State forces kill 2 NDFP consultants


Two consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and five other civilians were killed by armed state agents in the past two weeks. In the same period, five others were arrested and three were abducted, including a child.

Killing. State agents simultaneously killed Fr. Rustico Tan and Reynaldo Bocala, peace consultants of the NDF in the Visayas, on May 28 at their homes in Cebu and Iloilo.

Police elements gunned down Bocala, 75, of the NDF-Panay, and his companion Willy Arguelles Epago in Barangay Balabag, Pavia, Iloilo. The police made it appear that they were killed after “fighting back.”

On the same day, state agents gunned down Tan, 80, who was sleeping at his house in Pilar, Camotes Island. He served as peace negotiator of the NDF-Cebu in 1987.

Meanwhile, three activists were massacred and another was abucted by the 202nd IBde and Special Action Forces during a raid in Barangay Macabiling, Sta. Rosa, Laguna on May 21. Christoper Boton, Cristina Estocado and Rommel Riza were killed while Kemuel Ian Cometa was abducted. Cometa was a graduate of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños and coordinator of the Kabataan Partylist in Laguna. He is yet to be surfaced by the military.

In Negros Occidental, soldiers of the 94th IB killed Padoz Lozano in Barangay Mahalang, Himamaylan City on May 13. The soldiers also raided three houses of the Hilado family at Sitio Alulong, Barangay Buenavista.

On March 31, state agents gunned down two abaca farmers identified as “Greg” and “Uno” in San Miguel, Catanduanes. The victims were siblings and both residents of Barangay Progreso in the said town.

Arrest. Elements of the 94th IB arrested Robnie Ariola, Junjun Casilo and Jonalyn Agaton, residents of Sitio Bugo, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, after staging a fake encounter with the New People’s Army in the area on May 26. The soldiers also burned down the house of resident Gerard Ariola.

In Bicol, the police illegally arrested Elwin Mangampo, chairperson of fisherfolk organization Lambat Bicol, on May 30 inside his house at Purok 2, Barangay 1, Pio Duran, Albay. The soldiers searched his house and planted grenades and firearms as evidence. Mangampo has long been subjected to red-tagging by the military.

State forces also arrested farmer Rolando Obal in Barangay Macalamlam, Rosario, Batangas on May 26. He was slapped with trumped-up charges of murder and illegal possession of explosives. The military and police made it appear that the victim was involved in an encounter between the military and the NPA on the same day. Soldiers also arrested farmer Gilbert Orr who is yet to be surfaced.

Abduction. In Occidental Mindoro, 10 soldiers of the 203rd IBde abducted MJ, four-year old child of political prisoner Emilia Marquez, last May 12 at Sitio Ambuyan, Pitogo, Rizal.

This has long been a practice of the military to coerce detainees to “cooperate.”

Harassment. Soldiers of the 72nd IB forced the residents of Sagundanon, Kitaotao, Bukidnon last June 6 to demolish the community’s Lumad school. The soldiers threatened to arrest those who refused to obey.

State forces kill 2 NDFP consultants