62nd IB murders farmer, wounding and illegally detaining 3 others in fake encounter in Guihulngan City

Fascist troops of the 62nd Infantry Battalion brutally killed farmer Arnold Swerte yesterday, January 15, 2022. The AFP opened fire at Swerte and his brothers-in-law in Sitio Manlibod, Barangay Sandayao, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Aside from the murder, the military wounded siblings James, France and a minor, and tortured Ritchie Sabeleo. The AFP then faked an encounter in the sitio and reported that Swerte was killed-in-action, despite the area having no NPA presence.

The cold-blooded murder of an innocent civilian is a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The US-indoctrinated AFP are merciless mercenaries that see no distinction between red fighters and the unarmed. Unable to wage ‘decisive battles’ against the NPA and their deadline for decimating the revolutionary movement approaching in 4 months, they fire their bullets against the defenseless. Their despair to end the revolution has become more evident as a war against the Filipino people.

To note, Guihulngan City and Moises Padilla are two of the most affected by Supertyphoon Odette in Central Negros. In the countryside, the people’s homes and livelihoods were devastated. Insensitive to the plight of the masses, the AFP continues its combat operations and commits human rights violations, including: (1) indiscriminate firing on January 1 using M203 grenades and January 6 in their detachment in Sitio Mamballo, Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental which sowed fear among nearby households; (2) forced entry in homes and intimidation of civilians in Sitio Tuko Gamay, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental; (3) and this recent murder of Swerte, and illegal detention of his 3 brothers-in-law and neighbor Sabeleo.

Furthermore, 303rd Brigade Commander Pasaporte’s claims that the minor they illegally detained is an NPA member is nothing but pure hogwash. The AFP has no moral high ground to claim that the NPA does not adhere to international humanitarian law when it is them who are consistent in violating it. Pasaporte can view pamphlets online and see that the NPA only recruits those of age 18 and above. Troops of the AFP interested in genuinely serving the people by joining the revolution and leaving their mercenary organization can read this as well.

Negrosanons and the entire Filipino people are enraged by this brutal crime of the AFP. The militarization of Central Negros and the entire island has terrorized communities especially in the rural areas. Negros’ lands are filled with the blood of the innocent wasted by the counterrevolution of the US-Duterte regime. The people demand for justice against the perpetrators of this heinous crime, reminiscent of Oplan Sauron and other gross human rights violations of the reactionary state.

Infuriated with the tyranny of Duterte and his cohorts in the AFP, PNP, NTF-ELCAC and other paramilitary groups, Negrosanons will take part in the revolution and flock towards the countryside in even greater numbers. The reactionary state’s war against the people will be met with sheer resistance and revolutionary fervor of the farmers, workers, youth, and other marginalized sectors of society. With this, the National Democratic Revolution with a socialist perspective will surely grow and flourish, starkly contrary to the AFP’s ambitious deadline in May 2022.

With this, the LPC-NPA vows to implement revolutionary justice to all those involved in the murder of Swerte. The people’s army will intensify offensives in the guerilla front , especially against fascist troops and their network of informants that have blood in their hands, to heed the masses’ call for justice and frustrate the US-Duterte regime’s brutal and dirty counterrevolutionary war. ###

62nd IB murders farmer, wounding and illegally detaining 3 others in fake encounter in Guihulngan City