Arrests and militarization in Bicol


A farmer was killed and 19 civilians were arrested in military operations across Bicol during the past two weeks. Many areas across the region are currently under military occupation.

Elements of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion gunned down farmer Alex Llabres at his house in Barangay San Roque Heights, Bula, Camarines Sur last June 24.

In Sorsogon, the 22nd IB illegally arrested 13 individuals including six minors in Bulan last June 28. Soldiers initially arrested Alvin Mapula along with his 2-year old niece Althea Mapula, and 13-year old nephew Janrex Mapula, 13, in Barangay Bulawan.

They also illegally detained the relatives who were searching for the victims. Editha Mapula, 43; Mary Ann Mapula, 29; Angel Mapula, 12; Rey Mapula, 4; RJ Mapula, 7; Renz Guelas, 13; Sunny Preconcillo, 48; Emy Preconcillo, 39 and Dante Bandola, 50, are still detained.

On the same day, state forces arrested Laurente Gestole, resident of Barangay Cadandanan. They also harassed and threatened to arrest Regine Graida and Geraldine Gestole, residents of Barangay Calpi. In the town of Donsol, state forces shot and illegally arrested farmer Jesus Macenas last June 17.

In Masbate, state forces arrested teacher Mariel Suson, 22, and Jennifer Dollison Nuñez, a member of Amihan Bicol and Sano Arendain ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bicol on June 22 and 23 in Barangay San Jose, Uson.

On June 18, the elements of the 2nd IB arrested Joseph Delara, 18, resident of Candelaria, Uson, and Jude Serafin resident of Tuburan, Cawayan. Serafin is still under police detention.

Meanwhile, 23 out of the 44 barangays of Tinambac, three in Lagonoy, and two in Goa, Camarines Sur are occupied by the 83rd IB. The soldiers have been encamped in these villages under the pretext of conducting Retooled Community Support Program operations.

The occupation aims to prepare the communities for the entry of big mining, quarrying and ecotourism companies in the Partido district. These companies primarily aim to plunder Tinambac which serves as the largest water reservoir in Camarines Sur. The mountains of the said are have rich mineral and wood resources.

Arrests and militarization in Bicol