NDFP condemns “terrorist” branding of consultant
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines condemned the terrorist branding of one of its peace negotiation consultants. This was after police paraded Eric Casilao before the media to subject him to public humiliation and scorn. Casilao was arrested while traveling from Malaysia to Thailand on April 1. He was deported to the Philippines on April 17.
Casilao should not have been called a “terrorist,” according to Juliet de Lima, interim chair of the NDFP’s negotiating panel. He has the right to be presumed innocent as allegations against him have not been proven. He has the right to have a lawyer and to be heard in court. Casilao is part of the Reciprocal Working Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Reforms for Southern Mindanao.
Meanwhile, fascist attacks continue in the countryside.
In Negros Occidental, the 62nd IB killed farmer Jose Albores Jr in Sitio Upper Tiyos, Barangay Quintin Remo, Moses Padilla, Negros Occidental on April 18. He was killed after having served as witness to military harassment against his neighbor.
In Misamis Oriental, the 58th IB brutally killed farmers Ricardo Hilogon in Sitio Tapol, Barangay Banglay, Lagonglong on April 3. Hilogon was a former NPA member and had long ended his involvement.
Arrest and harassment. The 62nd IB arrested Jerry Montefalcon, 49, and Maricel Alper at their home in Sitio Natuli, Barangay Budlasan, Canlaon City, Negros Oriental on April 15.
In Palawan, six residents of Brooke’s Point who participated in the people’s barricade against operations of the Ipilan Mining Corporation were illegally arrested by police on April 14.
State forces illegally entered Aileen G. Esiller’s home on April 6 in Sitio Kaloko, Barangay Sta. Barbara, Bulusan. Her domestic animals and possessions were taken.
Attack against communities. At least six communities in the towns of Isabela and Binalbagan, Negros Occidental are being combed by the forces of the 94th IB and 62nd IB since April 10. Due to the infestation of soldiers and disruption due to checkpoints, officials of Barangay Payao were forced to suspend classes on April 12. The soldiers also strafed the house of the But-ay family in Sitio Pallacon in the said village on April 11.
The military scouring operations in Moises Padilla and Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental and Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental continue to date.
In Agusan del Sur, AFP helicopters rained bullets in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Pinagalaan, Bayugan City on April 16. Soldiers issued false reports of an encounter with the NPA.