NPA punishes Sagay 9 perpetrator
With renewed vigor and determination as we welcome the new year of struggle against oppressors and exploiters, Roselyn Jean Pelle Command-Northern Negros Guerrilla Front of the New People’s Army (RJPC-NPA) opens the year 2024 by punishing the Sarona Group, a known band of mercenaries in Toboso, Negros Occidental involved in Sagay 9 Massacre.
A simultaneous NPA military action against the Sarona Group in Purok Kawayan, Barangay Bug-ang, Toboso commenced on January 2, 2024 at around 7PM. A unit of the RJPC-NPA ambushed Juvie Sarona and burned down a tractor owned by his father.
RJPC-NPA’s fighters recovered various firearms and ammunition from Sarona’s residence, namely: 1 M2 Carbine with 4 magazines and 51 bullets, 2 long and 1 short M16 magazines and 76 bullets, 1 .45 (Colt MK IV) with 2 magazines and 4 bullets, 1 .357 revolver with 4 bullets, and 1 homemade shotgun with 5 bullets. Identification cards and gadgets with intelligence value were also seized.
The Sarona Group, led by ringleader Juvie Sarona, has long been reported by the residents as a gun-for-hire group backed by AFP/PNP and is usually employed by big comprador-landlords and fascist politicians. Among the many blood debts of the said mercenary armed group is their involvement in what is now known as Sagay 9 Massacre on October 20, 2018 in Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
The Sarona Group is also involved in land grabbing, including issues arising from the land they control thru ariendo. Boy Sarona, Juvie’s father, administers all the land under their control.
Fearing the mercenaries, landowners could not justly negotiate for the terms of ariendo. Their trees are unjustly cut down and sold to sugar centrals as firewood. Usually, the unproductive/unplanted parcel of land they own is placed under ariendo terms. Incidents of banana uprooting by tractor and manual labor were also reported by landowners, as well as neighboring sugarcane farmers. Farmworkers of previous landowners (usually absorbed by the ariendador with same terms as that of the original landowner) have been facing labor issues under the Sarona Group such as withholding of 1-2 days of pay a week and further forfeiture of wages when one cannot work the following week.
The community surrounding the land controlled by the Sarona Group are also living in fear because they are subjected to threats and harassment. Members of the Sarona Group train their weapons, and even fire at residents. A carabao was once shot dead after accidentally damaging a portion of a sugarcane field controlled by the said group and the animal owner was still made to pay for the damaged crops.
The Negrosanons, especially the people of Northern Negros, celebrate the punishment of the Sarona Group by the NPA. RJPC-NPA is grateful for the boundless support of the people that ensured the successful action against the Saronas conducted a stone’s throw away from the provincial road, located between two enemy detachments (Marcelo and Pulupangyan).
This military action conducted by the RJPC-NPA is part of the guerrilla front’s celebration of the 55th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It is also a portrayal of the front’s resolve to recover from previous losses and rebuild the mass base.