Statement on Christmas Eve Siaton armed clash

Estrella Banagbanag | Spokesperson | NPA-Southeast Negros (Rachelle Mae Palang Command) | Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command) | New People's Army
December 26, 2020
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Past 7:00 pm on December 24, a small team of lightly-armed red fighters from the Rachelle Mae Palang Command (RMPC) was on the way to their respective area to join the masses in Christmas festivity when they chanced upon much larger units of 11th IB soldiers and police mobile forces in Sitio Libjo, Barangay Tayak (not Napacao as earlier reported in the news media) in the town of Siaton, Negros Oriental.

Eventually a firefight ensued, although the comrades tried to avoid a battle in consideration of Christmas. But they have no choice but to defend themselves from the fascist onslaught.

In the process, two comrades were martyred while others managed to effect a safe withdrawal through ferocious fire and maneuver engagement.

The comrades were greatly outnumbered and at a disadvantageous position but they fought with bravery and courage.

Meanwhile, as per data gathered at funeral homes that processed the cadavers, four soldiers were among the dead.

The two martyred comrades are Ricardo “Ka George” Sabinan, 45, who hailed from Barangay Mantiquil, Siaton; and Ebit “Ka MJ” Fuentes, 24, of Barangay San Vicente, Trinidad, Bohol.

Ka George was actively involved in land reform advocacy and organizing for years in a hacienda situated in Barangay Napacao previously owned by Don Vicente Gaspar Family, but since 2016 occupied and cultivated by more than 200 farming families.

Later, Ka George went into hiding because of trumped-up murder and others criminal cases filed by Gaspar’s minions and several attempts on life by state security forces. It is only recently that Ka George enlisted in the NPA as he realized that the struggle for land reform can only be won and completely achieved through armed struggle.

Early in his youth, Ka MJ has been involved in various movements and people’s struggles in his province Bohol. He was active in cultural work among the youth before, and without a bit of hesitation, responded to the call to go to the countryside of Negros and serve in the revolutionary peasant movement and enlist in the NPA.

He is known for his down-to-earth demeanor and diligence in work and perseverance.

The RMPC renders its highest honor and red salute to the two brave people’s warriors who gave up their very lives in the service of the oppressed and exploited.

Long live the memories of Ka George and Ka MJ and all revolutionary martyrs! Let them inspire us to resolutely advance the revolution forward and accumulate more victories! ###

Statement on Christmas Eve Siaton armed clash