Editors Note: Army division spokesman Maj. Cenon Pancito III had said last week that the Communist Party of the Philippines in Negros island might have started on another witch hunt and anti-Deep Penetration Agent campaign with the killing of four members of its people militia in Guihulngan City, Oriental Negros.
We continue with the second part of our special report as we try to understand the anti-DPA hysteria, as CPP documents would call it, and try to situate this against the continuing internal conflict in Negros island.
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Kahos might sound like “ahos” or garlic in the Hiligaynon language.
It is no coincidence.
It does include the word ahos.
Kahos is a portmanteau of two words – “kampanya” or campaign in Filipino, and “ahos.”
The Garlic Campaign when loosely translated.
While the Reds bewailed what it called as “extrajudicial” and “senseless” killing under the Duterte government after it broke off from its alliance with the populist president, some former cadres say the underground Left once had its own version of Tokhang.
Like Kahos, Tokhang is also a portmanteau.
But of two Bisaya words: “toktok” or knock, and “hangyo” or appeal.
“It was in a way the (Communist Party of the Philippines’) version of Tokhang,” a former Party cadre told this reporter during a recent interview.
The former cadre, a college dropout in the 70s who went underground as a propaganda officer in Negros island, said he personally knew about some cases of cadres and Red fighters being tortured and killed on suspicions that they are military spies.
One sympathizer, who became part of the logistics support network of the underground in the 80s, said on the other hand he cannot forget one particular case: that of Ka Demi.
“He was ruthlessly tortured,” the former cadre said in Hiligaynon and recounted some of the methods used.
One was being kept in a cage made of tree branches, “the one used by cannibals in movies,” in which the suspected spy was kept, exposed to sun, rain and other elements.
The other was not informing a suspect’s family that that can cause emotional and psychological distress for both the suspects and their families.
The goriest of all though for this ex cadre is the physical torture, especially the use of rubber slippers that are burnt.
The melting rubber is then dripped on top of the foot.
This went on every day for several days until one of Demi’s foot had a hole that went through his sole caused by the molten rubber that burned through skin, flesh and tendons.
“It was a sight I cannot forget until now,” the ex cadre said.