Police massacre 3 barangay watchmen in Masbate

Three barangay watchmen were abducted by police and soldiers on July 4 at midnight and were massacred in the boundary of ba­ra­ngays Ba­gacay and Ma­rin­toc in Mobo, Masbate. The victims, identified as Edgar Mingoy, Marlon Bajar and Rolly de la Cruz, were all falsely presented before the media as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

The suspects include troops of the Re­gio­nal Mo­bi­le Force Bat­ta­li­on 5, 9th Special Acti­on Bat­ta­li­on, Re­gio­nal Intel­li­gence Unit, Mas­ba­te Provincial Mo­bi­le Force Com­pany and the Mo­bo Mu­nici­pal Po­lice Office. Elements of the 96th Mi­li­tary Intel­li­gence Com­pany were also involved in the crime.

The perpetrators repeatedly fired their guns in the air for an hour to make it appear that they encountered an NPA unit.

Mingoy served as a barangay watchman for 20 years, while Dela Cruz also served as a councilor in their village.

Bombing. Using two FA-50 fighter jets, the military dropped eight bombs near two Lumad communities in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on July 15 at around 2 a.m. Two drones were also seen flying overhead. The incident traumatized residents especially chil­dren. Thirty-seven families evacuated from their communities after the incident.

Arrests. State elements arrested activist Je­nelyn Nag­ram­pa-Ca­bal­le­ro in Ba­ra­ngay San Isid­ro, Na­bua, Ca­ma­ri­nes Sur on July 7. Nag­ram­pa is the chairperson of the Bico­la­na-Gab­rie­la and concurrently serves as the national vice chairperson of Gabriela.

On July 9, state elements also arrested Rev. Dan San Andres, 61 years old, of the Uni­ted Church of Christ in the Phi­lip­pi­nes in Sipocot town in the same province. San Andres is the spokesperson of Ka­ra­pa­tan-Bi­kol.

Both veteran activists were slapped with a trumped-up charges of murder for purportedly killing two soldiers in 2018.

Activists protested in Le­gazpi and Naga City on July 10 to condemn the arrests.

Militarization. At least five military units have been besieging the towns of Ju­ban, Ma­gal­la­nes, Bu­lan, Iro­sin and Mat­nog in Sor­so­gon since the last week of June. In Iro­sin, 23 out of its 28 ba­ra­ngays are currently being occupied by soldiers under the guise of conducting “Com­mu­nity Sup­port Pro­g­ram.” The 22nd IB has also began constructing its camp in Ba­ra­ngay Ca­lo­ma­gon in Bu­lan.

The fascists are conducting house-to-house searches and listing the names of residents. They also coerced barangay councils to stage the surrender of their constituents.

Last July 7 and 8, soldiers and police ransacked the houses of eight residents in Ba­ra­ngay Maa­lo and Calmayon in the town of Ju­ban.