BAGUIO CITY — In a statement provided to the media, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) West Cagayan appeals to the leaders and members of the Churches, the academe, progressive lawyers and politicians, workers of the government and the private sector, human rights defenders and advocates to support the Aggays, Malawegs, Kalingas and Ilocanos who are currently battered by intensified militarization.
“Simula buwan ng Marso hanggang sa kasalukuyan, sumailalim na ang Zinundungan sa tatlong magkakasunod na lundo ng operasyong militar sa pangunguna ng 5th Infantry division ng Philippine Army. Ang bawat lundo ng operasyon ay umaabot sa 300 hanggang 500 tropa ng pinagsamang 17th Infantry Battalion, 86th IB, 52nd Division Reconnaisance Company, Regional Public Safety Battalion, Special Action Force at CAFGU. Mula simula hanggang sa kasalukuyan, malinaw ang sistematikong
ng 5th ID na pabagsakin at durugin ang malakas at mahigpit na pagkakaisa ng
mamamayan sa Zinindungan,” (Three successive military operations led by the 5th
IDPA marred Zinundungan from the start of March. In each operation, there are
around 300 to 500 troops from the combined 17th IB, 86th IB, 52nd RC, RPSB, SAF
and CAFGU. Since they were launched until at present, the plan of the 5h ID is
clear and that is to neutralize and destroy the strong unity of the people in
Zinundungan) the statement read. plano
According to the statement, the first wave of operations from March 27 to May 18, the 5th ID spread rumors that the two captured military intelligence officers and a member of the CAFGU are civilians and were abducted, tortured and killed by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Zinundungan. NDFP spokesperson Celia Corpuz stated that three Peace and Development Teams (PDTs) were positioned at barrio centers of Mazi,
and Bural to monitor the movements
of the residents. San Juan
The NDFP spokesperson also mentioned that on the second wave and third wave from July 1 to September, the soldiers utilized rapist-killer Buog Bisuten as a guide in their operations. “Siya ang ginagamit na guide at nagtuturo sa lahat ng mga aktibong lider-magsasaka na nagreresulta sa serye ng pagkubkob sa mga tahanan ng mga Aggay at Malaweg, pagdukot, pagtortyur at pagpapakulong at pagsasampa ng mga gawa-gawang kaso laban sa kanila,” (They used him as a guide and he also pinpointed the active farmer-leaders that resulted to a series of raids on the houses of Aggays and Malawegs, abduction, torture, detentions and slapping of trumped-up charges against them) she added.
The NDFP stated that in the past decade, the list of killings, arrests, enforced disappearances and other human rights abuses against the people of Zinundungan is getting longer every year. The organization stressed that the victims did not have a taste of any justice until now. It also said that this only shows how the present government and the military disregard and disrespect the civilians.
The NDFP West Cagayan Valley stated that under the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIL), Major General Lysander Suerte of the 5th ID, Col. Allan Arrojado of the 502nd IB, and Lt. Col. Jose Real of the 17th IB be held accountable for the human rights violations done during the military operations under the principle of command responsibility. The underground movement also called for the immediate release of the farmers and leaders who are illegally detained, drop the trumped-up charges against the 76 civilians and farmer-leaders of Zinundungan Valley, the arrest of and filing of charges by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against the criminal Bisuten. The NDFP also stated that the 5th ID be held liable for the killing of farmer leader Nelson Asucena who was slain in 2006 and Ronald Beran who was slain in 2014.