4 dead, 12 wounded 57th IB-AFP troops in Makilala NPA counter-offensive

Ricardo Fermiza
Magtanggol Roque Command, Front 51, NPA-Southern Mindanao
March 8, 2012

The Magtanggol Roque Command Front 51 Operations Command retaliated in a decisive counter-offensive against an 80-man 2-column unit of the abusive 57th Infantry Battalion-AFP, March 5, in Makilala town, North Cotabato.

Red fighters fought against the abusive combat forces of the 57th IB, the AFP unit responsible for the atrocious human rights violations in North Cotabato. The rights abuses committed by the 57th IB range from worse offenses such as the killing of peasant leader Ramon Batoy, arrest, torture and incarceration of two civilian peasants and military operations and forced evacuation of civilians in sitio
Kabalantian, Arakan, three days after Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed in October last year. The 57th IB also abducted and tortured two peasant leaders in December. By January, it worsened its red tagging and house to house campaign against innocent civilians in Makilala and Arakan hinterlands.

In the aftermath of its recent combat operations, 57th IB troops harassed and attempted to silence the masses who are outraged with the forced evacuation and other human rights abuses.

Worse, the AFP downplayed its number of casualties and concocted outrageous stories to divert the issues that affect the masses. The Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP is lying to its teeth when it quickly justified the AFP's combat operations as its foil against the alleged recent series of "landmine attacks" by the NPA in Makilala. It showed its ignorance over the tenets of international humanitarian law, even if nowhere in the law explicitly bans the use of command-detonated explosives. EastminCom-AFP also falsely accused the NPA of using young combatants, when in fact, Red fighters were of majority age.

(Sgd.) Ricardo Fermiza
Spokesperson
Magtanggol Roque Command