Repression against peasants and minorities
Three peasants were illegally arrested in Barangay Mulangan, Igbaras, Iloilo last March 18. The three were identified as Roberto Elamparo, 50, Ruperto Enar, 51 and Ramon Enar, 49. The AFP claimed that an encounter ensued near the area and accused the three as members of the NPA.
In Iloilo, three Tumandok minorities were also illegally arrested in Alimodias, Miag-ao by elements of the 61st IB last March 24 and were accused of being NPA members. They were identified as Rolando Mediana, his son Rolando Jr., and Freddie Nabua. They were arrested after an encounter occured between the AFP and NPA in Sitio Baruk at 4 a.m. on the same day. Ramonito Sabug, the barangay captain, was able to take custody of the three after asserting that they are residents of the said barangay.
In Aurora, the AFP has not yet surfaced Diodicto Miñoza, a peasant-leader and coconut farmer from Barangay Ditumabo, San Luis. Miñoza protested against the planned construction of hydropower dams in the communities of San Luis and Gabaldon in Nueva Ecija. He was last contacted by his wife on March 22. Residents went to his hut the next day only to find it ransacked. They also saw prints of combat shoes in the vicinity. Soldiers of the 91st IB are currently operating in the barangay.
In Agusan del Norte, elements of the PNP and 23rd IB surrounded and then raided the residence of Deliza Camanian in Crazer, Aklan, Nasipit last March 8. Deliza’s daughter, Glenn Ann, was wounded due to the violent entry of the soldiers and police.
On the same day, the 23rd IB put up a tarpaulin in Afga, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte wherein faces of those accused as NPA members were posted. The following day, Fredo Dabidi, Loreto Mapoy, Arnel Toledo and other civilian residents of Barangay Lower Olave, Buenavista were summoned and interogated by the soliders. The victims were detained in the military camp.
The 23rd IB claimed that an encounter between the AFP and NPA took place in Afga that same afternoon. Soldiers indiscriminately fired at ten houses in the community.
In Palawan, agents of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board evicted peasants from their farmlands at Sitio Sta. Cruz, Barangay Decalachao, Coron last March 30. This is to pave way for the expansion of the Busuanga Airport located at the 40,000-hectare Yulo King Ranch.
Red-tagging by elements of the 17th IB, PNP and the local government of Cagayan against Anakpawis and peasant organizations continue unabated. Last March 13, three individuals, claiming to be representatives of Anakpawis, were paraded as “surrenderees” in a dialogue with the military, police and local government. Early on, Anakpawis expelled the three after using the organization to extort money from the peasants.
Elements of the 80th IB aboard three 6×6 military trucks were deployed in Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta, Quezon. Minority leaders and members of Dumagat Sierra Madre-TK were threatened and harassed by the soldiers. Due to extreme nervousness, Ponce Adornado, a Dumagat minorty, died. The Dumagats are opposing the construction of the Kaliwa-Kanan Laiban Dam that will certainly destroy their communities.
For the first time, the reactionary state used the Human Security Act to convict Lumad leader Datu Jomorito Goaynon as a “terrorist,” in a hearing last March 11 in Misamis Oriental. Goaynon, a leader of Lumad organization Kalumbay, was illegally arrested, along with peasant leader Ireneo Udarbe, at a checkpoint mounted by the 65th IB last January 28.
Last March 20, Gabriela member Mae Tugot was illegally arrested and detained at the detachment of 1st Special Forces Battalion in Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. She was arrested by the military in Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City.