AFP rampage: 25 victims in 2 weeks
Ten were killed, 13 were illegally arrested and two were abducted in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s rampage in just two weeks. Nine of those killed were farmers while the other one was a wounded Red fighter.
In Camarines Norte, the 9th IB bound, tortured, and then summarily killed 42-year old Romeo Agua, a resident of Barangay San Jose, Panganiban, on May 15. Agua is the 16th victim of state killings in Bicol since Ferdinand Marcos Jr took office.
In Negros Oriental, the 16th Scout Ranger Company raided and strafed the Babor family residence at Amumuyong, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City on May 20. Antonio Babor, 77, and his son Jurielen Babor, 27, were injured. Instead of being treated or rushed to the hospital, they were summarily killed by soldiers.
On the same day, the 62nd IB raided and strafed the Ramirez family residence at Sitio Napiluan, Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental. Red fighter Alvin Bayno (Ka Dagger) was wounded in the incident. Instead of providing first aid, the soldiers summarily killed him. At the same time, civilian spouses and homeowners Evelyn Meren and Julieven Ramirez as well as their neighbor Ruben Obidas were killed.
Another civilian was killed by the 15th IB on May 21 at Sitio Bajay, Barangay Caliling, Cauayan. Farmer Gusting Mapos was on his way to his farm when soldiers crossed paths with him and shot him around 3:30 p.m.
A few days later, the 15th IB arrested 27-year old Jonel Bayno, a resident of Barangay Manlucahoc, Sipalay City. Later, his remains were found at Crossing Tanduay, Barangay Camindangan on May 25. The military also arrested Rogelio Lacton, a resident of Barangay Camindangan. He was later found dead at Sitio Sadlum in the same barangay on May 27.
The 15th IB started conducting focused military operations as early as April 23 in Cauayan and Sipalay City. The operations covered at least 46 sitios in seven barangays of Cauayan town, while it combed seven sitios in Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City.
Arrest. Joint forces of the police raided the house of Adolfo Salas Sr at Purok 5, Barangay Tubod, Candijay, Bohol on May 25. His house was ransacked by authority of a search warrant and claimed to have found in his possession a .45- and a .38 caliber pistol, ammunitions and a grenade. Salas is a founding member of the provincial chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Hugpong sa mga Mag-uumang Bol-anon (HUMABOL-KMP).
On May 14, the 11th IB illegally arrested Miralyn Fortunado, who just gave birth, and her husband Rani Casilao in Barangay Talalak, Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental. They were taken to the 11th IB headquarters in Barangay Salag, Siaton. While in military custody, Casilao was forced to “cooperate” and serve as a guide in military combat operations.
Detention. Ten residents, including children and elderly people, of Sitio Undol, Barangay Talalak, Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental were illegally detained on May 17. They were prohibited from going out to tend to their fields and livestock. Earlier, the soldiers indiscriminately strafed the area to vent their rage against the civilians after two soldiers died on May 16 in a misencounter between them and the police in the said barangay.
Abduction. Elements of the 501st IBde of the AFP abducted Cedrick Casano and Patricia Nicole Cierva, peasant and youth organizers, from Barangay Cabiraoan, Gonzaga, Cagayan on May 18. After more than half a month under secret detention and psychological torture, they were presented as “surrendered fighters” on June 2 in Barangay Bangag, Lal-lo.
Sierva is a former student leader at the University of the Philippines-Manila and former official of a student council alliance throughout the UP system. Casaño was a former student of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.