THREE STRIKES

STRIKE 1: After saying that the Abu Sayyaf threat has diminished with the demise of its leaders, the military is now resurrecting these ghost in its assault in Sulu on April 13. No Abu has been caught or killed, instead 50,000 residents from eight municipalities have been displaced.

Scores of victims: Abu = 0. Civilians = 50,000. Loser = Peace

read Patricio Diaz’ comment on Sulu conflict

STRIKEĀ  2: The military launched an air attack on a village in Davao del Norte in an effort to track New People’s Army that staged a daring raid of a prison armory during Easter Sunday.

Score: NPA dead = 0. Livestock and bananas = many.

read story here

STRIKE 3: The military reported the death of nine-year old Grecil Buya in an encounter in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. The military initially claimed this girl was an NPA who engaged them in a firefight.

Now they are singing a different tune, saying the girl is actually a student, and that the father is an NPA.

No apologies have been issued to the family of the girl.

A girl is dead. Her family is aggrieved. But the victims are now the accused.

Grecil

Propaganda = a lot. Justice= 0

Outrage

This was the news on TV that greeted me in the early morning.

A minute later, I was feeling rage in my blood. How could this government become so bare-faced in its tyranny?

We are going back to martial law. And ironic is, here is the man Satur Ocampo, a political prisoner during those times, now facing the same fate he had three decades ago of being jailed for his convictions.

This incident has stirred outrage. Bayan Muna seems to be thankful that this projection seems to serve their campaign as their rankings in the survey rose. Also, Ka Satur has gathered support from the opposition, academe, church and the middle forces.

Ka Atong

Today, Renato ‘Atong’ Pacaide, peasant leader of Davao del Sur who was felled by an assassin, is laid to rest. Comrades, friends and families came for a funeral march in Digos City.

I met Ka Atong on several occasions in Davao. He comes across as a quiet person. His eyes and smile so gentle, yet it always strikes you. Behind this warmth is a person who has committed to activism since his college days. He is 53.

Ka Atong’s death reminds us of the ongoing military operations against militant leaders. In fact, another peasant leader in Davao del Norte survived an attempt in his life last January.

Ka Atong’s passing is a moment of grief for the peasant movement in Southern Mindanao. But it is also a moment of rekindling courage for his colleagues to continue his struggle for land, peace and justice. He will be greatly missed.