Defend Negros! Stop the Killings!
BAYAN-Canada statement on killings in Negros island
July 29, 2019
BAYAN-Canada and its member organizations vehemently condemn the continuous killings in Negros island, central Philippines.
This extraordinary act of violence to inflicted on civilians highlights this counterinsurgency framework is not good Rather, terror instigated by state forces reeks of impunity promoted by the current Duterte regime.
“Oplan Sauron”, the implementing program of President Duterte’s Memorandum Circular No. 32, intensifies militarization on the island. In other words, it imposes de facto martial law directing the military and the police to undertake all necessary measures to suppress any and all forms of lawless violence in the regions of Mindanao, Bicol, Samar and Negros island provinces.
Peoples rights organization Karapatan has documented 250 victims of extrajudicial killings, 10 victims of enforced disappearances from July 2016 until March this year, and the numbers keep on adding up as of this writing. There have been nearly 370,000 civilians affected by military bombings and 450,000 have evacuated due to military operations. Many victims have been gunned down in separate incidents including a lawyer, school principal, education official, farmhands, even a one-year old baby!
What is the government’s answer to the violence its own forces provoked? What are the additional elite troopers to be deployed for? The victims are all unarmed civilians and not deviants nor terrorists, as the mercenary state forces us to believe. It is quite evident how Duterte is the cog in the wheel that is a large-scale murderous undertaking. With millions of pesos dangling as bounty, militia groups such as Revolutionary Proletarian Army- Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPP-ABB) are mobilized to implement the attacks. How come the military establishment is not able to capture a an ABB commander? Both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police cash in from the “peace dividends.”
For three years since assuming power, Duterte with his ability to appeal to the masses is seen unveiling his true colours of flirting with absolute power even to the destruction of the lives of Filipino people.
The warmongers call people to pledge allegiance to the sovereign Philippine state but they cannot stand for an independent foreign policy against US imperialists and Chinese aggressors. They pin their own crimes to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) when its the government negligence that cause people to wage armed struggle in the countryside. Such lawless violence committed by Duterte and his ilk provides avenue for people to rather live under the radar and thrive on rural desperation with government incompetence.
Had he not permanently terminated the peace talks between the Manila government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), this would’ve created resolutions to address abject poverty, among everything else.
The situation in Negros beckons for a stronger resistance movement. As in the region’s primary agricultural crop, sugar when it’s brought to a boil, temprerature rises and it will be formed rock solid.
Let Duterte be reminded, he is just another brick in the wall. Like Hitler and Marcos, he won’t live forever and will be brought to fall by any means necessary.
We call on all freedom-loving Filipinos and who are concerned and critical of Duterte’s anti-people policies to join us in calling to stop the killings, violations, and organize for a bigger mass movement to seek justice.
We reiterate our appeal to the Canadian Government to halt funding and cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other organizations who have been linked to human rights violations.
(Sgd.) Christopher Sorio
(Sgd.) Rhea A. Gamana