303rd Brigade attempt sabotage of ESCAM commemoration, exhibit present-day de facto martial instead

 

Remembering Marcos’ martial law and its brutality here in Negros highlighted in the Escalante massacre is highly relevant today because Duterte is a worst dictator and the correctness of engaging in protracted people’s war to counter escalating fascism remains.

This according to Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of Apolinario Gatmaitan Command (AGC), regional command of the New People’s Army in Negros Island.

Magbanua claims that guerrilla fronts of the NPA in Negros have doubled their efforts to achieve tactical victories against the de facto martial law and all-out war declaration of tyrant Rodrigo Duterte.

Ever since Memorandum Order 32 (MO 32) and Oplan Sauron 1 late last year, the NPA in Negros has successfully intensified its military actions against the forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in response to the people’s deafening clamor for justice and to defend them from these fascist troops.

Meanwhile, the 303rd Brigade of the AFP attempted to sabotage activities commemorating the martial law period in Negros under Marcos by staging a fake encounter between the military and the NPA in Old Poblacion, Escalante City and illegally arresting and planting evidence on members of progressive groups also in Escalante accusing them to be NPA members days before the Escalante Massacre commemoration.

In a statement, Cecil Estrella of the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command (RJPC) refutes the 303rd Brigade’s claim of an encounter with the NPA in Sitio Maitom, Old Poblacion, Escalante City last September 17, 2019.

RJPC-NPA clarifies that 303rd Brigade Commander Gen. Benedict Arevalo’s talk of “hot pursuit operations” in Escalante is after nothing but their own spectre.

It is clear that the fascists under the US-Duterte regime are determined and desperate to sabotage the people’s commemoration of the Escalante massacre or ESCAM using fake news of staged encounters and by forcing civilians to attend the anti-people “peace summit” on the same day as the ESCAM anniversary, added Estrella.

Estrella compares the latest fake encounter with that of Puting Bato, Barangay Washington last year where the residents were also dislocated and forced to evacuate and the area was cordoned and checkpoints among other measures controlled the movement of the population.

The RJPC delivered the most recent blow to the AFP’s 79th Infantry Battalion in North Negros last August 31, 2019 at Sitio Moreno, Barangay Paitan, Escalante City using command-detonated explosives. However, the 79th IB’s heavy casualties, at least 10 soldiers killed-in-action and many others wounded, resulted from its own machine gun indiscriminately firing at the ambush site despite the presence of their own soldiers.

After the bloody Sagay 9 massacre in October 2018, the AFP declared “all-out war” in Negros followed by the issuance of MO 32 effectively placing Negros, Samar and Bicol under de facto martial law. Much like Marcos’ fascist rule, extrajudicial killings and human rights violations perpetrated by state forces heightened in Negros preying on peasant leaders, progressive groups and open critics of the Duterte regime.

“Duterte and his cabal are unwittingly exhibiting present-day martial law with intensified fascism and brazen corruption agitating the people, leaving them with no choice but to take up arms and join the NPA,” Magbanua added.

Finally, according to Magbanua, the NPA enjoys the all out support of the people especially the broad masses, thus, it will not fail the Philippine Revolution.###