Military and police raid KMP peasant leader's house in Bulacan

This article is available in Pilipino

Police and 80th IB soldiers raided and ransacked the house of Ronnie Manalo, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) general secretary and Tanggol Magsasaka spokesperson, in Barangay San Roque, San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan yesterday morning, June 18. State forces forcibly entered Manalo’s house despite having no one inside it. Military and police falsely claim finding an M16 rifle, a shotgun, grenades, laptops, and subversive documents.

Peasant groups and human rights defenders condemned the illegal raid by soldiers and police on Manalo’s house. They said the police only planted the evidence of weapons and equipment obtained from the house.

Prior to this, Manalo was a victim of state forces’ relentless Red-tagging, threats and intimidation because of his opposition to the Aranetas’ landgrab in their area. In 2022, Manalo’s family was “invited” for a “dialogue” at the barangay hall. Manalo is also among the group of farmers who were shot by thugs of Araneta Properties Inc. during a langgrab in Sitio Ricafort, Barangay Tungkong Mangga.

As the raid was being carried out, nearly 100 combined forces of soldiers and police poured into Barangay San Roque, Barangay Paradise 3, and Barangay Tungkong Mangga. They terrorized the farming communities and disrupted the peace and the residents’ livelihood.

Since 2018, many barangays in San Jose del Monte City have been militarized. Soldiers remained encamped in community centers as part of the so-called Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) program. Under this program, soldiers forcefully carried out “clearing” the names of barangay and municipality residents for cases they have nothing to do with. In 2022, Cecilia Rapiz, leader of the Alliance of Farmers in Bulacan (AMB), was among the victims of state harassment.

In the new case of human rights violations and the raid on Manalo’s house, KMP leaders, human rights defenders and ACT Teachers Party-list representative France Castro immediately went to the office of the local government of San Jose del Monte to hold a dialogue with the mayor of the city.

AB: Military and police raid KMP peasant leader's house in Bulacan