THE Armed Forces of the Philippines is on a roll. It has scored big time.
A quaint North American expression, “on a roll” means experiencing a prolonged spell of success or good luck.
That seems to be the case with the recent arrest—alive—of Abraham Villanueva aka “Tikboy” or “Gamay,” in Barangay Dancalan, Ilog town. Purported to be the alleged front secretary of South West Front or the NPA in the areas of Candoni, Hinoba-an, Ilog, Cauayan, Kabankalan, and Sipalay, known as the Chicks area.
Then recently, captured Communist Party of the Philippines leader Frank Fernández was videoed in a spirited dialog with Mayor Magsie Peña’s after his arrest – alive - in Liliw, Laguna.
Captured with the rebels were firearms. The military could well have justified a firefight. “Nanlaban,” the code word that law enforcers use to shoot illegal drug suspects. President Rodrigo Duterte urged them to use these justifications to commit extra judicial killings.
We remember the poster boy victim, 17-year-old Kian delos Santos of Caloocan, who was murdered in cold blood. In this day and age of CCTVs and smartphone video cameras, we have “big brothers” swarming all over the place.
The conviction comes more than a year after Delos Santos was gunned down in August 2017. According to police reports, the boy was killed in an encounter but CCTV footage and witnesses revealed that he was dragged to a dark alley and shot.
Delos Santos’s death triggered massive condemnation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent war on drugs which has so far yielded about 5,000 deaths in police operations. Delos Santos is one of the many minors killed in drug-related circumstances since 2016.
Well, the Caloocan Regional Trial Court Branch 125 found three Caloocan police officers guilty of murdering delos Santos.
Last year, President warned the rebels, “You do not deserve mercy.” The NPAs are criminals. They are just plain bandits and that’s how we should treat them.”
The captured communist leaders will be treated as criminals to face the music in a court of law for arson, murder, and frustrated murder.
The real victory here is the triumph of law and order. It is a sign that the five pillars are fighting back against Duterte’s illegal instructions to plant guns to show that drug suspects resisted arrest. Police have described those who resist as “nanlaban,” most of whom have been shot dead.