2nd IB stages fake encounter in Masbate to drive farmers off their land

This article is available in Pilipino

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd IB staged a fake encounter in Sitio Cayang, Barangay Liong, Cataingan, Masbate on March 11. Soldiers indiscriminately fired their guns bringing terror and trauma to the community. This is the fifth fake battle in the area since September 2023 or about one per month.

The report says the residents, especially the elderly are gravely terrified. The military in turn intimidated and forced barangay officials to sign a certification that a battle occured in the area. The 2nd IB even falsely declared that it seized high and low caliber weapons, war equipment and documents during the staged battles.

The statement of the New People’s Army (NPA)-Masbate said that the fake encounter has no other purpose than to drive away and evict the peasant masses from their communities to pave the way for landgrabbing.

“Also due to its failure to hunt down the NPA, the military only stages fake battles to pocket the reward and funds allocated for each operation,” said Ka Luz del Mar, NPA spokesperson in the province.

Ka Luz says the military will most likely repeat this scheme to make fear reign among the Masbatenyo masses to project their so-called success. “NPA-Masbate calls on the people of Masbate to trust in their own strength and unity. The oppression and atrocities will not stop if the masses do not take action and fight,” the spokesperson challenged.

This March, the AFP again announced a “deadline” to defeat NPA units in guerrilla fronts by the end of the month, all “vertical units” of the people’s army by the end of June and the entire NPA at the end of 2024. The new deadline was announced two months after the last “deadline” of defeating the revolutionary movement at the end of 2023, and almost every year before that.

AB: 2nd IB stages fake encounter in Masbate to drive farmers off their land