By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today decried the victimization of senior citizens by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the conduct of its military operations under Oplan Bayanihan (OPB), especially in the countryside.
“In the past several months, the AFP has conducted its military operations with increasing viciousness and brutality, targeting civilian communities in the countryside under the pretext of carrying out ‘peace and development’ activites,” said the CPP.
“These military operations do not spare senior citizens from the abuse, maltreatment and terrorism of the AFP,” pointed out the CPP. “Oplan Bayanihan is especially condemnable when the AFP subjects senior citizens as well as children and mothers to illegal arrests and searches, torture and extrajudicial killings.”
“Clearly, the ‘peace and human rights’ rhetoric of the Oplan Bayanihan is nothing but a signboard to cover up the violence and brutality of the military operations of the AFP,” said the CPP.
The CPP cited the case of 80-year old Pablo Naogsan whose house in Barangay Butigue, Paracelis, Mountain Provice was attacked last 27 May by a platoon of soldiers. Soldiers belonging to the 54th Infantry Battalion and led by Lt. Roland Caringan broke down the door of Naogsan’s house, forcibly entered his abode, roused him from his sleep at four in the morning, and rummaged through his things. Naogsan was alone when the military attacked his place. He was accused by the AFP of supporting the New People’s Army.
Naogsan is the father of Simon Naogsan, spokesperson of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front.
The CPP also pointed out that a number of senior citizens continue to be detained by the Aquino government. NDFP consultant Alan Jazmines who was illegally arrested last February continues to languish at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame. Jazmines is 63 years old.
Also languishing in jail are farmers Jesus Bacnotan, 64, and Loreto Gabuay, 63, who have been detained in the Catbalogan City Jail since 2008. Bacnotan and Gabuay have both been falsely accused by the military of involvement in NPA tactical offensives.