Never again to martial law!

Commemorating the 23rd year of the Escalante Masscare

 

Escalante City

 

September 20, 2008

 

Bonus Tracks: Portrait of an Escalante Martyr

 

 

 

 

Since February 2008, we have seen the hallmarks of the martial law regime in our midst. It is a sad fact and the horrible reality that government officials and army generals denies.

In Barangay Linantuyan, the Philippine Army ordered all residents to acquire a cedula and later imposes an ID System. Those who refuse their orders were subjected to harassments and intimidations and human rights defenders investigating the abuses were barred from entering.

 

In Barangay Nabinlod, Santa Catalina, the Philippine Army bombarded the forested areas of the barangay unmindful if there are farmers living therein. They remind us of the terrors of Long Range Patrols led by Sgt. Presquito and the Task Force Kanlaon in Southern Negros.

 

-- from Joint Press Statement of BAYAN-Negros, KARAPATAN-Negros and Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
 

   
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Photos courtesy of BAYAN - Negros
           

 

Joint Press Statement --- September 18, 2008

PROTEST ACTIONS TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY OF DECLARATION OF MARTIAL LAW

Human rights and progressive people’s organizations will mark the 36th year of the declaration of Martial Law with protest actions in Guihulngan City, Escalante City and Bacolod City.

The deafening cry of “Never Again to Martial Law” will fill the streets to condemn and protest the economic and political repression and the militarization of Negros Island.

Participating in protest actions on September 21 will be farmers, farm workers and toiling masses of Negros who bear the brunt of economic dislocations and oppressions as well as rampant violations of civil and political rights brought by the implementation of the Oplan Bantay Laya 2 in the island.

In Guihulngan, thousands of upland farmers will walk towards the city before the protest action on Sunday. The protest actions on May 1 Labor Day and the June 25 were harassed by soldiers of the 11th IBPA and 79th IBPA along the way. The soldiers flagged down the vehicles carrying the protesters and threaten to shoot the farmers.

On Saturday, the Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (NNAHRA) and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) will commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the infamous Escalante Massacre. On this day in 1985, 20 protesters died when elements of the CHDF and Philippine Constabulary fired upon the peaceful Welgang Bayan of BAYAN in front then Municipal Hall of Escalante.

Sans the formal declaration of Martial Law by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the people’s rights and freedom are suppressed. Many peasant and women leaders are charged, faced the dangers of illegal and arbitrary arrest and extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wields the repressive power of the government for her selfish interest to monopolize both political and economic power either through the usurpation of state power by declaring martial law or the charter change scheme.

In her eight-year reign, she already declared the imposition of State of National Emergency for the third time, imposes the “no permit no rally”, ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and even the members of the press. She made possible the enactment of the Human Security Act (HSA, Republic Act 9372) that will be use against oppositions and critics.

Since February 2008, we have seen the hallmarks of the martial law regime in our midst. It is a sad fact and the horrible reality that government officials and army generals denies.

In Barangay Linantuyan, the Philippine Army ordered all residents to acquire a cedula and later imposes an ID System. Those who refuse their orders were subjected to harassments and intimidations and human rights defenders investigating the abuses were barred from entering. In Barangay Nabinlod, Santa Catalina, the Philippine Army bombarded the forested areas of the barangay unmindful if there are farmers living therein. They remind us of the terrors of Long Range Patrols led by Sgt. Presquito and the Task Force Kanlaon in Southern Negros.

The incarceration of peasant leaders Emilia and Maricris Quirante and trumped-up charges against Lourdes and Boy Baloy, Eppie Assitista and Vimarie Arcilla of KARAPATAN and Felipe Levy Gelle of BAYAN reminds us of the imprisonment of Fr. Brian Gore, Vicente Dangan and six lay workers in 1983.

Much like what Marcos did, the legitimate people’s organizations were branded as “communist fronts” and “enemies of the state” which effectively gives license to the military to attack and kill them.

Indeed, there is a social unrest in Negros. It is created by the social inequality and severe economic crisis reflecting through hunger and poverty. Landgrabbing by mining and agribusiness companies especially those involve in biofuels and export crops production will compel the poor farmers to militantly resist and fight. Protests actions in the streets are expected to increase as the crisis deepens.

The social and economic social condition that fuels the social unrest in Negros during the Martial Law period is resurfacing. But instead of providing reforms and relief to the toiling masses, the government responded with more repressive measures, more abusive army troops and the total war campaign. We expect that more human rights violations and worst cases will be committed.

On the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, we vowed to let our voices be heard: NEVER AGAIN!

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN-NEGROS (BAYAN)
ALLIANCE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF PEOPLE’S RIGHTS (KARAPATAN)
NORTHERN NEGROS ALLIANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES
SEPTEMBER 21 MOVEMENT

 

     
     
     
     
     
           
           
           
           

The Escalante Massacre of  September 20, 1985

Dead: 20, Wounded: 100

           

 

A peaceful BAYAN-led Welgang Bayan center in Escalante composed mostly pf farmworkers and farmers belonging to NFSW-FGT and other progressive groups were fired upon by elements of the Philippine Constabulary and the Civilian Home Defense Force.

 

20 rallyists died on the spot and abolut a hundred protesters were wounded.

Yearly, BAYAN and the local human rights organization, Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, commemorate the massacre with a reenactment of the incident.

this year, more than a thousands participated in the commemoration protest in Escalante City.

 

The photo at the right is from the book,  "You Are Not Forgotten! Symbols lDuring Martial Law", ►

 

 

Portrat of an Escalante Martyr

Juvelyn Jarabelo

Killed: Sept. 20, 1985

Escalante, Negros Occidental

           
Download article in PDF format

The article on Juvelyn Jarabelo is from the book "That We May Remember" published in 1989 by the  published by the Promotion of Church People's Rights.

 

 
 

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