Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) vehemently condemns the recent state perpetrated fascist attacks and blatant human rights violations in three different cities of Negros Island that apparently endanger the lives of a pastor and 8 farmers.

According to the initial report of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros (BAYAN-Negros), a total of 3 farmers were nabbed in two separate sitios of Brgy. Mansalanao, La Castellana. Arnaldo Namu of Sitio Mandayao 1 was abducted by 5 unidentified armed men. After that, another group of armed men who introduced themselves as member of Military Intelligence Group illegally arrested Francisco Alabagan and his wife “Kapid” of Sitio Anunang.

At 4:00AM in Silay City, 10 elements of the Philippine National Police forcibly entered the homes of siblings Hermin Escapalao, 57 and Jorex Escapalao the vice president of Hacienda Raymunda Farmworkers Union – NFSW to serve search warrants. Jorex Escapalao is now illegally detained in Silay under the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan at 8:00 this morning, elements of the 62nd Infantry Batallion Philippine Army illigally arrested United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Pastor Jimmy Teves, Jodito Montecino, Eliseo Andres, JP Manzano and Rodrigo Medes.

These warrantless arrests and abduction came a few months after the infamous mass killings of 14 individuals in Manjuyod, Sta. Catalina and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental and nearly a year after the massacre in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

These conspicuous attacks are constituted to the heinous Memorandum Order 32, placing the entire Negros Island, Samar and Bicol regions under a state of lawless violence that basically legalizes the state’s terrorist acts against the people. The PNP had been boasting about respect for human rights and abiding to the rule of law but their actions manifest otherwise. 

“This regime is getting more and more barbaric in its futile attempt to silence the ever-growing rage of the Negrenses against its anti-people policies,” UMA Chairperson Antonio ‘Ka Tonying’ Flores stated. UMA and other progressive organizations and allies had just formed the Defend Negros, Stop the Attacks Network to gather a wide range of support for the struggles and the betterment of the human rights situation in Negros Island.

“We must stand with the Negrenses and persevere in our struggle to put an end to these atrocities and put this ruthless regime into justice for its incorrigible criminal acts against the people,” Ka Tonying added.