CPP condemns AFP killing of Bayan Muna activist in Bicol

By CPP Information Bureau

CPP denouces AFP for spread of disinformation

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the killing of Bayan Muna activist Rodel Estrallado in Bicol by elements of the 9th Infantry Division last 25 February. At the same time, the CPP denounces the irresponsible spread of disinformation to cover up their crime.

Estrallado was taken by armed men in front of a basketball court in Baranggay 3 in Malilipot, Albay. According to witnesses, the armed men introduced themselves as agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). He was forced into a waiting van with plate number MSL-902. Officers of the PDEA denied that they carried out such an operation.

In an attempt to cover up their crime, 9th ID spokesperson Maj. Harold Cabunoc claimed that Estrallado was a New People's Army fighter supposedly killed in an encounter in Baranggay Bulwang, Bato, Camarines Sur.

"Perhaps inadvertently, the AFP disinformation officers got the dates and times wrong when they claimed that the encounter where Estrallado was supposed to have been killed happened at 6:30 am of 25 February," said the CPP. "How could it be that Estrallado got killed in an encounter in Camarines Sur at least two hours before he was abducted by armed elements in Albay."

"This is not the first time that the AFP has weaved completely false tales to cover up their crimes," said the CPP. "The military has been feeding false information to the public about so many other cases involving violations of human rights and other fascist crimes."

The CPP compared this case to the spread of disinformation about the killing last November 2010 of Prof. Leonardo Co and two others who the military claimed to have been caught in a crossfire in the supposed encounter between the AFP and an NPA unit. Subsequent investigations by independent groups have shown that there was never such an encounter and that Prof. Co was killed by gunfire from the military.