Residents of Lope de Vega and Las Navas in Northern Samar are up in arms against successive military abuses in their towns.
In September, up to 100 village council officers and leaders of Alyansa han mga Parag-uma Kontra Kakablasan ha Las Navas submitted a petition to the local government containing a resolution against continuing military operations in their town which have severely affected peace and order and the peasants’ livelihoods.
On the other hand, barangay officials of Pagite, Lope de Vega met directly with the local government and the media to complain about military operations in their area which have endangered residents.
In Barangay Pagite, soldiers strafed the subvillages of New Sumuroy and Ginbauyan on September 28 and 29, ostensibly targeting the New People’s Army. The first strafing incident triggered the evacuation of most villagers to the barrio center. On September 29, however, two attack helicopters strafed the environs of New Sumuroy, forcing the remaining villagers to leave.
As a result, residents of Barangay Pagite are afraid to return to their homes and farms. They have yet to harvest their rice crops, which have begun to rot in the fields. The villagers have been living at the barrio center and subsisting on aid from the local government and humanitarian groups.
Meanwhile, in Las Navas, one of the latest victims of military atrocity was Nelson Mercader, a town councilor who was killed by suspected elements of the 34th IB on August 5 for opposing militarization.
Since August 23, soldiers from the 83rd CMO Coy have also been forcing residents who want to leave Barrio Osang, Las Navas to sign a logbook, which states that “should anything bad happen to the soldiers, the barrio residents will be held accountable.” The villagers have thus been too afraid to attend to their farms, worsening the hunger now spreading in Northern Samar in the aftermath of typhoon Glenda.
Earlier, on August 19, elements of the 34th IB intimidated and threatened Raul Durin, a barangay treasurer from Las Navas. Soldiers went to his house and accused him of supporting the revolutionary movement two days after a successful NPA military action in Barangay Imelda where at least three soldiers were killed and several others wounded.
[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the
and is issued by the CPP Central
Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis
of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is
published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.] Philippines