- Anti-DPA hysteria in the 80s resulted to a purge that led to thousands killed in the country, Army claims
- Negros island one of those hit by the 80s purge
- Rebel spokesman cannot be reached for comment recently, has not replied to questions from DNX
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Did the slaying of four farmers in a remote community in the Oriental side signal the start of a Part Two of Oplan Kahos in the island of Negros?
An Army division official believes so.
To Major Cenon Pancito III, the murder of four farmers in a remote community in Guihulngan City appears to have exposed a new paranoia being felt in the Communist underground similar to that in the 1980s that triggered the purges or the killing of Communist cadres, members, sympathizers, allies and even ordinary folk who support the Communist’s so-called “people’s war.”
“I think it is,” Pancito said when asked if the killing of Ronelo Quirante, Roger Fat, and the Lubay couple – Rodrigo and Celerina is bringing back shades of the hysteria inside the underground movement in the 1980s.
The victims are reputed in the community as supporters of the rebel underground who provide food, information and direct combat support to armed guerillas, Army officials have earlier claimed.
Pancito said they were killed less than a month after the rebels suffered their heaviest loss recently in the Philippines: 10 armed guerrillas of the New People’s Army killed in only one encounter last 23 March.
The encounter site: the sub-village of Agit in Trinidad, a far-flung village in the city of Guihulngan in Oriental Negros, about 100 kilometers from here.
Those killed lived in the same place.
Pancito said Fat, Quirante, and the Lubays are part of the milisyang bayan or people’s militia that is one of the civilian structures in the CPP-NPA’s concept of “protracted people’s war.”
Former Communist cadres and ex Red fighters sought out for information by DNX describe Trinidad as one of the few villages where a platoon-sized formation or less than 30 armed regulars of the NPA sought refuge with former CPP island secretary Frank Fernandez, a former priest, in the 1990s.
The CPP-NPA forces who called themselves “reaffirmists” sided with Jose Ma. “Joma” Sison when the CPP split into two factions in the 90s.
The bulk of the rebel armed force in the island went with Ka Carapali Lualhati, then a ranking rebel commander, to form the Revolutionary Proletarian Army or RPA that became the armed wing of the anti-Joma Rebolusyunaryong Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino or RPMP.
Neighbors of the victims said they were killed by NPA fighters while Pancito noted the absence of any condemnation from Karapatan, the human rights group government had been constantly linking to the CPP-NPA.
This indicates, he said, that Karapatan knows who are responsible for the killing of the Lubays, Fat, and Quirante.
Twelve years ago, another Quirante, Rene alias “Toto” was also killed in nearby Amomoyong sub-village, also in Guihulngan, a murder Karapatan blamed on the Army.
Karapatan included Rene’s case in its national campaign as proof of massive rights violations committed by the then “Arroyo regime.”
Now, however, Karapatan’s silence “speaks a lot,” Pancito said.
In part two: Cadena De Amor, Kahos, Missing Link: Opans of murders inside the CPP and what former cadres say