31st IB shoots 39-year-old man

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Soldiers from the 31st IB gunned down passer-by Arnel Esperitu, 39-years old, on June 20, at around 4 AM. The shooting occured near the military camp in the center of Barangay Gogon, Donsol, Sorsogon. The victim died immediately.

To evade accountability, the soldiers immediately proceeded to intimidate and threaten the victim’s relatives, warning them against filing a complaint.

After the incident, the military unit camped at the evacuation center of Barangay Gogon. They even added more troops to terrorize the residents and silence them regarding the killing.

Meanwhile, over 60 police, military and local government personnel gathered in Barangay Catamlangan, Pilar, also on June 20 under the guise of a “Peace Caravan.” The military plans to launch similar activities in other Pilar barangays and in neighboring Donsol town.

The military and police have used these “Peace Caravans” for their counter-insurgency campaign, where there have been cases of forced surrenders of civilian farmers, who are then paraded as New People’s Army supporters. The soldiers take their photos for additional funding and other forms of corruption.

This is also part of the Retooled Community Support Program and focused military operations where gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have been recorded.

Among these crimes are the 31st IB’s shooting of youths Ace Adiado and Francis Literal of Barangay Baras, Donsol on April 25 and the killing of farmer Domingo Malaca of Barangay Abucay, Pilar on May 5.

AB: 31st IB shoots 39-year-old man