Arrests, bombing amid Covid-19 crisis


State forces continued to perpetrate cases of human rights violations even amid the public health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From April 6-19, at least 19 farmers were arrested in various parts of the country. A peasant was killed and a community was bombed in Mindanao during the same period.

Residents of Sit­io Ka­pa­nal, Ba­ra­ngay Ga­si sa Kiam­ba, Sa­rang­ga­ni were awakened at around 5:00 a.m on April 19 when the military dropped at least four bombs near their community using an attack plane.

They grew more restless especially that their community is occupied by the 27th IB. The AFP has long been ravaging Ga­si and nearby villages. There are currently 300 troops in the area. The La­pan­day Cor­po­ra­ti­on is situated in Kiam­ba and adjacent towns.

In Miag-ao, Iloi­lo, the 61st IB killed farmer John Fa­rocil­lin, chairperson of the Alyan­sa sang Ma­ngu­ngu­ma sa Miag-ao and a council member of Pa­mang­gas. Fa­rocil­lin played key roles in advancing peasant struggles in the island.

Before this, 12 civilians, including five minors, were arrested by the 61st IB on April 14. The victims are residents of Barangay Igpa­nu­long, Si­ba­lom, Antique, and were gathering honey when they were apprehended. The NPA command in Southern Panay (Mt. Napulak Com­mand) belied the claim of the military that the victims were caught during an encounter. It disclosed that no clash took place in the area.

In Butuan City, state forces arrested Proce­so Tor­ral­ba at Pu­rok 3, Ba­ra­ngay Bon­bon on April 11. Tor­ral­ba or Ta­tay Si­soy is the chairperson of the Unyon sa Mag-uu­ma sa Agu­san del Nor­te and has been at the forefront of peasant struggles in the province for three decades already. To­ral­ba was among those implicated by the AFP in a raid of Red fighters against a military detachment in Agu­san del Sur in 2018. He was slapped with trumped up kid­nap­ping and se­rious il­le­gal de­ten­ti­on charges.

Two other farmers were arrested in Sout­hern Ta­ga­log and were presented as NPA surrenderees. The victims were identified as Lam­ber­to Asi­nas who was arrested in Ba­ra­ngay Bun­du­kan, Na­sug­bu, Ba­ta­ngas on April 16; and No­me­ria­no Fuer­te in Ba­rok Per­las at Sit­yo Tag­ba­kin, Mag­say­say, Ge­ne­ral Lu­na, Quezon Province on April 13.

In Nueva Vizca­ya, the police arrested Ro­nal­do Pu­li­do, chairperson of the Alyan­sa ng Novo Vizca­ya­no pa­ra sa Ka­li­ka­san on April 6. He was arrested during the demolition of the residents’ barricade against the operation of Ocea­na­gold. He was released the next day through the assertion of fellow residents.

Arrests, bombing amid Covid-19 crisis