The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) condemns the plan of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deploy additional combat trained troops in Negros Oriental, particularly in the city of Guihulngan.
This would only intensify the reign of terror happening in the above municipality as already 8 leaders and members of peoples’ organizations have been killed in the area since July 23, 2017. This is in retaliation for the July 21, 20017 ambush of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) which killed 5 members of the Guihulngan PNP.
Expectedly, the PNP is silent on this and instead harps on the so-called clamor of the local executive and residents of Guihulngan to beef up security in the area.
UMA took part in a Mercy Mission together with local groups in Guihulngan from Sept. 14-15. It was very clear that the residents were under a reign of terror.
Those killed earlier on different dates up to September 1 include Glenn Absin, Alberto ‘Leboy” Tecson
Danilo Salazar, Rene Faburada, Leodegario Benero Jr., Marlyn Vidal, Oscar Asildo jr., and Luardo Yac.
Alberto Tecson was the vice-chairperson of Pamalakaya- Guihulngan, while Oscar Asildo Jr. was a bayan muna organizer and worked as a bookkeeper in Dep ED Division Office in Guihulngan.
Extra Judicial Killings (ECJ) in Guihulngan is not a new phenomenon. Earlier Rene “Toto” Quirante was killed in October 2010, and Endric and Rosalie Calago were brutally killed in May 2015. Rene “Toto” Quirante was the Chairperson of Kaugma-on while Endric “Bayoto” Calago was its Vice-Chairperson of
Rosalie Calago on the other hand was a Barangay Health Worker and Barangay Nutrition Scholar, community health worker (NIHIP), Gabriela Member, ICRC Committee member & Bare Foot Reporter of Kaling kag Tugda and Pugasan (Local Radio Programs in Negros and Cebu).
President Duterte’s three wars: on drugs, in Marawi, and against peoples’ organizations nationwide would only compel the people to organize more to deflect and oppose such killings. As one philosopher once said, repression only breeds resistance.