Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tell it to SunStar: In the valley of death in Mindanao

INSTEAD of being prosecuted and punished, murderers in uniform in the Philippines continue to receive promotions and are thus placed in strategic positions to inflict more human rights violations against the poor. The recent designation of 1001st Brigade Commander Gen. Macairog Alberto as new chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) is another step towards this worsening climate of impunity in the country.

Alberto’s one-year stint in Compostela Valley has resulted to at least fifteen (15) peasants and Lumad killed one province alone, in pursuit of counter-insurgency objectives of the Duterte administration. With Alberto’s new role as ISAFP chief, should we expect more killings, especially of Lumad and peasant activists?

We will not forget the names of those killed by Alberto and his troops in the valley of death: Jimmy Saypan, peasant and anti-mining activist. Joselito Pasaporte, peasant and environmental activist. Emelito Rotimas, indigenous people’s leader. Edweno Catog, peasant leader. Couple Leonila and Ramon Pesadilla, peasant activists. Pedro Pandagay, leader of agricultural workers. Arman and Arlene Almonicar, peasant activists. Cora Lina, peasant leader.

Bernardo Ripdos, peasant activist. Danilo Nadal, peasant activist. Federico Plaza, Lumad farmer-activist. Jessie Cabeza, peasant activist. Carolina Arado, peasant activist.

It is in their name and legacy of struggle for people’s rights that we continue to demand accountability and justice. - Karapatan
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