2nd IB massacres 3 women in Masbate

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) unleashed brazen fascist terrorism in Masbate after it killed three civilians, and attempted to kill three others in August. There are now 18 victims of political killings in the province under the Marcos Jr regime.

The soldiers falsely claimed that the victims were New People’s Army (NPA) members killed in an encounter.

On August 19, soldiers of the 96th IB and Masbate policemen summarily killed three women in Barangay Jagnaan in San Jacinto, Ticao island. The victims are Jelyn Guis Dejomo, 56, Sheryl Salazar Dejomo, 29, and Divina Lubiano Ajitan, 60. They were killed after an armed clash between the NPA and the military in the same area.

The military and police have long persecuted the three civilian victims accusing them of having ties with the revolutionary movement. They had suffered harassments and one was previously arrested by police on trumped-up charges.

The massacre is a war crime and a gross violation of the international humanitarian law by state forces. Human rights groups assert that the victims’ rights as civilians should have been respected amid the ongoing armed conflict.

Meanwhile, 2nd IB forces attempted to massacre three individuals in a house at Sitio Milagro, Barangay Guindawhan, Pio V. Corpus, Masbate on August 30. The victims were first reported to have been killed by soldiers’ indiscriminate firing but were later confirmed to have escaped from the fascists’ brutal crime. Unsatisfied, the fascists ransacked the said house and took away rice.

Killing hors de combat. State forces abducted and summarily executed two hors de combat fighters Jenny Fariolan (Ka Hope) and John Eric Talibo (Ka Blue) on July 29. The 61st IB claimed that the two were killed in a clash in Barangay Tagsing, Leon, Iloilo. In truth, there was no encounter and the two were unarmed when they were accosted and killed.

Abduction. Jhed Tamano, 22, and Jonila Castro, 21, were abducted by suspected state forces on the evening of September 2. Eyewitnesses said the two were forced into a gray vehicle in front of the Orion Water District in Barangay Lati, Orion, Bataan. Tamano is a coordinator of the Community and Church Program for Manila Bay of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum while Castro is a volunteer for AKAP Ka Manila Bay. They are both graduates of Bulacan State University.

Arrest. Farmers’ organizer Ernesto Baez Jr and two of his companions, Jose Escobio, and Junald Jabonero, were arrested and detained by police on August 24 in San Juan, Batangas. The police abducted them while traveling along Barangay Buhay na Sapa and were planted with guns, ammunition and magazines, and explosive devices as evidence.

Escobio and Jabonero were released on September 3 after the prosecution issued a resolution requiring a preliminary investigation. Meanwhile, Baez Jr needs to post bail to be released from the case of illegal possession of firearms.

On August 4, soldiers arbitrarily arrested farmer Alex Betito of Sitio Malapat, Barangay Baay in Labo, Camarines Norte. The soldiers detained him for several hours and subjected him to torture. It was also reported earlier that the soldiers detained and starved 10 other farmers in the same area.

Harassment. The Quezon City police charged Max Santiago and three other staffers of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan for violating the Clean Air Act. They allegedly violated the said law after burning the effigy they made during a protest on the second state of the nation address (SONA) of Marcos Jr.

Meanwhile, 14 Southern Tagalog activists were charged with violating the Public Assembly Act of 1985 for participating in protests during the SONA.

2nd IB massacres 3 women in Masbate