HRVs to escalate with return of AFP butcher general

The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command – New People’s Army Negros Island (AGC-NPA) issued a statement forewarning the public that the return of Major Gen. Benedict Arevalo, whom it called “butcher general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” as 3rd infantry Division head indicates the escalation of human rights violations in Central and Western Visayas.

Arevalo was former commanding officer of the 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental from last quarter of 2018 to December 2019.

Ka Juanito Magbanua, AGC-NPA spokesperson, noted that during Arevalo’s stint [as 303rd Brigade commander], the heinous Sagay 9 massacre happened. Also, there were rampant killings of prominent human rights defenders. peasant advocates and activists like Atty. Ben Ramos and Bernardino “Toto” Pagtigas.

“To date, extrajudicial killings in Negros Island have reached 106 and most happened under the reign of butcher Arevalo,” he said.

According to Magbanua, there were widespread illegal arrests based on trumped-up charges such as the capture of the Buenavista 7, seven residents of Buenavista, Himamaylan City including a pastor of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) suspected as members of the New People’s Army, and the Bacolod 57 wherein the offices of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Gabriela and National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) were simultaneously raided and many activists were imprisoned due to fabricated cases.

Arevalo was likewise the mastermind of fake surrenders, in which the most notorious was the fake surrender of 1,510 so-called NPA members and supporters of the revolutionary movement in Escalante City, where he pocketed millions in the name of “counter-insurgency,” Magbanua said.

Furthermore, he said that the 303rd Brigade under Arevalo was the number one violator of the ceasefire between two governments, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the people’s democratic government represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

“The return of the Butcher will not give justice to the victims of human rights violations instead terror and suffering of the Negrosanons will worsen,” Magbanua said.

HRVs to escalate with return of AFP butcher general