESS STATEMENT | December 28, 2018
Juanito Magbanua
Spokesperson, Apolinario Gatmaitan Command
NPA Regional Command – Negros Island

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are spinning lies and fake news dubbed as Simultaneous Enhanced Managing Police Operations to whitewash the series of extrajudicial killings (EJK) and illegal arrests they have perpetrated in Negros Oriental since the evening of December 26.

According to consolidated reports from the New People’s Army (NPA) Leonardo Panaligan Command and Rachelle Mae Palang Command of the Central Negros and Southeast Negros Fronts respectively, there have been coordinated harassments, 6 cases of EJKs and 27 illegal arrests and trumped-up cases in Guihulngan City, Mabinay, and Sta. Catalina towns of Negros Oriental.

In Guihulngan City, six civilians were killed in simultaneous attacks by combined elements of the 94th IB and PNP. They are peasant organizer Jimmy Fat and Jun Kubol both from Barangay Trinidad, Reneboy Fat, a habal-habal driver, from Barangay Hilaitan, Jaime Revilla, a community organizer, Jesus “Dondon” Isugan, farmer and son of a peasant leader, and Boy Singko, a councilor of Barangay Trinidad.

Junior and Genia Isugan were taken into custody after their son, Dondon, was killed in their house. Fifteen others were also illegally arrested and falsely accused as members of the NPA. Barangay officials were not spared as Melbourne Bustamante and Erlinda Abraham, Village Chiefs of Barangay Trinidad and Tacpao were also detained for alleged illegal possession of firearms.

Homes of peasants were ransacked in Barangay Trinidad and the house of Sheldon Uy in Guihulngan proper was raided in the joint operation. Adding to the increasing violence in the area, a media man was also shot by a riding-in-tandem in La Libertad town early this morning.

Meanwhile, six residents of Barangay Luyang and Talingting, Mabinay were arrested wherein firearms and ammunition were planted as evidence. One of the victims of illegal arrests is Margie Vailoces, cousin of political detainee Joey Vailoces (#Mabinay6). As of press time, the aforementioned residents are on their way to the Hall of Justice in Dumaguete City.

At the same time, Barangay Nagbinlod Councilor Nonoy Trosa was arrested in Sta. Catalina town in southern Negros Oriental.

While in Negros Occidental, Rene Cañete of the National Federation of Sugar Workers was also illegally arrested and charged with trumped-up cases by dubious police forces wearing bonnets in Sagay City last December 19.

Ahead of these attacks, the AFP circulated fake news in Central Negros. They claimed that an encounter between the NPA and AFP forces took place and more than 50 firearms were confiscated. But this was only to justify their presence in the hinterlands of Guihulngan City and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental and Isabela and Magallon towns in Negros Occidental. The truth is a composite force of the 94th IB of the 302nd Brigade and 62nd IB of the 303rd Brigade with 95-120 troops were conducting operations last December 20-23 in a fruitless search for the CPP golden anniversary celebration.

Also, the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command (AGC) have received reports that the local media have been under 24-hour surveillance to spy on those who will cover the activities in relation to the CPP@50 festivities.

EJKs and political harassments have been prevalent in Negros Island under the US-Duterte regime. Since the brutal Sagay 9 massacre and the murder of Atty. Ben Ramos, the spate of killings and human rights violations in Negros perpetrated by state forces have escalated further and none have been given justice by the reactionary government. As of today, there are 55 counts of EJKs in Negros since Duterte became president. With the all-out implementation of Duterte’s Memorandum Order 32 and Executive Order 70, beyond doubt, Negros is under de facto martial law.

The current conditions have only made clearer that the only means to put a stop to the fascist and tyrannical rule of Duterte and his clique is protracted people’s war. The regime has only sharpened the contrast between the butcher AFP and PNP and the genuine people’s army, the NPA. The AGC-NPA calls on the rank-and-file in the AFP and PNP not to tolerate the lawless violence committed by their colleagues and expose these crimes. More importantly, the AGC-NPA calls on all Negrosanons to rise up against the de facto martial Law in our Island. Together with the Filipino people in general, smash Duterte’s fascist and military rule. Take part in the national democratic revolution and join the NPA!###