The National Democratic Front-Southern Tagalog (NDF-ST) lauded in its statement last June 2 the bravery and unity manifested by the people of Quezon as they were able to successfully evict four military encampments from their villages. Through their united conviction manifested through petitions and other actions, residents of barangays Sta. Elena and Cawayan in Lopez, and Vista Hermosa and P. Herrera in Macalelon were able expel the soldiers who occupied their communities.
Residents of Barangay Sta. Elena complained about the vandalism by soldiers in their barangay hall. Soldiers do not dispose of their garbage properly and litter everywhere, then order residents to clean for them. In defiance, residents united to bar the entry of the fascists to their barangay.
In Barangay Cawayan, soldiers were forced to leave as residents opposed the presence of the military camp near their community.
Residents of Vista Hermosa were also able to evict occupying soldiers who are responsible for causing trouble and hardships in their community. On January 31, a resident’s horse died due a strafing incident by drunk elements of the CAFGU and military. This was one of the reasons why residents petitioned at Sangguniang Barangay to demand their eviction. On May 17, the military camp was relocated to the neighboring barangay of P. Herrera, but was met by complaints from the residents.
The barriofolk evicted the soldiers amid focused military operations by the 59th IB and 85th IB in 34 barangays of Lopez, Macalelon and Gumaca for more than a month now. Nearly two company-sized troops of the military, police and CAFGU mount these operations in the said barangays. They serve as security forces of two destructive dam projects in Barangay Vista Hermosa.
These mass actions prove that the military’s weapons and threats is not a hinder to the people’s unity. The bravery and conviction of the residents of Quezon to fight for their welfare must serve as an inspiration and be replicated by all of the people in Southern Tagalog who are oppressed by soldiers who are occupying their villages, the NDF-ST said.