Fascist State on a Rampage

Military attacks Lumad

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Fascist military forces attacked Manobo tribespeople in North Cotabato. Meantime, three activists were illegally arrested, and a military detachment set up in the middle of a barangay in Davao del Norte.

November 27-December 5. The 57th IB indiscriminately bombed the villages of Bagumbayan, Noa, Amabel and Bantac in Magpet, North Cotabato. At least 15 bombs were dropped by the military from December 4 to 5, forcing up to 200 families, most of them Manobo Lumad to flee their homes.

Earlier, on November 27, soldiers from the 57th IB trained their guns at a villager, ordered him to undress, bound his wrists and subjected him to intense interrogation. Aurelio Buhisan, 54, of Si- tio Tanay, Barangay Doles was found by soldiers hiding under his house and arbitrarily accused of being an NPA commander. He was released only after the Doles barangay captain came and vouched that he was a civilian.

At Sitio Salingsing in the adjacent village of Amabel, soldiers herded several Lumad residents at the community basketball court and interrogated them under the heat of the sun. The victims included two women and five children.

The soldiers also ransacked and stole items from the house of Stella Imbud, 40, another Lumad resident of the same sitio. The military claimed it was looking for guns and grenades.

December 3. Operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) abducted Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano, both organizers of government employees affiliated with the Confederation for the Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE). They were seized at gunpoint in Metro Manila by unidentified armed men and taken to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig before being brought to Daet, Camarines Norte where they are currently being detained. They were interrogated without the presence of a lawyer and have been slapped with trumped-up charges related to a New People’s Army raid on AFP personnel in Labo, Camarines Norte on April 29.

Evening of November 29. Policemen arrested Marites Bacolod, leader of the Samahan ng Maralitang Nagkakaisa-Corazon de Jesus, a local affiliate of KADAMAY in San Juan City. Bacolod was arrested a day before a speaking engagement by Benigno Aquino III in San Juan. The police invoked a civil disobedience case relating to the residents’ resistance to a demolition in Barangay Corazon de Jesus in 2011.

October 22 up to the present. Elements of the 60th IB put up an encampment right in the populated center of Sitio Naulinan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. Several children have stopped going to school and some residents have left the village out of fear. Among those who have been forced to evacuate are Toto Barintos and his family, because soldiers have been continuously staying at his house and store. The militarization has caused a standstill in the cultivation of rootcrops, corn and rice which are the residents’ main sources of livelihood.