Bicol activists urge local officials to pass resolution against intensifying militarization

By Baretang Bikolnon Staff

LEGAZPI CITY – Activists in Bicol region urge to pass resolution against intensifying militarization after the national and local officials took part in the recent regional orientation workshop here seeking to create a regional task force aimed at ending the local communist armed conflict.

BAYAN – Bicol, their lead progressive organization, denounced the Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council’s (RDC-RPOC) Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELAC) that, according to them, will only intensify the militarization and human rights violations in the communities.

Hundreds of activists in Albay, Camarines Sur and Masbate staged a protest action on Tuesday, August 20, in front of PNP camps to defend the region against de facto martial law.

According to Dan Balucio, BAYAN Bicol secretary general, institutionalizing and localizing Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 is a military strategy of the government to eventually declare nationwide martial law.

“In EO 70, 12 pillars or clusters from civilian government agencies will be formed, subjecting them under the AFP-NICA to ensure that the government’s civil service bureaucracy will serve the counter-insurgency program in accordance with Oplan Kapanatagan, the new counter-insurgency program of the US-Duterte regime in the year 2019-2022. The militarization of the civilian government bureaucracy is complete in EO 70,” Balucio said.

Balucio added that the implementation of E0 70 and MO 32 only resulted to the EJKs, harassment and other human rights violations in the provinces of Bicol. The group cited the example of the aerial bombing and strafing of Joint Task Force Bicolandia on August 13 in Barangay Lidong, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. (

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