The recently concluded focused military operation (FMO) in the hinterland vilages of Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental and the adjoining boundary areas of the towns of Sitaon and Valencia precipitated in numerous incidents of human rights violations that include assassination, abducation, raid of civilian houses, manufacturing evidence, threat and coercion, blackmail, forced surrender among others.
This is according to the reports of the masses gathered by the units of the NPA and, as well as, the cases documented by the quick reaction teams of the local peasant associations and human rights organizations.
To serve as an opening salvo of the FMO, barangay councilor and farmer-leader Nonoy Truza was assassinated in broad daylight by motor riding elements of military’s death squad right in the center of Barangay Nagbinlod a few days before several companies of soldiers descended in Sta. Catalina and sow terror.
In the course of the operation, four farmers were abducted by 11th IB and subsequently tortured in Sitio Cansarania, Barangay Apolloy, Siaton. The victims were tending their farms when soldiers swooped in and arrested them in a manner akin to that of arresting hardened criminals. They were not informed of their Miranda rights and the ground for their arrest. They were subjected to intense gruelling interogation and similar types of stressful situations. In the end, they were “recruited” as military intelligence assets .
In Sitio Sinamuhi, Barangay Talalak, Sta. Catalina two civilian houses were raided and searched sans warrant and legal basis. Without consent from the house owners, the soldiers arrogantly barged in without even asking permission. They then put some of their assault rifles in conspicous corner of the house and commenced taking pictures. The purpose of doing so is to create an impression that the house they raided were being resided by NPAs. The soldiers went as far as putting the rifles near the house owners themselves but they flatly expressed disapproval of this.
Many farmers also reported being coerced and threatened by soldiers to admit being NPA o NPA supporter. Those who refused and asserted their rights were warned of grave consequnces like being included in the list of military’s death squad or be issued with warrant of arrest.
In Barangay Talalac and Nagbinlod at least eight farmers were blackmailed into surrendering as NPAs. They were treatened of tokhang style execution, legal cases and warrant of arrest and removal from government post of kins and the like.
The worsening human rights in the Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Valencia and other towns in the Third District of Negros Oriental concern not only the people in the affected areas. This concern all peace-loving citizens and all that yearns for a just and equitable society.
The NPA and the entire revolutionary movement in Southeast Negros call on all concerned sectors, groups, institutions or individuals to support the farmers now assailed by Duterte’s terorrism in various creative ways and means they can.
We also call on the junior officers and enlisted personnel of the 11th IB and 705th RMF to stop being the pawn and slayer of Duterte’s vicious and dirty war against the people. The NPA is more than willing to unite and cooperate with the disgruntled elements of the military and police with the end in view of ousting the tyrant Duterte from power. ###