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Civilians decry abuses as military steps up operations in Quezon villages

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eight combat battalions of the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police and Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) are concentrated in the first and second districts of Quezon, harassing civilians, and wreaking havoc on the lives of the rural folk.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – At around 1 a.m. of May 9, while farmer Christopher Prieto and his family were sleeping soundly, about nine soldiers came to their house in sitio Pilsen, barangay Cambuga, Mulanay, Quezon.
Armed with high-powered rifles, the soldiers, most of them in civilian clothes and wearing combat boots, accused Prieto of being a New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla. “I told them I am not. I am just a farmer,” Prieto told Bulatlat.com in an interview.

The soldiers searched his house and the vicinity, looking for guns. “I told them if they find even just one, they could kill me.” His wife, carrying their four-month-old child, and their four other children gathered around him, crying aloud. Finding no firearms, the soldiers left.

Prieto is only one of the many farmers and civilians who had been victims of abuses as the military has intensified its counterinsurgency operations in 22 villages of Quezon province, south of Manila.
On the same day, Prieto left their place. “If I would not be missing, I would get killed,” he said. He said that elements of the 74th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) have been terrorizing the civilians in their village.

Meanwhile, Genelyn Dichoso, a resident of barangay 10, Poblacion, Catanauan, said her 17-year-old niece was killed in a crossfire in Lopez, Quezon on April 29. “She was there to visit another aunt when soldiers and NPA fighters exchanged fire. She had six bullet wounds, one in the chest, shot at close range,” Dichoso said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/05/14/civilians-decry-abuses-as-military-steps-up-operations-in-quezon-villages/

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