The AFP has finally, unwittingly, admitted its hand in the abduction and murder of peace consultant Daguman

NDFP peace consultant Ezequiel C. Daguman was not killed in an armed encounter. He was a victim of abduction and subsequent extra-judicial killing by the Duterte regime’s heinous state terror and systematic campaign of murder of peace and rights advocates and non-combatants.

The National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao condemns in the strongest terms the AFP’s abduction and cold-blooded murder of Daguman and the pathetic attempt at sweeping the crime under the rug by fabricating a worn-out story that the peace consultant was killed during an armed encounter between NPA fighters and AFP troops in Maragusan, Davao de Oro on March 27.

Unfortunately for its spin doctors, NDF-SMR has previous publicized Daguman’s abduction by elements of the AFP on March 17 and reported him missing since March 7. In belatedly surfacing Daguman with a convenient cover-up story, the fascist thugs only incriminated their bloodied hands in the crime of Daguman’s abduction and murder. In spinning the false narrative, the AFP has unwittingly exposed its standard operating procedure of misinformation and fake news to conceal its innumerable crimes.

The fascist Duterte regime consistently and deliberately refuses to distinguish combatants from non-combatants in its counterinsurgency war. As a peace consultant in the region, Daguman was rightly covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) between the reactionary Manila government and the NDFP. He was en route to a peasant community in New Corella, Davao del Norte at the time of his abduction. Around the same period as Daguman, two other NDF peace consultants in other regions had been victimized by fascist elements of the AFP.

It has become a default for the fascist state forces to commit the most atrocious crimes against non-combatants and civilians and try to cover them up either by false-flag operations or concocting fictitious armed encounters. The same script had been used to cloak the AFP’ brutal murder of five civilians known as New Bataan 5, who were abducted and executed in New Bataan, Davao de oro in late February. The unarmed Lumad rights and health activists were later tagged as NPA fighters killed in an encounter. The state fake news machinery then went on to vilify the victims, as the AFP made war trophies out of their deaths.

We urge all peace and rights advocates to join the masses in vehemently condemning this yet another case of state terror and travesty to the pursuit of peace. Justice must be attained by Daguman’s family, along with all other victims of the Duterte regime’s six-year tyranny.

If the succeeding Manila government will ever be interested in addressing the roots of the people’s war and pursue peace based on justice, it would do well to start by ensuring that Duterte and his cabal of fascist hounds in the AFP and the PNP be made to answer for all their bloody crimes against non-combatants, unarmed civilians and the rest of the Filipino people.

The AFP has finally, unwittingly, admitted its hand in the abduction and murder of peace consultant Daguman
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