61st IB haunted by Rodelyn’s Death
March 12, 2013

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One year has passed since the death of 6-year old Rodelyn Aguirre and the wounding of her 4-year old sister caused by the blast of an explosive from an M79 grenade launcher belonging to the troops of the 61st IB who were encamped in Brgy. Tacayan, Tapaz, Capiz on March 11, 2012. No one wants to take responsibility however, and until now the butcher battalion is yet to own up to their culpability despite the strength of evidence gathered by fact-finding missions of human rights groups and the independent investigation of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an organization under the United Nations (UN) that ensures the welfare of children. Instead, the heads of the fascist military shamelessly lay the blame for their own crimes on the NPA. Collectively denying the crime are the top brass of the fascist military, the chief of the Tapaz PNP, and the officials of the Commission on Human Rights based in Iloilo City.

Rodelyn Aguirre’s death is just one in a long list of heinous crimes against the people of Panay and Negros that haunt the 61st IB and the heads of the military. In Negros, among these are the killing of Benjie Bayles, the torture of the Arcadeña family, the abduction of Roberto Marapo and Dionelo Borres, the shooting of Ronald Capitanea and other acts of violence. In Panay, adding to the savagery and human rights violations of the butcher battalion is the shooting of 17-year old Donna Casipe, the arrest and interrogation of the couple Eva and Jimmy Katipunan, having sexual relations with minors and leaving them with child, harming civilians and other aggressions.

The denial of their accountability in their violence and abuses against the people is part of the Oplan Bayanihan orientation to show that, supposedly, the AFP, PNP and their paramilitary dogs are defenders, and not the major offenders, of human rights. This is the opposite of the NPA orientation that openly admits responsibility in any event wherein civilians are caught in the crossfire, such as the encounter in La Castellana, Negros Occidental last January 27, 2013.

Whatever ways the AFP thinks to use under the Oplan Bayanihan in order to wash out the smell of death from their blood-soaked uniforms, whatever lies they choose to heap, one upon the other, the Panayanon people are not fooled. More than four decades of violence that’s been handed out to them by the fascist military is more than enough to make them wise. Because of its basic qualities: mercenary, anti-people, pro-imperialist, and defenders of the ruling class, the fascist military will continue to make thousands of abuses and aggressions that shall haunt them until they are destroyed by the roaring flames of the armed struggle of the people and their Red army.