NDFP consultant, 4 others, unlawfully arrested
The soldiers and forces of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) unlawfully arrested National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Ruben Saluta, 75, and his wife and fellow revolutionary Cordon Saluta, 63, along with with Yvonne Losaria in their residence in Doña Soledad, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City on January 30.
Saluta was arrested based on fabricated charges of murder while Presentacion and Losaria were charged with rebellion cases. In addition, state forces claimed they seized six high-caliber weapons, ammunition and other military equipment from the three. Saluta is old and has chronic pulmonary disease. He and his wife suffer from hypertension.
In Baguio City, police arrested Jennifer Awingan, a native of Kalinga and a member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) at her home in Barangay Pinsao Proper on January 30. She was charged with eight others, with a fabricated case of rebellion in the Cordillera and Ilocos region.
Among those charged were Windel Bolinget and Steve Tauli, both officers of the CPA, Sarah Abellon, Lourdes Gimenez, Florence Kang, Northern Dispatch journalist Niño Oconer, and Jovensio Tangbawan and Salcedo Dumayom Dappay Jr. They are not being allowed to post bail.
Police also arrested UP Diliman unionist and professor Prof. Melania Flores on February 6. She was charged with “violations of Social Security Law .” According to various groups, this is part of harassment of activists and progressive individuals.
Meanwhile, on January 30, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) publicized the “terrorist” designation of Dr. Natividad Castro, a well-known doctor who chose to serve Lumad and peasant communities in Mindanao. The ATC is a body created under the Anti-Terror Law.
Attempted massacre. Danny Malinao was killed in an attempted massacre by the 3rd Special Forces Battalion against five farmers in Sitio Emerald, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on January 24. The five were harvesting vegetables when soldiers fired at them. The 3rd SFB claimed an encounter with the people’s army took place.
Violation of humanitarian law. Soldiers of the 85th IB arrested the injured Red fighter Jose Dela Cruz or Ka RC after a battle in Barangay Huyon-uyon, San Francisco, Quezon on January 29. He was paraded like a trophy instead of being recognized as a prisoner of war and having his wounds treated.
Attacks on communities. Around 200 soldiers of the 62nd IB invaded Barangay Amuntay, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental and Barangays of Talaon, Aya and Cansumandig in La Libertad, Negros Oriental from January 21 to 27. Various cases of violations of human rights were recorded.
In the town of La Libertad, soldiers forcibly entered and searched the home of the elderly couple Marting and Roama Pedro in Barangay Amuntay on January 22 and 23. In Barangay Aya, the military ransacked and destroyed Dongkoy Pahayahay’s house on January 26. They also raided the home of the Pecore couple in Sitio Mabato, Barangay Talaon.
On February 2, the 79th IB threatened to behead farmers Rex Lumayno and Eric Opinggo in Sitio Odiong, Barangay Bandila, Toboso, Negros Occidental after they were illegally detained.
Meanwhile, soldiers ransacked Toto Palay’s house in the same village and threatened to bomb it.
On January 7, the military threatened to behead civilian Wendel Pasinabo.