Ka Bayani Obrero, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) – Negros, debunked claims of Major Cenon Pancito III that many Negrosanons are asking the military to stay on the island.
This after Pancito, Special Joint Task Force-Negros spokesperson, said that the people of Negros Oriental are pleased with the presence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in the province.
“In fact, majority of Negrosanons terrorized by focused military operations in the countryside have been demanding for military troops to pull-out from the island,” he said.
Obrero said that further militarization of Negros Island has increased incidents of military abuses especially in peasant communities.
Obrero strongly questioned the current regime’s capability to give justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings on the island when “masterminds of bloody massacres and the butchers of innocent farmers and civilians are in its ranks.”
He said that the Pamplona massacre is part of the worsening culture of impunity that has spilled over from the Duterte regime’s Memorandum Order (MO) 32 in November 2018.
Then President Rodrigo Duterte declared a “state of lawlessness” in the Negros provinces, Samar Island and Bicol region and, by virtue of MO32, commanded the deployment of additional government troops to these areas.
Two Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations (SEMPO) jointly implemented by police and military forces in Negros Oriental, also dubbed Oplan Sauron 1 and 2, followed in December 2018 and March 2019 that led to the deaths of 20 people, mostly farmers.
“Oplan Sauron was just the beginning of a series of killings on the island under Duterte,” he said. “As it stands now, human rights violations in Negros are getting even worse under Marcos Jr.”
Meanwhile, according to Apolinario Gatmaitan Command – New People’s Army Negros Island Regional Operational Command (AGC-NPA) spokesperson Ka Maoche Legislador, state forces are using Gov. Roel Degamo’s assassination as grounds to intensify its military operations in Negros Island.
The NPA spokesperson added that the AFP and PNP are heavily funded to launch a massive and violent campaign of suppression on the island against the persisting revolutionary movement but guised as a manhunt for Degamo’s assassins.
The 47th Infantry Battalion and a 50-member Light Reaction Company arrived on Negros Island last month to augment military presence in the area increasing the number of Philippine Army troops on the island to six battalions.
Legislador was certain that the people’s money funding military and police institutions have already fattened the pockets of corrupt generals and government officials.
He also denounced the “machinery of deception” unleashed by state forces “to obscure its frustrated campaign and spread a narrative of winning the war against a losing revolutionary movement.”
The AGC-NPA celebrated the NPA’s 54th founding anniversary last March 29 together with the five guerrilla fronts under its command.###