An open letter to the Bicol University community responding to the Bicol Universitarian’s article entitled, ‘5 BU faculty members threatened by alleged NPA commander’

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To the staff of Bicol Universitarian and the Bicol University Administration
Bicol University, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines

April 18, 2022

Good day Bueños! May this letter find you in good health.

We are writing in light of the issue of an alleged NPA company commander who threatened five of your faculty members recently. First of all, we extend our solidarity to the victims and the whole Bicol University community. We are one with your indignation and condemnation of this incident and all other forms of human rights violations that besiege the whole BU institution and the Bikolano people. We also wish to express our appreciation of your publication’s fair treatment of the revolutionary movement on the matter (as demonstrated by Unibe’s article, from The Bicol Universitarian facebook page: 5 BU faculty members threatened by alleged NPA commander) and the victims’ refusal to make any final conjecture implicating our organization without hearing our side.

We would like to clarify that NO unit or branch of the whole revolutionary movement in Bikol is in any way connected to the person/s behind the mentioned attacks. Like your esteemed institution, we are fully committed to the championship of the people’s democratic rights and we assure you that we have never and will never jeopardize the people’s welfare. You may hold us to our solemn oath to always serve the masses and the people’s democratic revolution.

Be assured that our office is also investigating the matter thoroughly and are undertaking appropriate actions regarding the rights violation. To help our investigation, we would like to request a copy of the cellphone number used by the suspect, as well as transcripts of the conversation with your faculty members if possible.

The AFP-PNP’s standard storyline have always relied on false-flag operations, peddled disinformation and wholesale attacks against progressive entities blamed on the revolutionary movement to generate confusion. You would recall how the military and police tried to implicate the revolutionary movement in cases such as the 2018 killings of Cong. Rodel Batocabe and his aide and the 2022 killings of two senior citizen members of Anakpawis partylist in Sorsogon despite witness testimonies proving that state agents are, in fact, the perpetrators.

Undeniably, these attacks against educational institutions such as yours have become more rampant under the tyrannical rule of the US-Duterte regime. To name a few cases at the regional level, there were the red-tagging and politically-motivated threats against eleven teachers from Binalongan Elementary School, Masbate National Comprehensive Highschool, Amancio Aguilar Highschool, Tugbo Elementary School, all in Masbate, and a school principal from Catanduanes last year. At the national level, the public has been vocal in condemning the baseless accusations and threats made by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) against 18 educational institutions and universities including the Bicol University.

We are aware of your institution’s long standing record as a beacon of leadership, character and service in our region. You have produced an extensive list of patriotic and democratic citizens who stand up for what they know is right and just for the common people. In these trying times where we experience ceaseless state fascism and censorship, curtailment of our rights and freedoms on top of ever-worsening socio-economic crises, may these principles drive us to remain resolute in our wholehearted service to all the oppressed and exploited sectors in our society today.

May the Unibe continue in their duty as vanguards of truth and the Bikolano people’s interests. We must not claim any prerogative except the right to do this duty under the canons of genuine journalism. If we must be silenced because we remained true to that duty, that would be preferable than being licensed to publish but prevented to speak out the truth in the name of the people we serve.

In the service of the people and the revolution,

Ka Ma. Roja Banua
Spokesperson, National Democratic Front-Bikol

Ka Raymundo Buenfuerza
Spokesperson, New People’s Army-Bikol

An open letter to the Bicol University community responding to the Bicol Universitarian’s article entitled, ‘5 BU faculty members threatened by alleged NPA commander’
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