8 farmers killed in 8 eight days
Eight farmers were successively killed by armed state agents in a span of just eight days. All of the victims were maliciously tagged as members of or related to the New People’s Army (NPA).
State agents killed Jose Jerry Catalogo, an official of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, at around 5:00 a.m. last June 23 in Barangay Paitan, Escalante City, Negros Occidental. The victim was tending to his carabao outside his house when he was gunned down. Catalogo was reportedly subjected to surveillance prior to the killing.
In Northern Samar, the 20th IB strafed the house of farmer Zaldy Meraya in Palapag, Northern Samar on June 20. Meraya and his companion Bebe Tobino were killed during the incident. His daughter, Jolina Calot, a member of the League of Filipino Students, wife and other child were wounded.
In Albay, suspected police agents killed activists Elder Moina and Jose Arthur Clemente in Barangay San Isidro, Jovellar on June 24. The victims reportedly received death threats earlier.
In Masbate, police troopers killed Rogen Orcales Languido, Danny Boy Tibay Pepito, Sr., and the latter’s son who was a minor, in Barangay Mahayahay, Placer on June 17. The police ransacked the victims’ houses and stole a cellphone.
Arrests. Police elements arrested seven Lumads in Barangay Blanco, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental on June 26. The victims are members of the Kalumbay Lumad Organization which oppose plunderous mining, logging and ecotourism operations in Mt. Balatukan.
In Negros Oriental, the 62nd IB arrested four residents in Barangay Luz, Guihulngan City on July 4. Soldiers mauled the victims and accused them of participating in an NPA offensive last July 2.
Coercion. Elements of the 4th MBLT and 18th SFC coerced two minor Palaw’an to serve as guides during their 3-week combat operation in Palawan last month. The operation covered six barangays in the towns of Brooke’s Point, Rizal and Bataraza. The soldiers imposed a blockade in the community and prohibited residents from going to their farms.
In Barangay Aribungos, Brooke’s Point, soldiers ransacked the houses and destroyed the crops of residents. Ten Palaw’an families were forced to evacuate from their community due to the operation.