NDF-EV condemns AFP for forcibly taking seven children, including five minors, in Leyte

NDF-Eastern Visayas | National Democratic Front of the Philippines
November 19, 2020
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The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas condemns the officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the spate of human rights violations by troops of the 93rd Infantry Battalion conducting pursuit operations against the New People’s Army in Carigara, Leyte last November 13.

Soldiers illegally raided the house of couple Edencio and Nora Dionaldo and then forcibly took seven of their children, including five minors with one ill with meningitis.

The raid was illegal to begin with. The soldiers were pursuing a unit of the NPA and arbitrarily raided the home on mere suspicion that Edencio was a member of the NPA. They illegally arrested Nora and her 21-year old son Ernie who was taking care of his siblings when the soldiers stormed the house. After the raid, at least 11 men who happened to be near their home were also arbitrarily detained and interrogated overnight.

The NDF-EV calls for the urgent release of Nora and Ernie so that her children can be reunited with their mother. We also call for the immediate relief of the soldiers together with their commanders in the 93rd Infantry Battalion, 802nd Infantry Brigade and 8th Infantry Division for this spate of human rights violations. The fascist troops must be investigated and promptly tried in the proper courts.

The attack on Dionaldo family is the latest in the string of attacks by the AFP against children in Eastern Visayas for its anti-communist witch hunt. Minors “rescued” under suspicious circumstances, taken away from their families to be detained in military camps and held under duress are manipulated into participating in their anti-NPA campaign. The NDF-EV calls upon human rights defenders to look into the cases of these minors, provide them legal assistance and bring them back to their families.

The NDF-EV also holds accountable the Duterte regime and its military officials especially the NTF-ELCAC for these brazen abuses. Their anti-communist hysteria has set a precedent for fascist state forces to conduct more arbitrary searches, abductions and mass arrests against anyone, including non-combatants and minors, with even the slightest relation to the revolutionary movement or to organizations and individuals tagged as “communist fronts.”

We condemn 802nd Infantry Brigade commander Zosimo Oliveros for threatening local civilian officials into participating in the AFP’s counter-insurgency campaign. He is arm-twisting the civilian authorities into cooperation by Red-tagging everyone who does not participate in their all-out war. He and his superiors in the 8th ID and NTF-ELCAC are essentially bringing into life the Anti-Terror Law.#

NDF-EV condemns AFP for forcibly taking seven children, including five minors, in Leyte