Masbate farmers oppose E-CLIP, 11 farmers arrested in Cawayan to join military operations

By Reynard Magtoto

MASBATE CITY – “Pinasok po nila ang bahay namin. Kinuha ang pera namin na 12,400 pesos saka binugbog nila kapatid ko (They entered our house. Took our money worth 12,400 pesos and they beaten my brother),” said Rose Marie Erero of Brgy. Dalipe, Cawayan who’s still searching for her brother 20 days now.

Her brother, Nilo Erero jr, was among 11 farmers forcedly arrested in the municipality of Cawayan by the combined forces of 2nd IBPA, Military Intelligence Company, PNP Masbate and Police Regional Office-5 as part of the AFP-PNP’s Oplan Kapanatagan.

According to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Masbate (KMM), the military also forced the abducted farmers namely Danilo “kaboy” Landao, Arnel Punay, Jovanie Impas, Bobby Baybayon, Ondo Rondina, Tong-tong Pianar, Titing Delosreyes, Ondoy Pianar and Boy-boy Sare to work with them.

“The military tortured our members and entered to their houses. They threatened the life of former barangay councilor Danilo Cunel and the military banned the people from going in and out in Brgy. Dalipe. Up to 942 people fled here for fear. People continue to get sick because of lack of food and drink,” said Charito David, chairman of KMM.

In the Fact Finding report 8 villages were affected by the military operations in Cawayan namely the villages of Pagadian, Lague Lague, Dalipe, Eraya, Guiom, Calumpang, Pin-as, and RM Magbalon.

According to Karapatan Bicol, the fears of the people are dominated by threats and harassment by the military in the areas.

On June 7, KMM launched a protest action in Cawayan to assert justice to eleven (11) farmers who were forcedly arrested and included in military operations as guide to search for NPAs in the municipality. Up to 942 residents evacuated from 157 families, in eight barangays in Cawayan.

David expressed that their peasant group condemns the counter- insurgency Oplan Kapanatagan and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) program of the Duterte administration, which causes a high number of human rights violations and continues to destroy the livelihoods of farmers in their province.

Rodrigo Duterte failed to subdue the CPP-NDFP-NPA in the framework of the peace talks so his administration cancelled the GRP-NDFP Peace Talks, disregarded earlier agreements, and arrested NDFP consultants based on trumped-up cases.

“Instead of national level peace talks, Duterte is pushing for ‘localized peace talks’ with the goal not to resolve the root of armed conflict but to let rebels surrender under the E-CLIP program. Villagers in the countryside are repressed and being accused as rebels or supporters of NPAs even if they are not guilty, they are filing trumped-up cases and making fake surrenderees,” David added. (

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