IT HAS been sometime since I saw my friend Earl Parreño. I saw him during the book launch of his “Beyond Will & Power” which he asserted is neither pro nor anti President Rodrigo Duterte, was launched at the L’Sea Function Room.
Earl Parreño led the fifth mini-launching of his book, which is an unauthorized biography of Duterte, and answered questions from the first Negrosanons to get copies of the book.
Earl, a political analyst and columnist, grew up in Cebu, but he has Panay roots, as his mother had lived in Iloilo and later transferred to Barangay Alijis. Both as former atheists, we went back to our spiritual roots, using as our common platform our Christian politics. I am the editor-in-chief of the Catholic charismatic weekly, The Feast Bacolod Bulletin.
During the last decade I was “volunteered” by a common friend Crissy Guerrero of the Non-Timber Forest Products of the Philippines. Earl was looking for a point person in Negros Occidental to sell 50 copies of his earlier work, Boss Danding.
That was my first venture as a salesperson. I was exhilarated that my quota of copies was all sold out.
Earl would often come to Bacolod and propose human rights projects. In 2011, Earl endorsed me to Vera Files to be its Negros point person on EJK cold cases on a Usaid-supported project. Vera Files tapped provincial journalists to do EJK investigative reporting on their turf.
Now he has potential materials for a future book project. Recently, the National Democratic Front-Negros tagged President Rodrigo Duterte as the number one recruiter of the New People’s Army, citing the worsening human rights violations, injustices, economic crisis that have driven the people to join the revolutionary movement, its spokesman, Bayani Obrero, said in a statement.
Obrero cited the administration of Duterte is in hurry to destroy the revolutionary movement in Negros by implementing a de facto martial law, in order to silence all his critics, especially activists who are members of progressive organizations.
We had a good laugh at that one. Who are the communists to talk about human rights violations? In 2013, the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command admitted responsibility for the ambush in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, which killed a cop and eight civilians and wounded 12 others.
Two years ago, two foreigners were looking forward to frolic in crystal clear waters of Sipalay City in Negros Occidental on Tuesday afternoon. But they ended up being accidentally wounded, along with their Filipino driver, in an ambush staged by communist rebels on a police vehicle.
Obrero condemned the joint and synchronized operation of the PNP, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group as well as of the 3rd Infantry Division against progressive organizations, such as Bayan Muna, Gabriela and National Federation of Sugarcane Workers in cities of Bacolod and Escalante, Negros Occidental that he claimed arrested more than 62 persons.
Will Earl get his materials from Negros as a neutral writer? Neither pro nor anti the NPA and the security forces?