Duterte regime, AFP & PNP are culpable for Sagay 9 massacre

Comment by Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
October 23, 2018

Latest report from the Department of Agrarian Reform, a civilian government agency, is to the effect that the so-called Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA) is probably responsible for the massacre of the nine farmers in Hacienda Nene of Sagay, Negros Ocidental. This contradicts the earlier claims of Duterte and his military minions that the NPA is responsible for the massacre.

The so-called RPA has long been a paramilitary auxiliary of the AFP and PNP and is practically a private gang of the provincial governor and sugar landlords. However. The Duterte regime, the AFP and PNP cannot escape responsibility for the continuing existence and crimes of the RPA. The RPA always operates under the command and direction of the AFP and the PNP.

The culpability of the Duterte regime, AFP and PNP for the massacre of nine farmers is emphasized by their baseless blaming of the NPA as the perpetrator. By blaming the NPA, the real perpetrators are covered up and go scotfree after murdering the poor farmers, including two minors. This is in line with the Duterte policy of killing poor people with impunity.

The people know very well that the victimized farmers belong to the National Federation of Sugar Workers, which the AFP and PNP have long accused of being a ”front” organization of the CPP and NPA. But the Duterte regime. AFP and PNP know no bounds for outrightly lying and self-contradiction when they commit crimes against the poor with impunity.

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DAR tags ‘private goons’ as perpetrators of Sagay killing
Published October 22, 2018 12:52pm
Updated October 22, 2018 1:48pm
By ANNA FELICIA BAJO, GMA News
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/672002/dar-tags-private-goons-as-perpetrators-of-sagay-killing/story/?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=news&fbclid=IwAR34IGy8NwT4d4j6_dtVIDYOZVlx_MdngCnejQ-6IF5OrcrGxH7gaZa3ULU

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has tagged former members of the so-called Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA) who became private goons as responsible for the shooting incident in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

The members of the group supposedly became private goons, according to DAR officials, citing unnamed sources, but that they are still trying to verify the information.

In a press conference, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said that the department is still verifying the information.

“As per the information gathered by Usec. Erro with regards to the perpetrators of this act … allegedly it was perpetrated by an armed group that we are calling the Revolutionary Proletariat Army,” Castriciones said.

But the motive of the incident has yet to be been determined, the Cabinet official noted.

In a separate interview, Agrarian Reform Undersecretary David Erro clarified that the information did not come from DAR.

“We still have to check it. Hindi ito galing sa DAR. We still have to verify it, but according to initial sources nga, sabi nila, ‘yun daw,” Erro said.

Before the deadly incident occurred, former members of the RPA supposedly trooped to the area and harassed the sugarcane farmers, Erro noted.

“Before the incident, itong mga RPAs ay nagpupunta na sa lugar. May mga harassment na ginagawa sa ating mga farmers na nagland occupation na sinasabi nila,” Erro said.

“This RPA, ito po ‘yung mga sinasabi nila na naka-based before sa Negros and Mindanao, and after quite some time parang ang nangyari ho ito’y naging private goons ng mga land owners,” Erro added.

Nine members of the Negros Federation of Sugar Workers (NSFW) were killed Saturday evening as they were resting at the Hacienda Nene in Purok Firetree.

Three of the victims were supposedly burned by the suspects.

DAR has condemned the killing.

Task force

The agency also formed a special task force to look into the incident. The group is composed of DAR officials and implementing agencies of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Castriciones also said the military and police have nothing to do with the incident.

Bayan Muna chairman and former Representative Neri Colmenares earlier blamed the Duterte administration as well as the military for the atrocity, noting that soldiers had claimed that cultivation areas being maintained by agricultural sugar farmers in the province were New People’s Army’s (NPA) communal farms.

Human rights group Karapatan, on the other hand, noted that the incident had depicted a “kind of system that further strangles the victims of landlessness and poverty.”

The Duterte administration denounced the killing as it had deemed the incident as “extremely cruel.”

Casticiones, meanwhile, revealed that the victims were not beneficiaries of the government’s agrarian reform program, adding that what happened was a land occupation in which the farmers illegally entered the premises of the plantation. —VDS/RSJ, GMA News

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