Bombings, arrests and military and police violence

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In recent weeks, state terrorism has been rampant under the Marcos regime. Cases of bombings, illegal arrests and harassment by filing charges of “terrorism financing” against democratic organizations and sectors have been recorded.

Bombing. The Philippine Air Force jet fighters dropped 10 bombs on the barangays of Peñablanca, Cagayan on May 10 at 2 a.m. These fell on Sityo Ebi, Lapi and nearby barangays. Shocking explosions, strafing and jet fighter flights were heard as far as Baggao, Enrile, Amulung and Tuguegarao City. The military’s terrorist attacks on the communities forced at least 690 families to evacuate.

Arrest. Manilyn dela Cruz, a Dumagat-Remontado, who is 4 months pregnant, was arrested on April 21 by soldiers. She was accused of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), and charged with multiple criminal cases. Before being arrested, she was hit by a bullet when soldiers indiscriminately fired at the hut where she was staying with her family in Sityo Pinamapayan, Barangay Umiray, Dingalan, Aurora.

In Taguig City, NGO worker Maria Salome Crisostomo-Ujano, 67, was convicted and imprisoned on May 16 on charges of rebellion. Ujano was falsely implicated in an encounter between the NPA and soldiers in Quezon that occurred in November 2005.

In Cebu City, on May 13, 26 current and former employees of the Community Empowerment Resource Network (Cernet) Inc (three of whom are deceased) and a labor leader were ordered arrested on charges of “terrorism financing.” The organization is falsely accused of funding the NPA-South East Negros. The victims posted bail for their temporary release.

Indiscriminate firing. The 94th IB indiscriminately fired their weapons in Barangay Carol-an, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on May 6, falsely claiming an encounter. The shooting forced more than 480 residents of Sityo Tagoc, Bobon, and Matampa of Barangay Carol-an to flee their homes. Among those forced to evacuate are 146 minors and 14 elderly citizens.

Violence against women. Wives of political detainees who visited the National Bilibid Prison on April 21 were stripped naked. One of them was forced to squat 10 times by a prison official. Under the pretext of searching for illegal drugs, women visiting the jail are routinely forced to squat and to have their private parts searched.

Intimidation. Agents of the 10th ID threatened and harassed Ricardo Baron, 71, organizer of Transmision-Piston on May 9 in Agdao, Davao City. They “talked” to him for two hours and “asked him to surrender.”

In Ilocos Norte, local police arbitrarily confiscated questionnaires from the Alliance of Farmers in Ilocos Norte (AMIN) used to survey community conditions during this El Niño season in Barangay Puzol, Pinili on May 10. AMIN said policemen went to a resident’s house where the documents were confiscated.

Bombings, arrests and military and police violence