Anakpawis condemns EJK of peasant leader in Northern Samar amid pandemic
Manila, Philippines – The Anakpawis Party-list condemned to the highest possible terms the brutal killing of a peasant leader in Northern Samar and stressed that it is questionable amid massive deployment of police and military along major routes due to pandemic response. The victim is Allan “Mano Boy” Aguilando, a leader of the Northern Samar Small Farmers Association (NSSFA). He was killed on May 26 at Barangay Rizal, Catarman, Northern Samar, according to the report of human rights group Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas. He is the 251st peasant victim of extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s watch.
“We condemn the brutal killing of Mano Boy and we denounce the ineptitude of the so-called law enforcers and keepers of peace and order in Northern Samar. Quarantine violators are arrested in the province, but criminal perpetrators are on the loose,” Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list former representative said in a press statement.
As of early April, 73 were arrested in the province for violating the quarantine order. Moreover, he accused the Duterte regime as primarily responsible for the extra-judicial killing. Katungod blamed the incident on the 43rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army who consistently red-tagged Aguilando as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“EJK against activists has been part of the counter-insurgency assault of the Duterte regime and the military is the only camp who has the motive for the killing,” the former lawmaker accused.
The victim’s group, NSFFA has staunchly demanded aid to farmers whose abaca crops were infested by bunchy top in 2017, crops damaged by typhoon Ruby in 2014, Nona in 2015 and Tisoy in 2019. The group is a usual target of red-tagging as the Samar island was covered by Duterte’s Memorandum Circular No. 32, which essentially ordered attacks against activist groups also in Negros and Bicol.
“The Duterte regime and the fascist military gravely err in thinking violent attacks against activists could quell social dissent. It only adds fuel, on top of the chronic social ills such as landlessness and government’s criminal neglect. Northern Samarnon are traditional revolutionaries and no violent repression could crush their undying spirit for fundamental reforms. They should review the history of Sumuroy’s homeland province, which was de facto self-ruling affiliated with the Katipunan, prior to the end of Spanish colonialism. We call for justice for Aguilando and all victims of EJK,” he ended. ###