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Army honors two slain soldiers as Reds call on media to “shatter terror from fascist state”

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The Army has identified two of its soldiers who died of their wounds after an armed encounter with Communist rebels in the central Negros town of Moises Padilla, 3 November as the rebels called today on the media to become a force to “shatter terror from a fascist state.”

The 79th Infantry Battallion said in a news release that they gave planeside honors to th late Corporal Biencent John L Trero and Private Cesar Ian B Eleuterio when their bodies arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport and Roxas City from Cebu City late in the afternoon of 6 November 2021.

army taking out the coffin from the aircraft carrier

Trero’s body was brought to his family in To-uy village, Himamaylan City while that of Eleuterio was brought to his residence in Brgy Jaena Norte, Jamindan, Capiz.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families of the departed comrades. Both will be given full military honors befitting of a hero during their wake and on interment,” said Lieutenant Colonel J-jay Javines, Commanding Officer of the 79IB.

“We will not let this incident dampen our spirit but rather serve as a motivation and ispiration for us to do our best and strive even harder to accomplish our mission. We shall not let their sacrifices go in vain as we vow to be more relentless in our peace and development effort to end the local armed conflict not only in Moises Padilla but in Negros Occidental as a whole,” Lt. Col. Javines added.

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Front in the island called on media to become a force to “shatter” terror coming from a “fascist state.

army honors the dead

The National Democratic Front, an allied organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, said in a statement issued by Ka Bayani Obrero, its Negros spokesperson:

“The National Democratic Front in Negros Island (NDF-Negros) recognizes the very important role of mainstream media and also its online news outfits particularly amidst a rampant deception and disinformation campaign of the reactionary regime of Rodrigo Duterte. Having the broadest reach and the capacity to immediately convey information to the public, it is part of your responsibility to educate the people through releasing accurate news and information, therefore only accurate and truthful news must reach the people.

Currently, the Duterte regime is launching an all-out war through Joint Task Force Kapanatagan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP) using devious and brutal ways to repress the people and preserve its power. The regime also employs the whole-of-nation approach from US imperialism’s counter-insurgency doctrine through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to put the local government units (LGU), different civilian agencies and organizations of the reactionary government, the private sector such as business, and other institutions including the media under military control. It resulted to an antagonistic and ruthless oppression of the people in the entire country.

Members of the media in Negros, you are witnesses to the efforts of the butcher and mercenary AFP/PNP in employing various deceptive schemes to show the public the success of their campaign to destroy the revolutionary movement in the Island. They use their counter-insurgency campaign at the same time to justify large-scale corruption of top officials in the military and police, and to silence the people’s dissent by way of intensified state fascism.

Cold-blooded massacres, successive brutal extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, trumped-up charges and planted evidences, torture, bombings, ransack of communities, fabrication of fake surrenders or coercion of people to surrender as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and deadly red-tagging of those who stand for the democratic rights and interests of the oppressed and exploited flood the news every day. Deception of the fascist AFP/PNP exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

army carries the coffin

Three years have passed but there is still no justice for the merciless killing by assassin-elements of the 303rd Infantry Battalion of peasant advocate and human rights defender, Atty. Ben Ramos, in Kabankalan City. Meanwhile activists captured by PNP forces in simultaneous raids of offices of progressive organizations in Bacolod City last 2019 remain as political detainees in the Negros Occidental District Jail. Up to this very day, two farmers abducted by the 79th Infantry Battalion during the early morning of September 30, 2021 at the town of Manapla following the massacre of four NPA members rendered hors de combat have not been returned to their families.

Revolutionary forces have been expecting the worst attacks of the fascist AFP/PNP now that the tyrannical rule of Duterte is about to end and the ambitious dictator is slowly sensing his power diminish. Moreover, the newly-installed commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) himself who was already a peddler of lies and fake news when he was commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade declared his fantasy of “ending the insurgency in Negros Island this year until June 2022.”

On that account, as media workers, you can expect that the Duterte regime and its tentacles will further exploit your programs, stations, newspapers and online platforms, even yourselves as personalities, to glamourize and show off the AFP/PNP that really just whitewashes their gruesome and heinous deeds; to plant malicious ideas, lies and intrigues against activists, known personalities of the opposition and critics of the regime, and most especially against the revolutionary forces; and to spread terror on Negros Island including among your ranks.

The NDF-Negros calls on all media practitioners to become a force that shatters terror sowed by the fascist state in your own ranks and in the Filipino people. Be objective in analyzing the narratives of the Duterte clique and its lackeys, the AFP/PNP. Dig deep into what is happening to expose the truth. Your critical-thinking is utterly needed in these times so schemes to deceive the people will not flourish.

Whatever cover-up Duterte and the AFP/PNP, mainly its top officials, will do, truth will undoubtedly prevail and their lies will be laid bare. Their real characteristic of being anti-people have long been exposed and surely, they are abhorred by the people. You siding with the truth and being a pro-people media ensures the defeat of Duterte’s tyrannical regime.”

Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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