State agents mercilessly killed Rolando Patiño Leyson, Sr., 78, last September 12 in Barangay San Pedro, Sison, Surigao del Norte. Five armed men raided his house and shot him 20 times. Leyson was targeted just because his son is a known New People’s Army (NPA) commander in the province.
Earlier on September 8, tricycle driver Jojie Udtohan Gayoso was also killed by the same group in the same village. Gayoso was Leyson’s friend.
In Eastern Samar, elements of the 78th IB killed a mentally challenged man at Sitio Sitio Kabugawan, Barangay Aroganga, Dolores on August 16. The victim was killed after throwing a coconut at a soldier. The soldiers coincidentally came across with the victim near the site where they encountered an NPA unit.
In Negros Oriental, 62nd IB troopers arrested Nonna Espinosa and nine others at Sityo Ilihan, Barangay Buenavista, Guihulngan City on September 10. They are still being held incommunicado.
In Negros Occidental, three farmers were also harassed by 62nd IB troopers occupying Barangay Budlasan, Canlaon City on September 17. Ernie Jacolbe and Gilbert Reyes were tending their carabaos when they were harassed by soldiers. The soldiers also threatened Reyes’ brother, Romeo. Houses at Sitio Natuling were also ransacked and personal belongings stolen by the soldiers. Another group of youngsters were also harassed by the soldier in an adjacent barangay.
In Western Samar, more barangays are now being rampaged by the 87th IB and 14th IB under the guise of the Retooled Community Support Program. Military operations now cover barangays Hagbay and Cataydungan in San Jose de Buan, in addition to 33 other barangays the military has been occupying since May. Eight of these barangays were hamletted, wherein only three residents at a time are being allowed to leave the barangay.
Driver leader arrested in Bicol
Joint elements of the military and police arrested Ramon Rescovilla on September 9 while he was on his way home to Daraga, Albay. A gun and grenade was planted in his bag as evidence. He was then brought to a precint where he was beaten up. He was slapped with a trumped-up murder charge.
Rescovilla is the vice president of the Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and concurrently serves as the spokesperson of Condor-Piston Bicol.
In Camarines Norte, state forces arrested broadcaster Rommel Fenix and four other journalists last September 15. They were charged with libel by the governor and other local government officials.
A day earlier, journalist Jobert Bercasio was gunned down in Barangay Cabid-an, Sorsogon City on September 14. Bercasio is the 17th journalist killed under the Duterte regime.