State violence erupts in 2019
Armed personnel of the US-Duterte regime’s have been on rampage since the onset of the year. Up to 66 individuals fell victim to various cases of killings, illegal arrests and harassment. Aside from them, 41 families were driven out of their homes, and 15 communities and barrios were occupied by soldiers.
Five civilians killed
In Bicol, three civilians were killed by 96th MICO soldiers within two weeks. On December 31, 2018, Ranoy Sampaga Masanoc, 27, was shot-dead while aboard a motorcycle in Sitio Matungao, Barangay Tugbo, Masbate. He sustained wounds on the head and chest.
On January 11 and 12, motorcycle-riding gunment shot Nicasio Ebio and Hermenegildo Domdom in two separate incidents in Sorsogon. Ebio, 37, a fisherman and member of Anakpawis, was killed first. He was shot near the barangay hall in Bato in the Bacon district.
According to witnesses, Ebio raised his hands and pleaded for his life before he was shot. After the shooting, the perpetrators announced that they were going to kill another man and woman next.
A day later, Domdom, 32, was killed in the nearby town of Prieto Diaz. He was a construction worker. According to his co-worker who was aboard a motorcycle with him when he was shot, they were traversing the border between San Ramon and Lupi when they were waylaid by the gunmen. Domdom was ordered to lie on the groud before he was shot. He was previously accused of being an NPA member. His wife is an active member of Anakpawis and is believed to be the gunmen’s other target.
In Quezon, Albert Espenas, 39, a peasant resident of Barangay Mabunga in San Francisco was shot-dead at his store by gunmen pretending to be customers.
In Negros Oriental, Remeglo Aquillos, who was then aboard a motorcycle, was blocked and shot-dead by some gunmen in Barangay Bulado, Guihulngan City. The victim died on the stop after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds
Six Kalinga fishermen were illegally arrested by 17th IB troopers on January 14 in San Mariano, Isabela. The victims were identified as Espido Tamang, Jojo Tamang, Rodel Infiel, Arjay Zipagan, Tuting Ampa and Porong Ampa.
The six were fishing in Barangay Panninan when they were fired at and illegally arrested by the soldiers. They were detained for two days in a military camp in Rogus, Cauayan City. They were accussed of keeping a grenade in their basket and fishing net. The six were released after residents, barangay and municipal officials, and human rights defenders trooped to the camp.
In Davao del Norte, 71st IB troopers abucted Raquel Quintano, 42, spokesperson of Kalumonan, an organization of families of political prisoners in Southern Mindanao, on January 16.
While Quintano was hailing a jeepney at around 8:30 a.m. in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City, the suspects who were aboard a black Toyota Vios stopped in front of him and forcibly shoved him inside the vehicle. . The next day, he was maliciously presented by the 71st IB in its camp in Mawab, Compostela Valley as a tax collector of the NPA. Quintano is an active human rights defender and actively campaigned to hold the 71st accountable for torturing and attempting to burn two peasants alive on November 2018. (Read more details in Ang Bayan, January 7, 2018.)
Two Lumad students of Salugpungan were also illegally arrested by the 66th IB in Barangay Ngan, Compostela, Compostela Valley on January 17, 3:00 p.m. After the arrest, they were presented as NPA surrenderees.
In Pampanga, Jennifer David, an active member of Kabataan Partylist was illegally arrested by police operatives in Barangay San Matias, Sto. Tomas, was brought to the Sto. Tomas police station and was accused as terrorist.
Demolition in Naga
Fifteen poor peasants families from Zone 7 San Rafael, Barangay Cararayan, Naga City lost their homes after being demolished on January 17. The demolition was ordered by the Naga City government unit.
PNP-SWAT elements and hired goons entered the area at around 5:00 a.m. and subjected the residents to harassment before conducting the demolition at noon. Some of the residents were even held at gunpoint. For three decades, they resided in the 14.8-hectare farm area until it was subjected to use-conversion.
Harassment against activists and peasants
In Negros Oriental, 17 delegates of a relief drive were blocked by 303rd IBde and PNP Magallon operatives at a checkpoint in Guinpana-an, Magallon, on January 15, 5:00 p.m. The said group came from Sitio Tacpao, Trinidad, Guihulngan City and aimed to provide relief support to residents who were subjected to militarization.
Among the delegates are members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Karapatan, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, and health workers. For about 30 minutes, they were held by the operatives and were barred entry. The delegates’ vehicle was even tailed to La Castellana.
In Don Salvador Benedicto, armed goons of landlord Melvin Ybañez slashed the crops belonging to 32 peasants in Hacienda Tupas in Barangay Bunga on January 12. The farmers’ corn crops were even ran over by a tractor. The next day, Ybanez’s goons threatened to kill them.
In Bohol, Joemar Pogio received a text message from a suspected state agent accusing him of being a high-ranking official of the revolutionary movement. He was also ordered to leave the organization Hugpong sa Mag-uuma sa San Miguel, and was offered cash if he cooperated.
Elements of the 47th IB conducted a house-to-house operation in Barangay Canlangit, Sierra Bullones. Residents were questioned on the whereabouts of Rakel Autida, a member of Gabriela whom the military tagged as an Abu Sayyaf member.
Militarization in Negros and Surigao del Sur
About 150 elements of the 62nd IB, 94th IB and PNP have been rampaging across barrios in Central Negros since the early morning of January 9. Barrios in the interconnected towns of La Castellana, Magallon (Moises Padilla) and Guihulngan City are currently militarized.
In La Castellana, 62nd IB and PNP elements have occupied barangays Puso, Cabacungan and Manghanoy. In Barangay Puso alone, 100 soldiers have maintained presence in three of its sitios. Barangays Macagahay, Montilla and Guinpana-an in Magallon, and Tacpao, Binobohan in Trinidad, Guihulngan City are also militarized.
Soldiers illegally and forcibly enter houses in the said barrios. Even passers-by are subjected to interrogation. Students and teachers are terrorized as the soldiers encamped in schools. The soldiers also encamped in barangay halls.
In Surigao del Sur, Lumad communities in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga have also been militarized by the 75th and 36th IB since the last week of December 2018. Among these are sitios Simowao, Emerald, Manluy-a, Panukmoan, Decoy and Han-ayan. Food supplies in the communities have been scarce as residents were barred from going to their farms.
On December 31, 2018 at around 2:00 p.m., six bombs were dropped in Panukmoan and Decoy, just 150 meters away from the community center. This has resulted in the evacuation of 26 Lumad families or 172 individuals.
On January 12, three habal-habal drivers were harassed and interrogated by 75th IB troopers. The three were accused of being NPA members. One of them was threatened with a gun while another was struck with a rifle.
On January 13, soldiers blocked food supplies intended for ALCADEV students and teachers in Sitio Neptune. The teachers, school staff, a habal-habal driver and many others in the community were subjected to interrogation. The next day, the soldiers refused the entry of food supplies for the community from the town center until the Department of Social Welfare and Development gave it permission.