By NDFP Panay Regional Chapter
Major Tiongson, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army, has branded the New People’s Army as self-admitted “perpetrators of barbaric extrajudicial killings” of Demetrio Capilastique, Daniel Batoy, Joven Tababa, and Philippine Army Corporal Joebert Glindro. What he failed to mention was that these were armed enemy combatants subject to military actions in the prusuit of armed revolution. He maliciously threw in the name of a certain Gina Gestalao whom the NPA have never subjected to armed action nor even know of.
The names mentioned above were responsible for bloody crimes such as the murder of innocent civilians who got in their way or whom they suspect as sympathetic to the revolutionary movement. Other than Glindro, the three others were leaders of the RPA-ABB, a special paramilitary outfit handled by military intelligence officers. Their special role as fascist gangs is to do the dirty job for the military, such as extrajudicial killings of civilians whom the military could not harass with trumped-up charges. This is why Major Tiongson is so concerned about their deaths while denying the 3rd Infantry Division’s role in the deaths of businessman Romeo Capalla, Councillor Fernando Baldomero, and the abduction and disappearance of Luisa Posa and Nilo Arado, all SELDA members. These victims were engaged in legal political, business, and human rights advocacies, and were done in by the state for this.
If by the term ‘extrajudicial’ Major Tiongson meant not sentenced by a court under the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), he was correct. For one, when the NPA engaged armed elements of the GRP in a firefight they do not need a court order to do so. It would be ridiculous, even for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to shoot rebels armed with a court order. The NPA itself does not recognize the GRP’s courts and judicial processes. Even our people recognize the injustice institutionalized by these reactionary courts that favor the rich and powerful, and are unjust to the poor suffering masses.
Take the case of Romeo Capalla. The first phase of the GRP’s judicial process already stinks of putting up a fall guy. They have charged a certain Julie Cabino and four other John Does. But they could not put on paper the person’s RPA membership as it would open up a can of worms leading up to the military handlers of the RPA. The media were the ones who traced Cabino’s RPA affiliation and his current address. The public and even the media are commenting that this case is going nowhere.
How could the case prosper if some of those investigating the crime are themselves involved in the 24/7 surveillance of Romeo Capalla while alive. They could not investigate the military’s involvement as borne out of the constant harassment that the military foisted on Romeo Capalla, hounding him with trumped up arson cases and marking him up in its order of battle. Such investigation would only implicate the very investigators of the case. So do you think the NPA would go through the judicial process of the GRP to seek justice?
Having defended the likes of Hugo (Capilastique), Mokong (Batoy) and other RPA leaders, Major Tiongson is slyly admitting that the 3rd Infantry Division sanctions the criminal and murderous acts of the RPA. He is also comparing the NPA’s armed attacks on armed elements of the RPA and the military to the state security’s extrajudicial (even by the GRP’s unjust courts) killings. In effect, Major Tiongson has admitted to the equation perfected by the Japanese fascist Kempetai: for every Japanese soldier killed by the guerrillas in armed combat, ten civilians will have their heads cut off by samurai.