Military illegally arrests 3 NDFP consultants
Three consultants for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were illegally arrested by military forces in the past two weeks. Two of them are yet to be surfaced. Meanwhile, attempts were made on the lives of two mass leaders who are active in electoral campaigns, as 13 Lumad civilians were illegally detained.
Elements of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command abducted Ezequiel Daguman, NDFP consultant for Southern Mindanao. Daguman has been missing since March 7. He was abducted on his way to peasant communities in New Corella, Davao del Norte. He was set to hold consultations with plantation workers and farmers.
In Northern Samar, the military abducted consultant Edwin Alcid, known as Ka Veejo, and two of his civilian companions last March 8 in Barangay San Jose, Catubig. Ka Veejo, 74, suffers from diabetes and needs medical attention. The AFP has yet to surface Ka Veejo, a retired cadre of the Communist Party of the Philippines. According to reports, two AFP helicopters landed in the village to take them.
Another consultant, Ramon Patriarca, was illegally arrested last March 18 in Negros. Arrested with him were Carmen Jonahville Matarlo and John Michael Baldonado, both activist researchers conducting social investigation in the haciendas of the Cojuangco family in Sityo Tondo, Barangay Suay, Himamaylan, Negros Oriental. They were slapped with trumped-up charges.
Frustrated killing. Unidentified men shot Larry Villegas, leader of Piston-General Santos and campaigner for Bayan Muna, last March 13. The assailants barged into his residence in Barangay Buayan, General Santos City. He was earlier red-tagged by the NTF-Elcac.
Meanwhile, unidentified men blocked and aimed a calibre .45 on Amalia Alcantara, a leader of the urban poor in Pook Malinis, Barangay UP Campus, Quezon City last March 12. This failed when the residents in the area responded.
Illegal arrest and detention. In Bukidnon, five civilians were illegally arrested in Sityo Kilapagan, Barangay Can-ayan, Malaybalay City last March 3, when soldiers chanced on them while they were cutting lumber for their homes. They were tortured, and high caliber firearms, explosives and a laptop were planted as evidences against them. They were later reported as members of the New People’s Army.
Nine farmers, eight of which are Lumad, were detained inside a local clinic since the first week of March in Barangay White Culaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon by soldiers of the 72nd IB. They were forced to “surrender” as members of the NPA to “clear” their names and have been illegally detained by soldiers since then.
In Cavite, 10 volunteers for the Makabayan campaign for the Leni-Kiko tandem were arrested last March 10 in Sityo Silangan and Talaba 7, Bacoor. The PNP-Bacoor attacked the community under the pretext of the “anti-drug war.” The three who were wounded during the attack were identified as Charlie Aquino, Richard Felipe and Johmelda Lucernas. Joel Salabanya, Anakpawis Partylist-Cavite vice president, was beaten and police shot at his wife.
The PNP-Silang also illegally detained Jonathan Mercado, spokesperson for Teatro Kabataan Mula sa Nayon, along with two of his companions. He was released after being detained for two days. The progressives were arrested a few days after Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Cong. Crispin Remulla red-tagged the participants in the Leni-Kiko rally in Cavite.
Carlo Reduta, organizer for Coco Levy Funds Ibalik sa Amin-Quezon, was arrested in the evening last March 18 in Barangay Cawayan, Gumaca, Quezon.
Bombing. At least eight bombs were dropped by the AFP in five farmlands in Barangay Deit de Turag, Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar last February 20. The following day, AFP helicopters strafed the farms. A farm hut and coconut trees were destroyed. A farm was also destroyed after being made as a landing pad for helicopters.