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RED-TAGGED CITY HEALTH OFFICER, HUSBAND GUNNED DOWN IN NEGROS ORIENTAL

ILOILO City – Guihulngan City top health officer Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and husband Edwin Sancelan, also a government employee, were shot dead around 5:20 this afternoon by a riding-in-tandem near their residence at Carmen Ville Subdivision, Brgy. Poblacion, Guihulngan City. Dr. Sancelan served as an incident commander of Guihulngan’s Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID).

According to human rights group Karapatan Negros Island, Dr. Sancelan was named number one in the so called “hitlist” of Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (KAGUBAK), an anti-communist vigilante group in Negros Oriental in 2017.

Dr. Sancelan was tagged as JB Regalado, the spokesperson of Leonardo Panaligan Command of NPA-Central Negros.

Karapatan condemned the killing and believed that this is part of the liquidation operation of the NTF- ELCAC.

The “hitlist” also included Public Attorney’s Office lawyer Atty. Anthony Trinidad who was killed on July 2019 and activist Haide Malalay Flores who was killed on August 2018./www.panaytoday.net

 

(Photo from from Dr. Sancelan Facebook account)

EX-SOLON APPEALS WITH SUPREME COURT FOR WRIT OF AMPARO

ILOILO City – Former Bayan Muna Representative Siegfred Deduro has asked yesterday, November 4, the Supreme Court to grant his petition for the writ of amparo after it was dismissed by the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court Branch 24 last October 26.

Deduro filed the petition on October 22 but RTC Judge Nestle Go dismissed the petition for “lack of substantial evidence”. The court further ruled that the petition was “baseless and untenable”.

In a statement, Deduro believed that his petition for the writ of amparo and the evidence submitted with it was sufficient for the issuance of the writ.

Deduro was accused by the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army of being the third-ranking official of the CPP-NPA in Panay, in its so-called “terrorist threat” at the June 19, 2020 meeting of the Iloilo Peace and Order Council at the Old Capitol Building of Iloilo Province.

The said meeting was attended by Iloilo Province Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., members of the AFP, employees from the provincial capitol and members of the media, among others.

On the same day, the media outfit Bombo Radyo Iloilo thru its Facebook page posted photos wherein the 3rd ID presented a diagram of CPP-NPA leadership in Panay. Deduro’s name appeared twice in one of the slides.

The human rights group Panay Alliance Karapatan said they are alarmed over the quick dismissal by the RTC of Deduro’s petition.

“Given these recent murders and considering the more insidious red-tagging presently undertaken by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and their agents, we fear that Deduro and other human rights defenders are in similarly grave danger,” said Reylan Vergara, the group’s secretary general.

The group added that their concern is not without basis.

Zara Alvarez, another prominent activist in Negros became a victim of extra-judicial killing in Bacolod City early this year. Prior to her murder, Alvarez experienced red-tagging and threats to her life for her work as a human rights defender.

After being included by the Armed Forces in the list of persons subject for proscription as a member of an alleged terrorist organization, Alvarez was a member of human rights organizations that sought protection through a petition for a writ of amparo filed with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court delegated to the Court of Appeals the task of hearing their petition. Last year, the Court of Appeals denied the petition for amparo.

Zara Alvarez was murdered on the evening of August 17, 2020. She was shot multiple times when she went out of her house to buy food. Her assailant left her body lying on the ground amidst the pouring rain.”

Before Alvarez’s murder, on the morning of April 30, 2020, another one of Deduro’s colleagues, Bayan Muna Iloilo City Coordinator Jory Porquia was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen. He was also the subject of repeated red-tagging dating back to December 2018.

“We appeal to the courts to be more considerate of the circumstances of those who seek protection under special proceedings such as the Writ of Amparo. In these times, when the Executive is blatantly targeting citizens who stand up for democratic rights, we look upon the Judiciary as a refuge for those who, as a result of their work, find their lives in peril,” said Vergara.

Deduro added that “even the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights cited, in its report released in June 2020, the pervasive red-tagging in the country and its detrimental effect to civil society.”

“I now turn to the Supreme Court and ask it to set aside the RTC’s order of dismissal and issue a writ of amparo in my favor,” Deduro said.

The Writ of Amparo, as a special proceeding, is meant to be a recourse for those whose lives, liberty and security are under threat.

“I will not cease to seek protection from the court to stop the impunity of the military and PNP from red-tagging activists like me,” said Deduro.

“The recent killings of my colleagues, Porquia and Alvarez, show that the threats are very real, and not baseless,” Deduro stressed./www.panaytoday.net

ALTERMIDYA MEMBER AND OUTFIT REDTAGGED BY FAKE FACEBOOK PAGE

REDTAGGING ALERT – A newly created Facebook Page, Western Visayas Expose, redtagged Altermidya Panay’s radio program, Dampig Katarungan as the “propaganda radio program [of the Communists] CPP-NPA-NDF [in] Panay”. The page also tagged Dampig Katarungan’s anchor, Crimson Labinghisa as “CPP-NPA-NDF recruiter of the youth in Panay”.

The page claims to expose the “lies and deception of the CPP-NPA-NDF in Western Visayas.”

It can be noted that Facebook just recently took down scores of pages and accounts for systematically spreading fake news and disinformation and were linked to the social media users of the state forces.

Altermidya-Panay condemns such acts as it endangers the lives of the journalists exposing the incompetence of the government, and it curtails the freedom of the press./PT

DROP THE TRUMPED-UP CHARGES VS ELMER FORRO! STOP REDTAGGING ACTIVISTS!

ILOILO City – The local militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Panay condemns in strongest terms the current harassment by state forces through a trumped-up case lodged against its secretary-general, Elmer Forro.

Last August 13, Forro received a subpoena for a murder and multiple attempted murder case filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Lambunao in relation to an alleged encounter between the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Philippine Army in the morning of April 7, which resulted in the death of PFC Mark Nemis.

According to the complainant’s witness, Cpl. Christopher Llono of the 301st Brigade of the 3rd IDPA, Forro was among the NPAs that killed Nemis.

“The accusation against me is nothing but pure harassment by state forces to stop me from my advocacy work as an activist,” said Forro.

“I and my colleagues have been subjected to threats and harassment and it escalated even in the time of pandemic that led to us facing multiple charges because we exercised our constitutional rights and engaged in relief operations for those worst affected by the lockdown. Surveillance, redtagging, and tailings remain non-stop,” Forro added.

Forro said that, during the pandemic, he had been busy with relief operations, health trainings and meetings with representatives of other cause-oriented groups, public officials including Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, and church leaders like Msgr. Meliton Oso.

Forro, together with other activists, have been charged with violating BP 880, Bayanihan Act, and RA 11332 for a protest action last April 3 at the DSWD Regional Office 6 and for demanding aid to people affected by Duterte’s militaristic lockdown. On May 1, he and dozens of activists were arrested for attempting to hold a motor caravan to demand justice for the murder of Bayan Muna Iloilo City coordinator Jory Porquia.

“This systematic crackdown has already claimed the lives of some of our comrades like Jory Porquia and Zara Alvarez, who were themselves subjected to harassment and surveillance, or faced trumped-up charges before they were killed,” Forro quipped.

Last December 11, 2018, March 16, 2019, and August 27, 2020, posters with photos of progressive leaders, including Forro, were seen plastered around Iloilo City and recently seen in a village in Oton town. The poster accused Forro, together with lawyers, a priest, a former House representative, and 30 others of being terrorists, extortionists and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army.

Last May, Forro also noticed motorcycle-riding men watching from outside his residence, and at one point, he was even tailed while going to his office in the city by a vehicle and men on motorcycles.

“Almost all of my colleagues in the Bayan Panay secretariat also experienced surveillance, tailings, redtagged and were being maliciously approached to talk and given contact numbers,” added Forro.

“This trumped-up case is ridiculous and outright false and should be dismissed immediately. We cannot let state forces continue their evil deeds and suppress our rights and freedom,” Forro added.

“We have to fight the tyrannical reign and terroristic acts of the Duterte regime. It is time to end his regime to end the sufferings of the people,” Forro ended./www.panaytoday.net

SON OF SLAIN ACTIVIST FILES PETITION AGAINST TERROR LAW

Manila, Philippines – Lean Porquia, son of slain activist Jory Porquia, files the 21st petition against the Terror Law together with 18 other online bloggers and influencers at the Supreme Court.

Porquia said that justice has been elusive for freedom fighters and victims of extra judicial killings in the country and the Terror Law will be used to weaponize state sponsored killings. “Tatay was murdered in April, it’s already July, diin na ang hustisya?” Porquia said.

“We are filing the petition because dissenting opinion against Duterte’s government is under attack, pila pa ang plano pahipuson, patyon sang gobyerno ni Duterte? Porquia added.

Porquia joins 18 other petitioners who are active in the online platforms of Facebook and Twitter:

  1. MARK AVERILLA, known as Macoy Dubs
  2. MARITA DINGLASAN, known as Aling Marie
  3. JUAN MIGUEL SEVERO, spoken word artist and writer
  4. Blogger JOVER LAURIO, Pinoy Ako Blog
  5. Blogger and columnist TONYO CRUZ
  6. Blogger-turned-lawmaker MONG PALATINO
  7. Twitter bhie bhie gurl and college student MARK GERONIMO
  8. Artist and college student ALBERT RAQUENO
  9. Mental Health champion DR. GIA SISON
  10. Award-winning artist, illustrator and author ROB CHAM
  11. Writer and LGBT advocate THYSZ ESTRADA
  12. Writer and editor STEFAN PUNONGBAYAN
  13. Community manager NOELLE CAPILI
  14. Blogger and advocate JAY ROCAS
  15. Agrarian Reform Campaigner JC MERCADO
  16. Engineer and activist VICTOR CRISOSTOMO
  17. Cebu tourism advocate KA BINO GUERERRO
  18. Mindanao blogging community pioneer BLOGIE ROBILLO
  19. LEAN PORQUIA, Reklamador Facebook Page

Influencers like Macoy Dubs, Juan Miguel Severo, Tonyo Cruz, and Aling Marie are together with him in filing the petition. They will be represented by a UPV alumnus and currently the Dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Sebastian Recolletos, Atty. Rodel Taton.

Reference: Lean Porquia
09275577376

UPV professor receives death threat

ILOILO City – University of the Philippines Visayas College of Arts and Sciences Social Science Division Prof. Tomasito Talledo just received a threat to his life early morning today, Tuesday.

In a message from a suspected troll account, the suspect quipped “May pa hands-off Sir Tom pa ngayon ang mga estudyante mo Tomas! Pagkatapos mo silang na-brainwash.”

The suspect went on and threatened Professor Talledo “Huwag kang mag-alala, malapit na lang matapos ang buhay mo.

Last week, Professor Talledo was also attacked by trolls tagging him as a recruiter of the New People’s Army and blaming him for the death of Malvin Christian Cruz who was killed by the 61st IBPA in a clash last June 29.

In a statement, the UPV SAMASA Alumni Association condemned the harassment against Professor Talledo who they said “is a public intellectual, an esteemed scholar who has mentored generations of morally upright citizens of our Inang Bayan.”

The Association furthered that the attacks against Professor Talledo “confirm the correctness of our concerns that the “mere suspicion” standard of the recently enacted “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020” is not only unconstitutional, but likewise reckless and that the Act does not really address the root causes of terrorism. It is actually against “terrorists”, as defined by the law itself (i.e., “mere suspicion”).”

“We call on our fellow Iskolar ng Bayan – the Scholars of the People – to rise with one voice to protest this blatant violation of Prof. Talledo’s constitutional rights, and to protect him from further harassment and threats,” said SAMASA.

The group also called on the Filipino people to never be silent and always be witnesses to and advocates of democracy and the rule of law./www.panaytoday.net

MILITARY MEN KILL PEASANT LEADER IN ILOILO

ILOILO City – A peasant leader in Miag-ao, Iloilo was killed by the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army last Saturday, April 18.

The 61st IBPA in their statement on Saturday that their troops encountered about 40 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Anoy, Cabalaunan, Miag-ao, Iloilo. A firefight took place for about 35 minutes which resulted in the death of an NPA member, the arrest of seven personalities including a minor, and recovered a rifle, ammunition, sub-machine gun, backpacks, flags, documents, and medical paraphernalia.

The NPA Southern Front Mt. Napulak Command, however, denied the military’s accusations.

“Our unit was prepared even before they were attacked by the military troops. No one was arrested, wounded or dead. None of the NPA unit’s personal belongings nor rifles were left in the incident area,” said Ka Ilaya Kanaway, the command’s spokesperson.

The local peasant alliance Pamanggas identified the casualty as John Farochilin, 50 years old.

According to Pamanggas, Farochilin served as chairman of the Alyansa sang mga Mangunguma sa Miag-ao (Alliance of Farmers in Miag-ao) and council member of Pamanggas.

“He was instrumental in availing food relief and seed subsidy for Miag-aoanon farmers during the campaign against hunger brought by El Niño in 2019. He also facilitated dialogues with the Miagao LGU on several occasions,” said the farmer’s group.

Local human rights group Panay Alliance Karapatan condemned the killing and arrests of innocent civilians. The group also seeks justice for all the victims.

“Justice should be given to the civilian victims and their families after proper investigation by the Commission on Human Rights and other concerned agencies. The soldiers responsible for the killing, arrest, and detention of these civilians should also be prosecuted and made accountable,” said Karapatan./www.panaytoday.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local PNP chief slammed for blocking food meals, misinformation

ILOILO City – A local chief of the Philippine National Police was called out for maligning and blocking the initiatives of urban poor to feed themselves amid COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement sent to the media, Bayan Panay said it received reports this afternoon that Molo PNP Chief Engelbert Banquillo asked the village chief of San Juan in Molo district to stop the feeding program initiated by Bayan Muna urban poor members in the community.
According to witnesses, Banquillo also told the village chief not to receive and eat the meals prepared because it may contain the virus.
“[The] people in the urban poor communities are joining hands to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Even the good Mayor [Jerry Treñas] recognizes these efforts as a sign of help to the local government unit’s efforts,” said Elmer Forro, Bayan Panay’s secretary general.
The locals who are members of Bayan Muna Iloilo City chapter and also the ones who prepared the meals were angered and lambasted Banquillo.
“We personally prepared the meals and distributed them to our members and neighbors. Banquillo is not only lying but also maligns our efforts which are in response to Mayor Treñas’ calls to help each other in this time of pandemic,” they said.

Forro reminded Banquillo that the efforts of the urban poor are in accordance to the wishes of Mayor Treñas.

Human rights group Panay Alliance Karapatan also slammed Banquillo’s desperate act.
“The acts of Banquillo should be condemned and he must be investigated for harassing the people instead of helping them in this time of pandemic,” said Reylan Vergara, the group’s secretary general.
Vergara added that the efforts of progressive and partylist groups are actual solutions to ease the hunger being experienced by the people under enhanced community quarantine.
Forro added that Banquillo also maliciously spread wrong information and insulted the members of communities when he suggested that the community members will harm their own family and neighbors.
“Clearly, Banquillo has no compassion and has ulterior motives in spreading such blatant misinformation, and should be held liable,” said Forro.
Banquillo was also responsible for the deployment of police during a picket at the DSWD Regional Office 6 last April 3.
During the activity, Banquillo even threatened the protesters, who are calling for food aid, to lock them up in unoccupied cells.
Bayan Panay called on the people to denounce this action of Banquillo. Karapatan asked the city’s PNP director to investigate the matter.
“We have to fight this pandemic and assert our rights against fascist acts of the PNP and Duterte,” Forro said./www.panaytodaynet

Health workers and professionals, civil society organization, and progressive groups vow to fight COVID-19

Health workers and professionals, barangay officials, militant groups, civil society organizations and other individuals gathered today under the Fight COVID-19 People’s Alliance to collectively address the disease in the region.

The alliance called for free testing, treatment, and management of all PUIs, PUMs, and those positive of COVID-19. They also called for the return of 10.6 billion budget cut in DOH and use it to address the COVID-19 epidemic.

They also demanded for the government to enhance its monitoring and control the price of basic needs like food, soaps, alcohol, and other primary commodities, and to implement a medically-sound solution instead of a militarist approach.

The alliance will be conducting massive information dessimination by giving out flyers and house to house campaign. They are also planning to conduct a dialogue with the DOH, LGU officials, and with other government agencies./PT

Free and accessible medical and laboratory services, medicines for all – AHW

ILOILO City – Members of progressive groups led by Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) Panay called for increase health budget amidst the coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) disease outbreak in the country.

In a picket protest held at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, the groups lambasted the government for ill-preparedness against the disease.

“The government has done nothing to prepare the public and its health facilities to mitigate the spread of the virus at an early stage,” said Ruth Alinsangao, coordinator of AHW Panay.

Alinsangao added that the government has prioritized other matters like redtagging and vilification of progressive groups instead of dealing with the disease.

The health department even suffered a P10 billion budget cut this year while facilities and other medical needs are very minimal, she added.

As of this writing, a total of 34 patients were recorded positive with the disease.

Duterte in a press conference last night has offered no concrete measure to address the lack of test kits and centers.

“Only 2,000 kits are available nationwide while five testing centers are said ready but not fully functional for lack of equipment and quarantine services,” said Alinsangao.

Despite the outbreak, the Duterte government has only requested P43 million for additional needs and only relied for testing kits from World Health Organization.

The health group AHW stressed that the public needs to be fully informed of the details of infection in the community for early detection and monitoring.

The group also demanded for support to healthcare professionals who risked their lives at the frontline facing the disease.

”Our health workers are lacking support from medical to financial needs that have long demanded subsidy for the health sector.”

This year’s health budget only translates to a meager P4.00 per person per day which cannot even buy a couple of paracetamols.

”We hold the Duterte government accountable for not prioritizing the health service and continued negligence towards public health,” Alinsangao ended./www.panaytoday.net