Alias “Bong” is not a New People’s Army (NPA) member, more so a squad leader, but an ordinary farmer residing in Sitio Avocado, Barangay Talalac, Sta. Catalina.
This was verified by the Rachelle Mae Palang Command of the NPA’s Southeast Negros Front according to its spokesperson, Estrella Banagbanag.
Recently, the 11th Infantry Battalion (IB) in a statement alleged that four “ranking NPA members” in Negros Oriental voluntarily surrendered and among them is a certain “Bong” whom it described as remaining squad leader of Southeast Negros Front.
“To frame up a civilian in order to project a “winning image” of a losing “counter-insurgency” campaign is the height of brutality and brazen impunity,” Banagbanag said.
She stated that due to Bong’s active involvement for years in the legal peasant movement and human right advocacies against military abuses and militarization, he was red-tagged and included in the military’s liquidation list.
He was often depicted in printed propaganda materials propagated by the military, as well as in their pulong-pulong, as an NPA cadre and local Party head and survived several attempts on his life and tokhang-style raids of his residence, she added.
Several trumped-up criminal charges were also filed against him by state agents, she said.
According to RMPC-NPA, Bong went into hiding in 2017 after the cold-blooded assassination of human rights leader Elisa Badayos whom he often accompanied during meetings, fact-finding missions and other activities to pursue his human rights advocacies.
The RMPC-NPA insisted on withholding the name and legal identity of Bong to protect his family. ###