So-called “purge victims” in Northern Samar a military fabrication

CPP Information Bureau

Other versions: Waray

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Eastern Visayas today slammed the 8th Infantry Division and the Philippine National Police for claiming to have exhumed so-called "purge victims" of the revolutionary movement in Northern Samar. "There has never been a hysteria such as an anti-infiltration campaign or widespread "purging" in the history of the revolutionary movement in Samar," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson.

"Moreover, it can be discerned from so many news coming from the military that it is carrying out a massive psywar campaign not only in the region but nationwide. Such fascist propaganda aims to strengthen the position of the Arroyo regime, which is on the way out as well as increasingly isolated. This new wave of fabrications attempts to pave the way for more extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations under Oplan Bantay Laya, as well as legitimize the regime's repression of all political opposition."

Fr. Salas also added that the military may even be exhuming those it had extrajudicially executed and passing the blame to the NPA.

"According to human rights groups, the military has summarily executed over 1,000 victims during the Arroyo regime, and much more all the way back to the Marcos dictatorship. Hundreds of those victims were abducted and disappeared, such as activist priest Fr. Rudy Romano; only the military knows where their remains are. In fact, the 63rd Infantry Battalion that did the "exhumation" in Northern Samar is implicated in political killings and other human rights violations. The 63rd IB is believed to have been involved in the murder of Fr. Cecilio Lucero, who was investigating the battalion's human rights violations when he was killed in September last year. To date, no satisfactory investigation of Fr. Lucero's killing has been made."

The NDF-EV spokesperson asserted that the military's psywar will not stick, and called on the people to resist the Arroyo regime's maneuvers to worsen political repression and remain in power.

"To remember, the Arroyo regime's charges against Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo related to the military's fabricated "mass graves" in Inopacan, Leyte, have all been dismissed. Ocampo is now a senatorial candidate of the Makabayan Coalition and the Nacionalista Party. Thus the scheme about the discovery of new "mass graves", aside from being a smear campaign against the New People's Army, may also be targeting the political opposition. The public must thus remain conscious and critical against the Arroyo regime's many plans to oppress the people and perpetuate its rule."