Crackdown in Southern Tagalog: 5 killed, 8 arrested


Five were killed and eight others were arrested in Tokhang-style operations perpetrated by the police and military in Southern Tagalog since March 4. These operations were carried out in the early morning.

The police killed Emmanuel Asuncion, leader of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Cavite, at a labor group’s headquarters in Dasmariñas, Cavite on March 7.

Simultaneously, the police nabbed couple Ariel and Chai Evangelista, staff of UMALPAS KA, along with their 10-year old son in Nasugbu, Batangas. The couple were killed while their son managed to escape. The police also killed activists Michael Dasigao and Mark Lee Bacasno of Sikkad-K3 in Montalban, Rizal.

On the same day, the police successively arrested Steve Mendoza of Olalia-KMU and Elizabeth Camoral of Bayan-Laguna in Cabuyao, Laguna; and Nimfa Lanzanas of Kapatid-Southern Tagalog in Calamba.

Two peasant leaders were also arrested in Montalban, Rizal, and another Dumagat in Tanay. The police also raided the house of Lino Baez of Bayan-Batangas in Sto. Tomas. The police failed to arrest him because he was not at home.

On March 4, the police successively arrested Ramir Corcolon, national council member of Courage, in San Pablo, Laguna; and Arnel Laguinas, former unionist at the Honda plant, in Sta. Rosa.

The warrants used in these operations were issued by Laguna RTC Judge Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkeko, Manila RTC Judge Jose dela Rosa, and Manila RTC Judge Jason Zapanta. Dela Rosa was also the judge who issued the warrants that were used by the police who massacred nine Tumandok leaders in Panay in December 2020.

Crackdown in Southern Tagalog: 5 killed, 8 arrested