Initial reports from several sources state that at least six persons were killed during a security clamp down on 27 December, including HRDs Jesus “Dondon” Isugan, son of peasant organisers Delia and Dominador Isugan; habal-habal drivers Reneboy Fat and Jaime Revilla, who are also community organisers; and Demetrio Fat, cousin of a peasant organizer. The six were reportedly killed as the PNP and AFP served search warrants in their homes, alleging their possession of firearms.
Sixteen others have been reportedly arrested, including peasant organizer Margie Baylosis, cousin of Joey Baylosis, also a peasant organizer who was arbitrarily arrested with 5 others in Mabinay, Negros Oriental. According to relatives of Margie Vailoces, no search warrants were shown by the police and military to those in the home of the Vailoces family. Firearms were also planted in their residence. Confirmation on the arrests of other peasant organizers will continue, but copies of said search warrants used to justify the arrests are not being shown by the police.
These killings and arrests are reportedly being conducted in line with Pres. Duterte’s orders to destroy the communist movement, including those in its so-called legal fronts, and the police crackdown against crime. These violations come after the massacre of nine farmworkers in Sagay, Negros Occidental; the killing of Atty. Benjamin Ramos in Sipalay, Negros Occidental; the arrest of peasant leaders including Ricky Canete in Sagay City; the relentless threats, villification and harassment against development and human rights workers; and military operations in communities.