Using the trite line that “the NPA is behind this”, a platoon of soldiers from 11th IB launched an operation yesterday in the vicinity of a contested landholding situated in Barangay Tayak, Siaton, Negros Oriental and consequently intrude itself into the brewing land struggle in the area.
An incumbent barangay captain and a provincial officer (political appointee) claimed ownership of the land, while about 70 farmers have already cleared and started to cultivate an approximately 100 hectares of rugged and unproductive land to support their families.
Military presence convey a chilling effect and strong message to the farmers: discontinue or something ghastly will happen.
In their radio programs, 11th IB’s propagandist repeatedly accused the farmers as “hard-headed trouble makers organized or supported by the NPA”. Sometimes they went as far as accusing the farmers as NPAs themselves.
“By its own action, 11th is exposing itself as the armed goons of the landlords. No amount of psyop makeover can hide this basic characteristic,” according to RMPC-NPA spokesperson Ka Estrella Banagbanag.
Banagbanag added that the objective of 11th IB is to “illegalize the struggle of the farmers” and, by doing so, giving the military a false excuse to engage in monstrous acts such as murder, threat, intimidation, torture and the like.
“The people in Southeast Negros will hold LTC Ramir Redosendo and other officers accountable should anything happen to the people of Tayak and adjacent areas. They are civilians and should be treated as such pursuance to International Humanitarian Law,” Banagbanag further added. ###