Fake encounters behind 3rd ID’s ‘dismantled’ illusion
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) 3rd Infantry Division is shameless than ever in declaring New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla fronts on Negros Island as “dismantled” after two fake encounters last January 15 and 17 in Calatrava and La Castellana towns in Negros Occidental, respectively. In the second fake encounter, two civilians were captured and murdered in cold blood by elements of the 62nd Infantry Battalion.
Units of the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command-NPA Northern Negros Guerrilla Front are all intact and performing their revolutionary tasks with renewed fervour among farmers and farm workers who are greatly suffering from landlessness and slave-like wages imposed by notorious despotic hacienderos and their mercenaries. The supposed camp raided by 79th IB soldiers was staged and the encounter claim was taken from worn out drama scripts of the AFP.
Meanwhile, the 62nd IB used an old ruse of unleashing intelligence assets pretending to be deranged in order to surveil farmer communities and forcibly enter residences in La Castellana, particulary Barangay Sag-ang, ahead of combat operations. The 62nd soldiers were pursuing families and individuals who were in hiding after being red-tagged and targeted during the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) bloody Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) or Oplan Sauron 1 last December 2018 in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
On January 17, 6:45 in the morning, at Brgy. Sag-ang, La Castellana, victims Bernard Torres and Boy Baloy were taken and then brutally killed by 62nd IB soldiers. They were unarmed. More importantly, they were not members of the NPA, contrary to Philippine Army reports. As a matter of fact, there was no encounter between the 62nd IB and the NPA that day.
Bernard Torres, from Brgy. Buenavista, Guihulngan City, was a habal-habal driver and member of PISTON Guihulngan City Chapter. Boy Baloy, a senior citizen, on the other hand, was a farmer and native of Brgy. Linantuyan, Guihulngan City. Both experienced harassment from state forces since 2017. They would have been part of the death toll of Oplan Sauron 1 if they were not able to flee together with other families.
Obviously, the 3rd ID, 302nd and 303rd Brigade, and six battalions under their command here in Negros Island are on a fake news spree. Their “dismantled” illusion is endangering the lives of Negrosanons, especially farmers and farm workers. They are becoming more reckless in their anti-insurgency campaign, engaging in heightening degrees of human rights violations.
The AFP’s bases for declaring ‘dismantled’ guerrilla fronts in Negros Island is farther from the truth. The people of Negros Island knows that. The NPA is ever growing and its mass base deepening because of the worsening semifeudal and semicolonial system. The AFP merits the people’s rage because of its sustained focused military operations that sow terror in farmer communities, its defense of foreign interests and local big compradors and landlords, and exploitation of the people for military corruption.
The armed revolution is a historical necessity and inevitability. While the US-Marcos II regime continues its oppressive socioeconomic policies and sycophancy to its imperialist master, the broad masses, composed majorly of peasants and workers, are posed to fight back against landlessness, poverty, low wages, job insecurity, hunger, skyrocketing prices, and absence of social services.
The 3rd ID is up to its neck in deception and state terrorism. In the end, its “dismantled” illusion will be its downfall.###