69th IB-10th ID forced barangay officials and residents to “endorse” Paquibato military encamp near civilian population despite continuing violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law
By BIEN SUMUROY
Spokesperson, Amoran Saripada Command
Guerilla Front 52 Operations Command
New People’s Army-Southern Mindanao
Taking the heat out of the complaints from parents and school officials, and getting backlash from local officials of the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH), Lt. Col. Alfredo Patarata, Commanding Officer of the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, forced barangay officials to endorse the military encampment in the village of Paradise Embac, Paquibato District, Davao City. But failing to secure one, Lt. Col.Patarata made residents of Puroks (sub-village) 6, 7 and 8 of Barangay Paradise Embac to sign an attendance sheet to pass off as endorsement signatures, in a meeting purportedly to discuss a water system project.
The Amoran Saripada Command, Guerilla Front 52 Operations Command of the New People’s Army denounces this recent display of temerity to justify the 10th Infantry Division’s usurpation of school grounds, civilian communities and facilities.
And the 69th IB’s growing list of human rights violations in Paquibato District, Davao City makes the deception to make the military encampment even lighter when compared to the following acts committed against hapless civilians:
Forced military encampment near the Paradise Embac Annex School and houses, despite opposition from local residents;
Families of residents Cerilo Corbito and Rudy Corbito were banned from farming their lands;
Out of fear, residents, like the family of one Lucas Ratasa and that of Randy and Susan Uyanguren, have evacuated;
Soldiers ordered students and residents to taunt NPA members to attack the camp;
Residents, especially those who opposed military encampment, were tagged as NPA supporters and were threatened to be killed;
Soldiers paid children and students to give information as to the whereabouts of the NPA. Soldiers also entered classrooms while classes were ongoing, and pointedly ask students about the NPA;
Residents passing the military checkpoint were held up, their names listed; they were also prevented from talking and making noises along the road. One of the drivers, Denden Cabungcal, was ordered to alight from his motorcycle, his keys were confiscated, and he was ordered to walk away. From a distance, soldiers shouted at him to come back, saying it was all a prank;
Residents who attended a march-rally in Davao City during the State of Nation Address last July, were held up along the road for six hours, as they were accused of being NPA supporters;
Threats from soldiers Lt. Tamayo, Sgt. Garcia, and Cpl. Tayaman who warned residents that should something happen to soldiers encamped in the area, residents would pay dearly. Mr. Rudy Corbita was woken up at midnight only to be threatened by these soldiers;
Drivers were falsely accused of helping transport NPA “sparrow” guerillas, like what happened to a Duterte campaign coordinator, a resident of Barangay Pandaitan last 19 August, who was accused of transporting an NPA and held at a checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril;
Victims of mauling: (1) Redan Sumaria, 23, of Sitio Libertad, Barangay Paquibato, collared by Lt. Tamayo; (2) Dodong de Jesus, 26, resident of Sitio Upper Pandaitan, punched on the chest by soldiers, which occurred in crossing Guinobatan; (3) Arim Maygon, hit by Sgt. Garcia and Cpl. Tayaman, on 6 August, at 6:00 PM.
In many instances over the last six months, the 69th IB, the Task Force Davao and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are quick to mouth off so-called peace and development programs, which are nothing but special military operations that give a “smiling” image to their combat operations. Yet, the plight of the peasant masses and the peasant schoolchildren makes the “peace” label veritably synonymous to human rights violations.
The 10th Infantry Division, PA-AFP, cannot undo what a century of fascism its tradition has lived up to or what the last decade’s sheer reign of terror had proven. The AFP’s fascist character is reigning in Barangay Paradise Embac, in Paquibato district, and elsewhere in the countryside.
The Filipino masses see through the AFP’s sham peace-speak and unravel it for what it really is: vicious to the core. As they assert their basic rights, and in a clear message to the violators of human rights and International Humanitarian Law, the NPA will continue to deliver blows against the fascist enemy.