NPA breakaway group seen behind farmers’ massacre in Negros Occidental

Marje Pelayo   •   October 22, 2018   •   3374

Courtesy: PRO 6

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) condemns the massacre of sugar farmers in Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last October 20.

According to DAR Secretary John Castriciones, they have formed a task force to investigate on the incident which led to the death of nine individuals including two minors.

Based on initial report, the incident happened around 9:45 pm when the victims were about to rest inside a makeshift shelter after a day’s work.

“So what transpired was actually a land occupation. When you say land occupation, this farmers entered the premises of the plantation without any legal basis at all,” said Castriciones.

The DAR Secretary clarified that the slain farmers were not agrarian reform beneficiaries.

DAR Undersecretary Luis Meinrado Pangulayan added that the site was privately-owned and was never covered by the government’s agrarian reform program because the owner already distributed parcels of land to 25 donees since 1988, even before DAR started issuing notices of coverage.

According to a source of the agency, the gunmen were members of a revolutionary proletarian army, a New People’s Army (NPA) breakaway group turned private army for some private land owners.

Authorities, however, are still verifying the said information.

The newly formed Task Force Sagay will determine what help the agency can provide to families of slain farmers, particularly legal assistance.

The DAR is also looking for available land that it can distribute to the affected farmers in the area.

The government is currently working to revive the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform program to properly distribute over 500 hectares of land in different parts of the country to potential beneficiaries. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

Alleged NPA rebels killed in Rizal part of Joma Sison’s ‘death squad’, DILG says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison

MANILA, Philippines – The five suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in a shootout in Baras, Rizal in December 2020 were part of the death squads allegedly deployed by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.

Año said the slain group of rebels were deployed in Southern Luzon to assassinate top national and local government leaders, and police and military officers over “blood debts.”

“We can now confirm that the five NPA members killed in Barangay San Juan, Baras, Rizal were part of a death squad that was supposed to carry out the directive of Joma Sison to assassinate government and civilian leaders,” the DILG chief said in a statement.

“Isang tagumpay para sa atin na napigilan ang mga ganitong mga operasyon ng NPA lalo pa’t ito’y isang tuwirang pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga pinuno ng bansa at maging ng mga sibilyan,” he added.

The shootout allegedly occurred as government troops were about to serve a warrant of arrest against Antonio “Dads” Cule for frustrated murder charges issued by the Regional Trial Court branch 65 in Infanta, Quezon Province.

Cule was tagged as the finance officer of an NPA unit that collected revolutionary taxes in Southern Tagalog.

CPP Central Committee Information Officer Marcos Valduena earlier said that “there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to meet out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

Año said Sison’s move to deploy communist death squads to urban areas “intends to bring the NPA’s reign of terror in the countryside to the cities. “The PNP and AFP will do its utmost to protect the people from these terrorists in sheep’s clothing. We will crush these urban terrorist cells before they can begin their reign of terror,” he said.

The DILG chief urged the Commission on Human Rights and even the so-called Makabayan Bloc to condemn the deployment of NPA death squads in urban areas to prove that they are truly not members or fronts of the Communist Party.

He said that assassinations perpetrated by the NPA Death Squads are clearly extra-judicial killing “which the CPP is now bringing to the urban areas after decades of perfecting armed terrorism in the mountains.”
Año said the supposed deployment of NPA partisan units is a “clear and convincing proof that the Anti-Terrorism Council did the right thing in designating CPP and NPA as ‘terrorist organizations.’”

“Ngayon ay hindi na nila maikakaila ang kanilang tunay na kulay at motibo. Sila ay mga terorista na kailanman ay hindi naghangad ng kapayapaan kundi ang maghasik ng kaguluhan, pumatay ng mga puwersa ng gobyerno, para pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he said.

In the 1980s, the CPP-NPA first deployed its “sparrow units” in urban centers and murdered hundreds of policemen, military officers, and civilians in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and other areas to speed up its protracted people’s war, sow chaos, and bring down the government, the DILG said.

1 dead, 15,900 families affected by flooding in Negros Occidental

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least one person died and over 15,000 families were affected and after heavy rainfall caused severe flooding in Negros Occidental last Friday (January 1).

According to the latest report of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, 15,900 families from the cities of Victorias, Silay, Talisay, EB Magalona were affected after heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, a 26-year-old man was found dead in Barangay 6-A in Victorias City.

A total of 424 houses were damaged; 351 of which were totally damaged, while 73 were only partially damaged.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other various rescue groups immediately responded to the situation. The local government also provided relief goods to the families affected by the flood.

Meanwhile, all roads are now passable and water and power supply in the affected areas have been restored. AAC (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

Bayan Muna lawmaker condemns ‘desecration’ of daughter’s remains

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Eufemia Campos Cullamat condemned what she called a “desecration” of her daughter’s remains by the military.

Cullamat’s 20-year-old daughter, Jevilyn Cullamat was killed in an encounter between the military and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Sur.

The lawmaker reiterated that she respects her daughter’s decision to join the NPA but slammed the military for taking a photo of Jevilyn’s remains along with other paraphernalia recovered by soldiers.

“Mariin kong kinokondena ang ginawang pambabastos at pambababoy sa labi ng aking anak. Hindi siya bagay, hindi siya isang tropeo na ipaparada para lamang sa propaganda ng militar (I strongly condemn the desecration and disrespect toward my daughter’s remains. She is not an object or a trophy that will be paraded for military propaganda),” she said in a statement.

Kilusang Mayo Uno also condemned the “desecration of the dead” and has appealed to the media to stop posting the images.

“We appeal to the media to refrain from posting pictures of what is clearly the military’s desecration of the dead,” their statement reads.

Meanwhile, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NPA-ELCAC) has sent its condolences to Cullamat’s family.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also called on the other members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA to surrender to the government.

“The death of 22 year-old armed rebel Jevilyn Cullamat during an encounter between the New People’s Army (NPA) and government forces is a grim reminder of the effects of the fruitless armed coflict perpetrated by these communist terrorist groups,” he said.

“We call on our representatives in the Makabayan Bloc and all those who condone the atrocities committed by the NPA to denounce the divisive ideology that destroys lives and property,” he added. AAC

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