State forces arrest 19 farmers


In Northern Samar, 15 farmers from Barangay Osmeña, Palapag were arrested by the military. On January 22, elements of the 20th IB arrested Constancio Capate Martinico, Renaldo Longcop, Gonzalo Magayes, Jomar Orua, Delphin Meraya Jr. and JR Laoreno. The six were brought to their military camp and were interrogated. On the next day, nine farmers were arrested by 803rd IBde troopers and were brought to their camp in Catarman where they were interrogated and coerced to surrender. Their relatives were barred from visiting them.

Also, on January 23, four peasant leaders were arrested in Bukidnon after holding a dialogue with Rep. Manuel Zubiri. The victims were identified as Jun Guinanao, Kasama-Bukidnon chairperson, June Makute of Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL), Danilo Menente and Albert Tanallion. The four went to Zubiri to demand a stop to peasant killings and filing of trumped up charges against activists in the province, and for production subsidy. After the dialogue, they were held and arrested by 88th IB elements and were brought to their camp in Maramag. The four were accused of harboring a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) at their farm in BTL, Maramag.

On February 5, Engr. Jennefer Aguhob was arrested by the military and was detained at the Oroquieta City Police Station. She was slapped with a trumped up murder charge. Aguhob is a member of Karapatan and the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao. Aguhob was also threat­ened and harassed by the military in 2017 and 2018.

In Laguna, the cadavers of peasants Emerito Pinza and Romy Candor were exhumed on February 5. They were abducted by Regional Mobile Force Battalion 4A elements on January 19. The butchers made it appear that the two were killed in an encounter. To conceal their crime, the victims were buried under fabricated names at the Calamba Municipal Cemetery. The two were members of the Pinagkaisang Ugnayan ng mga Magsasaka sa Laguna.

In Bohol, suspected state agents gunned down Pelagio Compoc at his farm in Barangay Dagohoy, Bilar on January 22. Compoc was a member of Humabol-Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and a village watchman. Before the murder, he was harassed and accused that his brother is an NPA commander.

State forces arrest 19 farmers