AFP falsely tags slain farmer, arrested activists as NPA commanders to avail of Duterte bounty

The National Democratic Front in Eastern Visayas condemns the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the recent killing of a farmer in Northern Samar and illegal arrest of activists in Leyte amidst the escalating rights violations and anti-communist psy-war by state forces in the past weeks.

Elements of the 20th IB strafed the house of farmer Zalday Meraya in Barangay Bagacay, Palapag, last June 20, killing Meraya and critically injuring his daughter Jolina Calot.

The NDF-EV condemns 20th IB commander Lt. Col. Juan Gullem for maliciously Red-tagging Meraya and accusing him of being an “NPA leader” to avail of the P2 million bounty offered by Duterte for the heads of alleged NPA commanders. Last April, soldiers had already attempted to kill Meraya by firing at him and his son in Barangay Capacujan, Palapag.

The NDF-EV also condemns the illegal arrest of activist Alma Gabin and her husband Alvin Dagohoy in Tolosa, Leyte last June 11. The couple was taken from their house and were maliciously Red-tagged. Gabin was a student leader for Anakbayan at the University of the Philippines in Tacloban. She previously served as regional coordinator for Kabataan Party-list in Eastern Visayas and was its fifth nominee for the mid-term elections in 2013.

We call on the people to strongly condemn this spate of rights violations by the AFP. We echo the call of the Commission of Human Rights to seek indemnification for their victims. The people must condemn Lt. Col. Gullem and other military officials who engage in wholesale Red-tagging for their want of Duterte’s bounty. They must raise their voices and protest the worsening human rights situation in the country and form the broadest unity to oust the US-Duterte regime.

The NDF-EV also heeds the New People’s Army to launch mounting tactical offensives and punish the worst human rights violators among the AFP-PNP.#

AFP falsely tags slain farmer, arrested activists as NPA commanders to avail of Duterte bounty