PRESS STATEMENT | November 22, 2018
Ka Juanito Magbanua
Apolinario Gatmaitan Command Spokesperson
New People’s Army Regional Command – Negros Island
Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Brigade Commander, is distressed and desperate on how to cover up the crimes and blood-debts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to the people of Negros. In the numerous cases of killings under the US-Duterte regime, including the Sagay 9 massacre and the murder of Atty. Benjamin Ramos, Jr., the ambush of Apollonio Diosana, Jr, 44 years old, and Temestokles Seit, Jr., 28 years old, by local paramilitary group “Dios Uno” in Sitio Canggabok, Barangay Nagbinlod, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental is another addition.
Recently, the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, Special Action Battalion of the Special Action Force and the Joint Intelligence Task Group have yet again invented a sinister drama in Sitio Puting Bato, Barangay Washington, Escalante City. According to Duterte-clone Col. Arevalo, allegedly an encounter between the NPA and AFP took place resulting to two NPA casualties and the recovery of an M16 armalite rifle and a .45 caliber pistol. Col. Arevalo also linked the incident to the Sagay massacre. Dissatisfied still with their overflowing lies, he twisted the result of the dialogue of the residents of Sitio Puting Bato and the Philippine Army that allegedly they are now against and want the NPA out of their community and they will no longer entertain “leftist” organizations.
The truth is that no encounter happened and the residents of Barangay Washington is witness to this. In the initial statement of the victims, early morning of November 16 elements of the AFP and PNP circulated stories that the ISIS has docked in Barangay Washington and later that morning the residents heard gunhots from the nearby bunch of bamboos. The military and police then entered their houses. In the afternoon the military did not leave the area and four unidentified persons wearing bonnets ransacked the home of Elena Yap, chair of the Pambansang Lakas ng mga Mamamalakaya (PAMALAKAYA) chapter in Escalante City. Several residents were virtually under sitio arrest because the military will not allow them to step out of their houses and leave. The Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates helped the victims to free them from the coercion of AFP/PNP forces.
All of this is one big drama of the AFP/PNP, who are obviously goons of the big hacienderos of Negros, to conceal their crimes. The AFP/PNP intended to show that the progressive organizations and the NPA are behind the killings and is the cause of trouble in the Island. This is a wicked plan to give them grounds for ruining the progressive organizations that are struggling for genuine freedom and democracy. But the Negrosanons do not give credit to these lies because the rottenness of the AFP/PNP that Col. Arevalo is failing to whitewash have long been exposed.
The AFP’s denial of the NPA offensives and their failure to defeat it is much worse. The fact is that the all out counterrevolutionary war of the AFP in Negros Island is being confronted by the revolutionary movement through victorious tactical offensives. Evidently, Col. Arevalo is the actual and most embarrassing “joke.”
If the arrogant and deceitful Col. Arevalo thinks that through his intimidation the people will cower, he is mistaken since his actions only fuels further the burning anger of the people against the ruling system. Like Duterte, Col. Arevalo prompts the people to greatly support the revolutionary movement and join the NPA who is the genuine defender of the people and strives for the destruction of the existing semicolonial and semifeudal system to realize genuine freedom and lasting peace.###