79th IB kills sweet potato and banana farmer in Negros Occidental

This article is available in Pilipino

Soldiers of the 79th IB extrajudicially killed farmer Jeje Redobles in Sityo Manaysay, Barangay Camabayobo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental on May 22. Contrary to the military’s claims that he was killed in an encounter, Robles was a sweet potato and banana farmer. The New People’s Army (NPA)-Northern Negros (Roselyn Jean Pelle Command) said the 79th IB statement that there was an encounter in said town and day is an utter lie.

The usual modus operandi of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units anywhere in the country is to claim or stage a fake encounter to cover up the crime of killing civilians or captured revolutionaries. The Marcos regime is brazenly violating international humanitarian law and the rules of war.

In its broadcast to Calatrava, the 79th IB reported that the battle lasted 10 minutes. The soldiers also claimed having seized M16, grenades, ammunition and magazines, and other war equipment.

The victim, Redobles, a copra, sweet potato and banana farmer, has been the target of the 79th IB’s harrassment for a long time. The soldiers “summoned” him several times to convince him to be an intelligence asset in their area against the NPA and the revolutionary movement. Desiring a quiet, he rejected the military’s order several times.

“We condemn the killing of Redobles and how he was maliciously linked to the people’s army,” Ka Cecil Estrella, NPA-Northern Negros spokesperson, said. She also extended her condolences to the victim’s bereaved wife, son and family.

Redobles is the second victim of the AFP’s extrajudicial killing in Northern Negros this 2024. Prior to him, Jose Caramihan who was also killed in a fake encounter in Sityo Mansulao, Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City on February 21.

“Amid the severe economic crisis…state terrorism is the response of the ruling class to the toiling masses. Already starving, they are now being killed,” Ka Cecil said.

AB: 79th IB kills sweet potato and banana farmer in Negros Occidental