NPA breakaway group seen behind farmers’ massacre in Negros Occidental

Marje Pelayo   •   October 22, 2018   •   3075

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

Mga residente sa La Carlota City sa Negros, pinaghahanda na sa gitna ng pag-aalboroto ng Mt. Kanlaon

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2020

Inihahanda na ng pamahalaan ng La Carlota City sa Negros Occidental ang disaster management plan na ipatutupad sakaling lumala ang ipinakikitang abnormalidad ng Mount Kanlaon.

Ayon kay La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on, nakapaloob sa kanilang plano ang pagtukoy sa mga barangay na lubos na maapektuhan at kailangang ilikas sakaling sumabog ang bulkan o kaya ay mas tumindi pa ang nararanasang pagyanig sa paligid ng bulkan.

Nakapaloob rin sa disaster management plan ang gagamiting logistics, transportation at available resources, pati na ang positioning ng food packs at mga lugar na maaaring gamiting temporary shelter ng mga ililikas na residente.

Tiniyak rin ni Jalando-on na mayroong P10 milyong quick response fund na maaaring gamitin ang lokal na pamahalaan.

Nagsasagawa na rin sila ng kampanya upang paalalahanan ang mga residente na maghanda at maging alerto sa gitna ng nararanasang pagyanig sa kanilang lungsod.

May gagawin ring drill upang malaman ng mga residente ang mga dapat gawin kapag nakaranas ng malakas na lindol o kaya ay sumabog ang bulkan.

Sa ulat ng Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Martes ng umaga, nasa 104 volcanic-tectonic earthquakes ang naitala sa Mount Kanlaon.

Bahagya ring humina ang inilalabas na puting usok ng bulkan na umabot sa taas na 300 metro.

Iniulat rin ng PHIVOLCS ang patuloy na deflation sa ibabang bahagi ng bulkan at inflation o paglobo naman sa gitnang dalisdis na nangangahulugan umano ng hydrothermal o magmatic activity sa ilalim ng lupa.

Muli ring nagpa-alala ang ahensiya na nasa alert level 1 ang Mount Kanlaon na ang ibig sabihin ay nagpapakita ito ng abnormal na aktibidad at nasa “period of unrest.”

Naka-deklarang permanent danger zone ang four-kilometer radius ng bulkan at ipinagbabawal ang pagpasok rito ng mga tao.

Sakop naman ng eight-kilometer radius ng bulkan ang mga Barangay ng Ara-ala at Yubo kaya’t mahigpit itong binabantayan ng lokal na pamahalaan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lalaine Moreno)

Duterte’s P2-M bounty vs. NPA commanders ‘will result in the murder of many innocent people’ — Sison

Marje Pelayo   •   May 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison warned on Tuesday (May 12) that President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer of P2 million bounty for the capture of New People’s Army (NPA) commanders will only lead to further loss of ‘innocent civilians.’

“With this kind of offer, we can expect his armed minions to manufacture more NPA commanders so that they will receive the cash reward as they have from previous fake surrenders and fake encounters,” Sison said in a post on Facebook.

“We can expect more murders being committed by military and police officers against innocent civilians who are misrepresented as NPA commanders,” he added.

President Duterte in a briefing announced his offer to anyone who would be lead the authorities to the capture of an NPA leader or commander following another series of attacks against government troops in humanitarian missions. 

“Like his previous order to shoot dead any violator of the lockdown, his order to kill NPA commanders will result in the murder of many innocent people,” Sison later added.

The communist leader also noted that the President allegedly “does not care that he will go down in history as a butcher of the Filipino people.”

Sison reiterated that President Duterte is just using the NPA to cover up his administration’s ‘gross incompetence and failure’ in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) citing the lack of mass testing and contact-tracing and the increasing number of health workers dying of the virus due to lack of personal protective gear.

READ: Duterte offers P2-M bounty for the capture of NPA commanders

“Duterte has made a rambling and inane multi-media broadcast every week during the lockdown but he has not given any rational plan for the use of 275 billion pesos. And there has been no accounting of the disbursement of these funds,” he said.

Duterte’s new martial law threat, a cover-up for failed COVID-19 response — CPP

Marje Pelayo   •   April 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s outburst over continued attacks against government forces, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday (April 24) accused the Chief Executive of just using the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to carry out his agenda of imposing martial law.

On its website, the communist group stressed that the President is again blaming its armed wing – the New People’s Army (NPA) – ‘to cover up’ his administration’s failure in responding to the current health crisis particularly the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing.

“This is a classic deflection tactic to draw away the people’s attention from the government’s inept, incompassionate and irresponsible actions in the face of the pandemic,” the group said.

The CPP said imposing martial law will not end the pandemic but only cause ‘greater hardship’ to the Filipino people.

The group alleged that the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that has been expanded to cover Visayas and Mindanao is martial law.

“There is now creeping nationwide martial law and the entire country is now effectively under the highhanded and control of the military and police,” the CPP noted.

READ: Duterte threatens to declare martial law if NPA attacks continue

The leftist group defended the NPA over the recent encounters with government troops saying the group was only responding to the attacks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) since it has further stepped up its counterinsurgency operations.

“The armed clashes between the NPA and the AFP in the past days are a result of the attacks of the AFP and active defense of the NPA,” the group said.

“In fact, the AFP never went on ceasefire, even when Duterte ordered a suspension of offensive operations last March 19 to April 15, deploying troops to more than 350 barangays and 120 towns to conduct counterinsurgency, mounting at least 24 offensives and six aerial bombardments,” it added.

The CPP accused that such intensified counterinsurgency efforts by the AFP are aimed at preventing the NPA from conducting its own public health campaign in response to the COVID-19 crisis in areas where the Duterte government ‘does not exist’ and their efforts are warmly received.

Nevertheless, the party said it stands by the ceasefire order of its Central Committee that has been extended to April 30 to prioritize its own public health campaign in their villages.

While so doing: “All units of the NPA must, however, remain vigilant and on high alert against attacks of the AFP and ready to engage in battle,” the group concluded.

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