DUTERTE REWARDED his henchmen in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with medals and promotion. Last June 5, the Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed the promotion of 50 military officials spearheading militarization and the perpetration of abuses in the countryside. These promotions are an epitome of injustice, said the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. The hands of his mercenaries in the military are drenched in blood and each medal awarded to them further mocks the killing of national minorities and peasants.
Among those confirmed by the CA were Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, which sows terror and perpetrates human rights abuses in the regions of Davao and Caraga until today. Maj. Gen. Gilbert Gapay was also promoted. He is the commander of the Southern Luzon Command which attacked peasant and Mangyan communities in Mindoro and Dumagat communities in Quezon. It conducted bombings in Mindoro which resulted in the forcible evacuation of around 1,000 Mangyans.
Also promoted were Col. Jonathan Gayas, a psywar official of the 3rd ID and Brig. Gen. Alberto Desoyo of the 303rd IBde, both based in Negros. The two are responsible for the relentless militarization and the perpetration of tortures and massacres in the island.
Meanwhile, retired Col. Allen Capuyan was appointed as chair of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples last May 27. Earlier, Capuyan was also appointed as the Executive Director of the national secretariat of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
AFP battalion and brigade officials who spearhead intelligence and psywar operations and forced surrender campaign against civilians were also promoted.