Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. is the kingpin of the big despotic landlords in Negros. His move to convene what he calls Task Force Hustisya stinks of deceit and ill motives. Evidently demented in calling the brutal massacre of nine farm workers, wherein all were shot in the head while three were set on fire, as ‘scripted’, Marañon continues his vain attempts to divert the public from the real issues of land monopoly, tyranny and exploitation.
The real drama is the collusion of Duterte, Marañon, top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and other government agencies to downplay the Sagay massacre and exploit the deaths of the farm workers to further their counterinsurgency plan of decimating the New People’s Army (NPA) by mid-2019. The ruling clique is cooking up a crackdown on all Duterte critics, activists, progressive organizations and the revolutionary movement to ensure the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao and its declaration in the whole country.
The Sagay PNP’s case filed against members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers for the murder of the Sagay 9 is absurd and does not hold water. These baseless accusations further discredit the PNP. The public, especially the Negrosanons, no longer trust state forces nor their version of the ‘truth’.
The Roselyn Pelle Command of the New People’s Army Northern Negros Front, through its exhaustive investigation, has identified the killers behind the Sagay massacre namely Vito Lotrago, Eduardo Linugon, Rexi Robles and a certain Rako, former members of the mercenary Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA) and active members of the Special Civilian Active Auxiliary (SCAA).
It is common knowledge that for decades the Marañon family and their kin (the Tolentinos, Sumbincos, Lumaynos, Zarosas, Javelosas, Jaojocos and Cuevas) have maintained and expanded their land holdings in Sagay City and neighboring towns and cities using violence and brutality by conniving with the AFP/PNP and employing armed mercenaries like the RPA and SCAA. I know for a fact that, for the right price, P2,000 or thereabouts, SCAA elements are willing to kill anyone.
The Sagay massacre is the most recent and the bloodiest in the spate of killings under Duterte’s fledgling but already fumbling dictatorship. But the bloody trail of Marañon and the landlords’ goons has been all over Negros long before.
Now, more than ever, there is a need to mount the broadest united front against the US-Duterte regime and the ruling class of big compradors and landlords. The Negrosanons must join the whole Filipino people in confronting Duterte and his minions. We must support the victims of the Sagay massacre and shatter the chilling effect left by Marañon’s thugs. The truth must be exposed amid the flood of lies and deception generated especially by the AFP and PNP. Genuine land reform and justice for all victims of state fascism will come from the people’s democratic revolution. ###