“Civilians must be treated humanely in all circumstances. They must be protected against all forms of violence and degrading treatment including murder and torture.”
The stories in Sitio Compra and Sitio Buntog share many sad parallels. They are both stories of land-use conversion and violence against the nation’s dwindling agricultural communities. While peasants clamor for land reform, the Philippine government has deemed land-use conversion by large corporations as an acceptable substitute.
“The only thing we can pass on to our children is our land. We already lost everything else. We have nothing left to lose. Why should we be afraid?”
“Although Vilma Salabao’s remains have been released, this does not absolve the AFP and PNP’s barbarity.”
Farmers in Buntog have been struggling for decades to assert their rights to the land, which they and their ancestors have lived in since 1911.
“Is [Año] justifying the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP’s [Philippine National Police] massacre of five farm workers and caretakers? The mutilated genitals and broken fingers of Jhonatan and Niño Alberga? Is he justifying how the PNP Baras and the AFP’s 2nd Infantry Division are fermenting Vilma Salabao’s remains and continued refusal to turn them over to her family after three weeks, seven requests, and superficial requirements?” the group asked.
“…We are seeing yet again this pattern of non-observance to existing laws and inhumane treatment towards the accused.”
Is conservatism a legitimate ideology? Yes. At its most benign, it aims to maintain the status quo and works for the benefit of the ruling class. At its worst, it supports fascism and actively works against the masses.
“We continue to condemn the AFP-PNP’s modus operandi of hostaging remains and burying under lies the truth about what really happened to these five civilians,” Karapatan ST said.
“This is a big victory for us because we were able to defend our rights to the land that our families have owned for generations.”
“Although it is so close to Christmas, [202nd Infantry Bridgade commander] Alex Rillera is still in the business of stealing corpses.”