Rejoinder to NSA Carlita Carlos’ “infuriating and saddening” comment

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What can be described as “infuriating and saddening” occurrences in Negros Island are certainly a matter of class perspective.

To National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos, the ambush of two sergeants of the 47th Infantry Battalion last November 24, around noon time, at Sitio Camboguiot, Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental by a unit of the Armando Sumayang Jr Command – New People’s Army Southwest Negros Front (ASJC-NPA) was “infuriating and saddening.”

How then would she describe the relentless military operations of the 47th IB in Cauayan and Sipalay since May 2022 that has perpetrated human rights violations especially among farmer communities? How would she call the harassment of the Calago couple of Sitio Pasto, Barangay Inayawan, Cauayan; the physical assault experienced by Raymund Grande of Sitio Omas, Camindangan, Sipalay City; and the trauma of Alfredo Dantes after an M203 grenade launcher was fired to threaten him—all of these perpetrated recently by fascist soldiers of the 47th IB?

“Infuriating and saddening” could never encapsulate the call for justice by all the victims of state-sponsored violence and abuses in Negros Island.

The masses of Negros are seething at another summary execution of farmer, Victor Baldonado, 34 years old, tagged as an NPA casualty in a fake encounter fabricated by notorious farmer-killer 62nd IB. Baldonado, killed in front of his wife and children, is the 6th farmer murdered by state forces in Negros Oriental, particularly Guihulngan City and Canlaon City, since July 2022. Notably, all these farmer killings were covered up by fake encounter scripts.

This is the 13th fake encounter in Negros touted by fascist Philippine Army mouthpieces since the reign of the US-Marcos II regime. In two separate incidents, five hors de combat NPA members were killed in cold-blood including AGC-NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua (Romeo Nanta). Four cases with a total of six victims, as I mentioned earlier, were intended to whitewash peasant killings. Another five fake encounters were actually cases of indiscriminate firing in Calatrava, Himamaylan City and Moises Padilla. Also, there was a strafing incident involving 15 households of Tribu Ituman-Maghat-Bukidnon members in Himamaylan City. And a matter of fake news in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental, to cover up the 62nd IB’s failure in foiling a sniping operation of the LPC-NPA.

All the more enraging, children in Negros are victimized by state attacks on peasant communities. Under Marcos Jr, there are already seven cases of minors targeted by the counter-insurgency campaign like Everly Kee Jacolbe who was massacred with her mother in July. Countless more are traumatized by bombings and massive militarization.

These atrocities are results of the intensification of the state’s military campaign of suppression against revolutionary forces and the people. It is malicious and unjust for NSA Carlos to claim that insurgency must be solved or else “these tragedies will repeat over and over,” when the people’s resistance is valid consequence to injustice, oppression and exploitation. It is the roots of the on-going armed conflict that must be addressed with basic social, economic and political reforms to establish the basis for a just and lasting peace.

The rotten semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system is very evident in the social conditions of Negros where there is massive monopoly of land by a few rich families imposing their rule on the people through the mercenary AFP in contrast to thousands of landless tillers shackled to a monocrop sugar industry. Negros masses suffer through poverty, hunger, landlessness, joblessness, slave-like conditions in the haciendas, and various forms of semifeudal and feudal exploitation. However, they have the NPA, their genuine people’s army, to champion their democratic aspirations and defend them from state terrorism.

I invite NSA Carlos to advocate for the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations to her pleasure-seeking boss. Otherwise, she should know that the revolutionary forces in Negros, with the NPA, will carry forward the national democratic revolution in step with nationwide efforts led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. Negrosanons shall not rest in demanding and exacting justice for all human rights violations and will continue to resist the bloody counter-insurgency campaign of the US-Marcos II regime. The ruling class of big compradors and landlords will earn the price of fury and sorrow they have inflicted upon the oppressed and exploited in Negros Island. ###

Rejoinder to NSA Carlita Carlos’ “infuriating and saddening” comment