Intensifying military operations in Siaton’s contested lands

Estrella Banagbanag | Spokesperson | NPA-Southeast Negros (Rachelle Mae Palang Command) | Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command) | New People's Army
August 29, 2020

The 11th IB has escalated its operations against the farmers in the hinterland villages of Siaton, Negros Oriental cultivating parcels of rugged and unproductive public lands for food production to support their families.

From the initial platoon deployed last Monday (August 24), the size of fascist troops now increased to almost 200 armed to the teeth soldiers. The ongoing operations covered more about 14 sitios of Barangays Tayak, Napacao, Mantiquil in the town of Siaton and Barangay Najandig in the adjacent town of Zamboanguita.

According to NPA Southeast Negros spokesperson Ka Estrella Banagbanag, the immense projection of force is “grossly overkill” considering what they are facing are clearly farmers and civilians.

“11th IB have no justification whatsoever to intervene and suppress the struggle of the farmers. Their struggle is legitimate and within the bounds of legality. They are not armed and should not be treated like military targets in accordance with international norms of war,” Banagbanag added.

About 110 farmers cleared and cultivated around 250 hectares of almost barren public land in which an incumbent barangay captain, political level appointee and ranking clergy claimed ownership. ###