1 killed, 13 arrested in Negros
Joint forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and paramilitaries continue to sow terror in the Negros island using Memorandum Order No. 32 and Joint AFP-PNP Campaign Plan Kapanatagan of Rodrigo Duterte. In just three days, human rights groups reported 13 cases of illegal arrests and a killing in the island.
On June 27, unidenfied assailants gunned down Lito Itao, auditor of the Guihulngan City Habal-habal United Operators and Drivers Association and chief barangay police of Buenavista. Itao is the 67th victims of extrajudicial killing in Negros under Duterte.
From June 26 to 27, successive arrests were perpetrated by joint forces of the 62nd IB and PNP in various communities in Negros Occidental under the guise of Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations (SEMPO).
The attacks began on June 26 at midnight and ended on June 27 at 3:00 a.m. Arrested in these operations were couple Francisco and Kapid Alabangan in Barangay Mansalanao, La Castellana; Jorex Escapalao in Hacienda Raymunda, Barangay Kapitan Ramon, Silay City; UCCP Pastor Jimmy Teves and peasants Jodito Montecino, Eliseo Andres, JP Romana, Rodrigo Medes and Roger Sabanal in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan.
On June 28, state elements also arrested farmers Rea Casido, Teodor Casido, Danny Casido and Venancio Cadeliña in Barangay Lamogong, Manjuyod. They were all accused of being members and supporters of the New People’s Army.
Five armed men also abducted Arnaldo Namu in his house at Barangay Mansalanao, La Castellana, on June 27, 12 a.m.
Since June 17, soldiers of the 62nd IB have been occupying barangays Mansalanao, Camandag, Manghanoy and Sag-ang in the town of La Castellana. The military is also occupying Barangay Macagahay in the town of Moises Padilla and Barangay Planas in Guihulngan City.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 residents of barangays Bantolinao, Salvacion, Candabong, Butong and Lamogong in Manjuyod evacuated on June 23 due to relentless military operations in their communities. Residents heard gunshots in the evening of Hunyo 22, wherein one civilian was reported killed.
In Camarines Sur, Albert Caballero Villarete was gunned down on July 2 while aboard his motorcycle on the way to Barangay Sta. Cruz, Caramoan. The gunman was identified as Randy Santileses, a CAFGU member under the command of the 83rd IB.
Villarete was known for his progressive stance and his participation in anti-fascist mobilizations in the area.
Meanwhile, on June 29, joint forces of the 4th IB and PNP mercilessly killed Prente “Lolo Printis” Gutierez, an 80-year old farmer from Sitio Cambiswer 1, Barangay Poblacion, Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro. Gutierez was a known leader of the local church of Calintaan. The AFP and PNP made it appear that the victim was an NPA member despite his age. Lt. Col. Alexander Arbolado of the 4th IB at PCpt. Ariel Roldan led the operation.
Before this, forces of the 203rd Brigade, 4th IB, 76th IB and PNP Oriental Mindoro besieged Mangyan communities in Panaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro. Up to the present, the military continues to bar the entry of aid for the residents. On July 3, residents of Barangay San Cristobal, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro reported that a drone was flown twice by the 203rd IBde in their community. Their community was also aerially bombed five times by the same unit.
In Quezon, the 85th IB illegally arrested farmer Crispin Gonzales and construction worker Albert Julita in Barangay San Francisco B, Lopez on June 23. On July 3, the elements of the same unit mauled and abducted Rico Quidor and another peasant from Vista Hermosa, Macalelon.
Meanwhile, relentless military operations continue to sow terror in communities in the towns of Catanauan, General Luna, Lopez and Macalelon. According to residents, their houses are ransacked by the military.
In Bukidnon, the PNP arrested Jun Guianaonao, chairperson of KASAMA-Bukidnon and Ronnie Estonzo on June 19 in Valencia City.
The Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL)-Nueva Ecija reported last June that forces of the 69th IB, 91st IB and 84th IB have occupied Barangay Putlan in the town of Caranggalan; 32 barangays in Guimba; and Barangay San Antonio in Cuyapo.
In Cagayan de Oro and Cebu, Red-tagging of activists, lawyers and human rights defenders continue unabated. Among the lastest cases are threats and harassment against Beverly Musni and Dr. Phoebe Zoe Sanchez this June.