The National Democratic Front in Eastern Visayas today said that the people of Leyte are currently suffering martial law conditions under Philippine Army brigade commander Lope Dagoy by way of forced surrenders, blatant disinformation and fake news, and psychological warfare against the masses. “Gen. Dagoy has maliciously twisted facts of their ‘NPA surrenderees’ and ‘peace caravan’ to make it appear the revolutionary movement has weakened in Leyte, when in fact he and his fascist troops had frightened and terrorized them into surrendering and doing his bidding,” NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas said.
Fr. Salas refuted Gen. Dagoy’s claim of the surrender of alleged NPA leader Rolando Tarong last March and stressed he was actually arrested. “Tarong is thus currently under duress and without access to legal counsel of his own choice in violation of his basic rights. The guns attributed to him were planted by the military. There are other fake surrenders as well in Biliran.”
Fr. Salas added, “The touted 1,000-strong attendees of their ‘peace caravan’ in San Isidro is in reality people who had been coerced into attending out of fear for their lives. In Calubian and San Isidro towns, for instance, soldiers explicitly told the masses that if they make any contact with Red fighters, they will be executed. Scores of civilians are arbitrarily brought to military camps to be illegally detained and interrogated, such as the case of Felipe Monteclabo, Jr. and his entire family, who were accused of harboring arms for the NPA, and a separate incident of up to 20 individuals labeled as NPA supporters. Gen. Dagoy’s method is clear: violate human rights and international humanitarian law, generate a climate of fear among the masses, and silence their legitimate struggle for land and other democratic demands.”
Fr. Salas observed that such was the style of fascist terror Gen. Dagoy employed as then commanding officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion and as Palparan’s running dog during the Arroyo regime’s Oplan Bantay Laya II, masterminding the mass murder, arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances of several CPP-NPA cadres and progressive activists. “Fascist dogs such as Gen. Dagoy only show that the ruling classes are growing desperate and hence resorting to lying and targeting civilians to finish the revolutionary movement. But on the contrary, these only fan the flames of the people’s hatred towards the military and the US-Duterte regime. All the more that the Leytehanons desire to pursue people’s war and topple the reactionary system which oppresses them.”
Fr. Salas called on all peace-loving people to expose and oppose the de facto martial law in Leyte. “Let us gather all support for the peasant masses, and join them in their call for the troops to pull out of their communities and adhere to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, international instrumentalities and the 1987 constitution. We call on the media, lawyers, church people and other human rights and peace advocates to stand with the masses of the people. The people of Leyte and the entire region must persevere and resist the US-Duterte regime and its butchers like Gen. Dagoy by forming the broad united front and actively waging struggle through armed and unarmed means to oust the hated regime,” he ended.#