BAYAN MUNA CONDEMNS CANLAON MASSACRE, SAYS TOKHANG OPERATIONS AGAINST FARMERS MUST STOP

BAYAN MUNA CONDEMNS CANLAON MASSACRE, SAYS TOKHANG OPERATIONS AGAINST FARMERS MUST STOP

Bayan Muna chairman and Makabayan senaorial candidate Neri Colmenares condemned the massacre of 14 individuals in various barangays in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, early this morning.

“This is beyond words and the height of impunity of state forces. Justice must be served,” said the Negrense Makabayan senatorial bet.

In one incident, PNP and AFP elements entered the house of Edgardo Avelino, Chairman of Hukom (Hugpong Kusog mag-uuma sa Calnaon), and his brother Ismael Avelino at 12am this morning to supposedly serve a search warrant but ended up killing the two.

“Surely the PNP will again claim nanlaban. This is absurd because they raided different barangays in different municipalities at 12 midnight when the victims were asleep and suddenly everyone simultaneously and conveniently fought back,” said Colmenares.

“State forces conducting counter-insurgency operations are wreaking havoc in Negros and passing it off as an anti-criminality operation. They are targeting members of peoples organizations and killing ordinary farmers who they suspect of being rebels or rebel sympathizers. This is Oplan Tokhang now being done to farmers,” he said.

“We warn the police that we will pursue justice so that the police involved will suffer the fate of Gen. Jovito Palparan who is now languishing in prison. We demand that the PNP and AFP release the names of all those involved so that we can file criminal cases against them,” Colmenares said.

“This is identical to the attack last year that massacred five leaders and members of a farmers association in Guihulngan City in the guise of an anti-crime campaign. These attacks should be stopped,” Colmenares added.

Rep.Zarate said that “the AFP and the PNP are doing wholesale Tokhang operations against activists and this should be stopped immediately.”

“State forces are on a rampage and activists and critics are in their crosshairs. We will not take this sitting down and we will seek justice for the victims and file charges against the policemen and their superiors who perpetrated this massacre,” added Rep.Zarate.

Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office head Colonel Raul Tacaca was quoted by radio DZBB as saying that the suspects were killed in separate operations in Canlaon City and in the towns of Manjuyod and Sta. Catalina.

Information that reached Tacaca showed that eight of the fatalities were killed in Canlaon, four in Manjuyod and two in Sta. Catalina.###

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