State forces kill activist couple in Sorsogon
Three farmers were killed, and entire families became victims of violence by armed agents of the US-Duterte in the past two weeks.
In Sorsogon, suspected military agents gunned down couple Silvestre Fortades, Jr., 70, and Rose Marie Galias, 68, in Barangay San Vicente, Barcelona, on January 15. Both were members of Anakpawis Partylist and the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Sorsogon.
Earlier, the military arrested carpenter Vicente Laguidao in Barangay Sta. Lourdes in the same town last December 9, 2021. He is accused of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).
In Negros Oriental, the 62nd IB gunned down Arnold Suerte in Sitio Manlibod, Barangay Sandayao, Guihulngan City on January 15. Civilians James and France, and a minor were wounded and detained. The military also arrested and tortured resident Ritchie Sabeleo. After the crime, the military claimed that Suerte was killed in an encounter.
Before the incident, the same military unit illegaly entered and searched six houses in adjacent Sitio Natoling in Barangay Budlasan, Canlaon City. From midnight until daybreak, soldiers threatened the Corson and Montefalcon families, including children, a person with disability, and an 8-month pregnant woman.
The NPA-Negros reported on January 16 a similar incident of illegal entry in residences at Sitio Tuko Gamay, Barangay Trinidad in Guihulngan City, and the indiscriminate firing at Sitio Mamballo, Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental.
On January 6, suspected state elements abducted Joyna Lacio Sabanal at Fortune Town, Barangay Estefania, Bacolod City. The victim is the wife of political prisoner Roger Sabanal.
Meanwhile, in Tabuk City, Kalinga, two policemen arrested farmer Domingo Sebastian on January 10, 8 p.m., in Barangay Bulo. Sebastian is a farm worker and member of the Danggayan dagiti Mannalon ti Isabela.
In a related development, a court in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya last January 3 dismissed criminal charges against activists and farmers Francis Esponilla, Romar Busania and Michael Gatchalian. They were arbitrarily arrested at a checkpoint in May 2015 in Diadi in the same province. They are members of Timpuyog Dagiti Mannalon iti Quirino and Bayan Muna Partylist.