Joma urges independent rights groups to probe Nasugbu clash
LUCENA CITY – Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison called for an independent investigation on the death of 15 persons in an alleged encounter between government forces and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Nasugbu town in Batangas province.
Sison said he doubted the military report that an encounter really occurred.
“Fake encounters and fake surrenders generated by AFP psywar will really increase, as well as fake news from the Duterte troll army,” Sison told the Inquirer.
“The military is fond of making false claims of surrenders and encounters to make it look like they are winning. But the worst is when they kill civilians then tag them as NPAs,” he added.
He argued that if one of the slain rebels was a UP student, he or she might just be an activist.
On Wednesday, the military identified Josephine Lapera, aka Ella Rodriguez, from Marikina City as the 15th fatality in the clash between NPA rebels and Air Force soldiers in Nasugbu, Batangas. Lapera died while undergoing treatment in hospital.
Sison called for an investigation of independent human rights organizations like the militant Karapatan.
“But even Karapatan investigators are being killed by Duterte (administration) like in Negros. It would be good if there is protection extended by the Church, UN (United Nations) and ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) to HR investigators,” he said.
But if the victims of the encounter were really NPA fighters and activists, Sison said it would not deter the expected rise of NPA membership under the Duterte regime.
He predicted that more victims of human rights violations and abuses by government forces would join the NPA just like what happened during the Marcos dictatorship.
“Many activists will take up arms as they did during the time of Marcos if Duterte would not stop using his Tokhang method on legal activists and civilians,” Sison said.