Massacre, not encounter
The Armando Sumayang Jr Command of the New People’s Army Southwest Negros Guerrilla Front (ASJC-NPA) condemned in the strongest terms the massacre of its medical personnel, a rebel couple on medical leave, and a tricycle driver on September 21, around 7:50 in the evening at Sitio Lubi, Brgy. Tabugon, Kabankalan City.
According to Ka Andrea Guerrero, ASJC-NPA spokesperson, the noncombatants were on board a hired tricycle and were travelling along Sitio Lubi when fascist soldiers belonging to the 47th Infantry Battalion (IB) suddenly indiscriminately fired on them.
“This is a clear violation of international humanitarian law on treatment of noncombatants, particularly the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols, and is considered a war crime,” Guerrero said in a statement today.
Guerrero identified the six victims as Ka Rekoy (Bobby Pedro), Ka Goring (Mario Mullon) and Ka Joyce (Janice Flores) who were medical personnel of the NPA; Ka Bravo (Alejo delos Reyes) and wife Ka Diane (Melissa dela Peña) who were on-leave as Ka Diane was six months pregnant; and tricycle driver Robin Gaitan.
The ASJC-NPA does not discount the possibility that those who survived the first wave of bullets were finished off by butcher soldiers of the 47th IB especially that some victims sustained gunshot wounds to the head.
Meanwhile, Ka Bayani Obrero, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Negros, said in a separate statement that ‘encounter’ narratives peddled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are cover-up for their crimes.
He further said that it is high time for Negrosanons to fight back and resist the systematic violence committed by state forces to force their narrow interests upon the people.
Obrero also mentioned the abduction of Bea Lopez along with tricycle driver Peter Agravante in Sipalay City last September 15, with the latter dumped a few hours after the said abduction at a cliffside in Basay, Negros Oriental.
The ASJC-NPA expressed rage on the increasing cases of merciless killings of civilians and hors de combat revolutionaries in Negros under the Marcos Jr regime, stating that including the recent killings there are already 32 civilians, mostly farmers, and 19 hors de combat killed by elements of the 302nd Brigade and 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army, and the Philippine National Police.
It offered a Red salute to revolutionary martyrs and heroes “who gave their lives to liberate the people from oppression and exploitation by the ruling class using the mercenary AFP and PNP.”
Ka Bayani Obrero, on the other hand, urged human rights defenders and their organizations to launch independent investigations and fact-finding missions on the recent incidents in Negros Occidental.
“State forces should be made to face justice after these brazenly brutal and cowardly acts they have perpetrated over the past few months,” Obrero ended.