Brutal murders in Davao expose real score of Aquino’s “Oplan Bayanihan”

Spokesperson, Magtanggol Roque Command
Front 51 Operations Command
NPA-Southern Mindanao

The condemnable torture and brutal murders of civilians Rody Dejos, 50 and son Rody Rick, 26, by troops of the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines last 27 February in Sitio Malusing, Barangay Zone 1, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur, further reveal the real score of the US-Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan and its peace and development rhetoric.

Peace dialogue is a masquerade, a sham intended to mislead and to smokescreen their fascism and the use of more sinister strong-arm tactics of extrajudicial killings.

Listening to the practiced repertoire of lies spewed out by the 39th IB-AFP commander Lt. Col. Oliver Artuz as he readily accused the Red fighters for the very crime his unit is implicated in evokes an eerie deja vu. Lt. Col. Artuz is another Jovito Palparan in the making. He is coming to be the same fascist butcher rising through the AFP ranks by being a cold-blooded killing machine of innocent civilians and non-combatants.

Notwithstanding the peace and development pretenses of Oplan Bayanihan, Lt. Col. Artuz's demeanor is already all too familiar to the people. The same Bantay Laya pattern emerges in the Dejos twin killings: a fascist AFP unit [in this case the 39th IB] threatens with physical elimination an ordinary farmer-activist active in the legal people's movement; the farmer activist is eventually murdered due to his involvement; the fascist perpetrators then impute the crime they have committed to the people's army by fabricating an absurd claim of internal strife within revolutionary ranks.

Lt. Col. Artuz sounds like a crow caught lying through his teeth. He pathetically fails to provide a plausible denial in front of the credible testimony by the grieving family of the murdered farmers.

The elder Dejos, vice chair of a local progressive peasant organization and a tribal chieftain, has incurred the ire of the 39th IB-AFP and was targeted for his active involvement in the campaign against the military-imposed Barangay Defense System and against military harassments in their peasant village. His son Rody Rick was also killed because he was a witness who knew who the murderers were.

The 39th IB-AFP had previously threatened Dejos to desist from his activities in the peasant organization. He was top of the list of civilians tagged by the 39th IB-AFP's order of battle and was required to present himself in the military detachment for tactical interrogation. The military harassed, threatened and coerced him to sign surrender papers as a supposed member of the underground peasant organization. In 2009, he was told by 39th IB interrogators to dissolve the local chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas of which he was an official. In December, 39th IB-AFP soldiers fired upon him in another attempt to frighten him. The repeated attempts to terrorize him did not dissuade Dejos from pursuing the local peasant struggle against enforced military duties in the BDS, and 39th IB-AFP's abuses and human rights violations in their community.

The Dejos murders once again show that the fascists have no compunction in unleashing their brutality against the people alongside "soft approach" trickery. The toiling masses can only turn to the people's democratic revolution for genuine justice in the intensifying people's war.