Solon condemns military offensives in Quezon
Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano today condemned the military due to the increasing human rights violations in Quezon province as a result of a "running battle" between government forces and New People's Army guerrillas in the towns of Mulanay, San Narciso, and Catanauan.
Mariano's statement was issued after thousands of farmers and villagers from Barangay Bani, in San Narciso town, Brgy. San Jose Aniao in Catanauan, and Brgys. Burgos, Magsaysay, Anonang, and San Isidro in Mulanay town evacuated their farmlands and trooped to the provincial capitol to stage a camp-out as a result of the clashes.
"The Arroyo government and the military turned Quezon province into a theater of war and is now wreaking havoc to the civilian population, their farmlands, and communities," says Mariano.
"Civilians were not spared by the military's indiscriminate bombings and strafing in the area. This must be stopped now," Mariano stressed.
He said "farmers are the main victims of the intensified military operations in the province."
Since the start of the clashes on February 5, at least eight (8) bombs were reportedly dropped by government forces, while ground troops are engaged in indiscriminate firing.
A "quick reaction team" composed of members of Karapatan - Southern Tagalog and Anakpawis - Timog Katagalugan initially reported the human rights abuses and victims as:
Illegal arrest - Tipin Asi, member, Mulanay Farmers Association (MULFAS);
Abduction - Romeo Leovet, 50, Anakpawis member, Ariel Balmaceda, 18, Frederick Ada, 18;
Disappeared - Walter Llagas, 30.
The team's report belied the Southern Luzon Command's claim that Romeo Leovet, and not Romy Llovit as earlier reported by the military, is a member of the NPA.
The 50-member quick reaction team, which also suffered harassments, also reported the military's burning of two copra trading centers in Sitio Bungalen, Bgy. Salongkagay, Mulanay, owned by a certain Antonio Rabeno.
According to the report, Leovet was abducted last February 8 and was allegedly killed while under the military's custody. #