Sa pinakahuling episode ng Tambayan ngayong tinaguriang ‘International Day of Climate Action’, kumustahin natin ang dalawang environmental defenders na sina Jhed Tamano at Jonila Castro. Kamakailan lang ay kinasuhan sila ng Department of National Defense ng perjury kaugnay ng paglalantad nila ng pagdukot sa kanila ng mga militar.
The government military’s human rights violations can only strengthen the New People’s Army (NPA) particularly in the Visayas region, the underground group’s Negros Island Regional Operation Command said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) “flagrant attacks” against civilians, innocent farmers and hors de combat NPA fighters are prodding the people to fight back, the revolutionary army’s Apolinario Gatmaitan Command spokesperson Maoche Legislador said in a statement.
In a reaction to AFP Visayas Command chief Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo’s assertion of a “remarkable combat accomplishment” by government soldiers in weakening the NPA in the region, Legislador said the former’s claim is nothing but “hallucination”.
Legislador added that Arevalo’s statement are, in reality, based upon the “murderous rampage” of his troops against civilian communities in Western, Central and Eastern Visayas.
“AFP’s monstrosity spans from red-tagging, threats and harassment, fake encounters, abductions and enforced disappearances, cold-blooded killings, forced surrenders, illegal arrest and detention, deception, aerial bombings and artillery shelling of communities and other human rights violations,” the regional NPA spokesperson said.
Legislador said that around 300 cases of human rights abuses affecting over 24,000 individuals were perpetrated by the 302nd and 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army, 27 cases of which victimized more than 50 children in Negros Island alone.
“Arevalo…is on hallucinogens… the mastermind of all ceaseless state-sponsored crimes and state terrorism that has victimized the people of the Visayas. He is also the main spinner of lies and deceit,” Legislador said.
He also cited the AFP’s claim that the massacred Fausto family in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental last June 14 were “reinforcements” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the NPA in Negros Island.
‘Strategic victory over the NPA’
Earlier this week, military spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar also claimed the AFP has achieved “strategic victory” over the NPA, claiming further the revolutionary army has only 1,800 active members left.
In a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) press conference last Monday, June 10, Aguilar said 400 of the 1,800 NPA fighters are already identified and are the subject of “focused military operations.”
Aguilar added that more than 600 NPA members were either recently killed in combat operations or voluntarily surrendered to the government.
“We should end the local armed conflict now. We cannot let them stay for another 50 years,” Aguilar said, adding the AFP intends to eliminate the NPA’s remaining active fronts this year.
Aguilar called on to local government units to bring social services to communities known to be influenced by the NPA.
Intensified armed encounters
Legislador admitted that real armed encounters between the NPA and the AFP have indeed intensified in Negros Island but these are mainly due to yet another “pipe dream” of defeating them swiftly under the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government.
In fact, Legislador said, another company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 7 of the Philippine National Police has recently been deployed to Negros Oriental on the pretext of providing additional security for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this December.
Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and nine others were killed earlier this year in a brazen assault by hired killers suspected to be employed by political rivals in the province.
But Legislador said that the military and police operations are really meant to eliminate the NPA’s resistance to the entry of foreign businesses to the island.
“In truth, the AFP and the entire state forces of the US-Marcos II regime are only prodding the people to fight back, on the streets and up to the countryside. What is left for the people on the Visayas islands is to strengthen themselves and their Red Army in order to advance the revolution further,” Legislador said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said they mourn the “horrifying” deaths of the Fausto family killed last Wednesday, June 14, in Himamaylan, Negros Occidental allegedly by government soldiers.
In a petition released last Sunday, the prelate in neighboring Negros Oriental said he implores local and national government institutions to ensure justice for the victims and hold accountable those responsible for the massacre.
Brutally killed in their hut were Roly Fausto (55), his wife Emelda (50) and their children Ben (15) and Ravin (12) who had been repeatedly red-tagged and by the military weeks before their deaths.
Quoting a report by local human rights group September 21 Movement, Alminaza joined many organizations in identifying the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion as alleged perpetrators of the “heinous act.”
“Our hearts are heavy as we witness the escalating militarization under the current (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.) administration,” Bishop Alminaza said.
The bishop also blamed Executive Order 70 issued by former president Rodrigo Duterte institutionalizing the so-called whole-of-nation approach in the government’s counter-insurgency program and creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for the incident.
“The’ whole-of-nation approach’ advocated by the (NTF-ELCAC) has led to the weaponization of ‘red-tagging’, armed harassment, and senseless killings,” Alminaza said.
Alminaza offered a prayer as a plea for justice in his petition.
‘AFP are child killers’
Meanwhile, the Special Office for the Protection of Children (SOPC) of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as child killers for the deaths of minors Ben and Ravin.
NDFP-SPOC head and NDFP Negotiating Panel member Coni Ledesma, a native of Negros Occidental, said her office vehemently condemns the “brutal massacre” by the said military unit.
“This heinous act is a blatant violation of the rights of the child and the special protections under international humanitarian law,” Ledesma said.
Ledesma said child rights violations have sharply increased under the Marcos Jr. government with reports of kidnappings, threats, forced evacuation, violence and murder.
In Negros Island alone, the NDFP has documented at least 22 cases of state violence involving children between the period of 2020 to 2022, Ledesma said, citing a special report by the Communist Party of the Philippines’ official organ Ang Bayan.
“The killing of the Fausto children and their parents exposes the AFP once more as lawless and mindless child killers. As commander-in-chief of the criminal, corrupt and brutal AFP, Marcos II is directly responsible for its war crimes against the Filipino people,” she said.
Ledesma also criticized the AFP for its penchant to blame the New People’s Army (NPA) for its reported crimes against civilians.
Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Battalion commander B/Gen. Orlando Edralin told reporters in a briefing last Thursday it was the NPA that killed the Faustos.
Edralin claimed that Roly had become a military asset prior to his death.
“Pinning the blame on the NPA is an old and tired tactic the AFP uses to escape accountability for its crimes against the people. Confirmed reports stated that on 22 March, both Emelda and Rolly Fausto were interrogated and harassed by military agents,” Ledesma however said.
“Even prior to the incident, the AFP has red-tagged the Fausto family, slaughtered their livestock, and ransacked their property in attempts to force admission of ties to the NPA,” she added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
The massacre of a family in Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental was carried out by the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) and the citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in retaliation for an attack on the local paramilitary camp, the New People’s Army (NPA) said.
The NPA’s Mt. Cansermon Command (MCC) said Rolly and Emelda Fausto and their two minor children were killed by the soldiers and the paramilitary the day after a “harassment operation” was conducted against the local CAFGU camp last June 13.
“[The operation] resulted (in) several casualties on the side of the military troops within the camp. This was the reason behind their brutal retaliation on civilian farmers who they suspected as NPA supporters,” NPA’s South Central Negros Guerilla Front spokesperson Dionesio Magbuelas said.
Magbuelas said that the 94th IB has in fact been planning and preparing to butcher the Fausto family for some time.
He revealed that the MCC had received complaints from other residents in the area about threats to their personal safety after the military broadcast names of suspected NPA supporters on radio.
The military list included Rolly Fausto, Magbuelas said.
The military’s radio program, hosted by a Johnrey Hilado, also often insinuated that Rolly fed and supported the NPA.
“This was a form of red-tagging that put Rolly Fausto and others at risk,” Magbuelas said.
History of threats against the victims
A month ago, the Fausto family has been subjected to harassments and threats, and their home was ransacked by the 94th IB, mainly soldiers assigned to the Hilamonan and Mahalang detachments, the MCC said, a report corroborated by initial reports by local human rights group after the massacre last Wednesday, June 14.
The NPA unit was also notified by other residents that three suspicious persons, including a military asset who was a rebel returnee, also previously spied on the Fausto house.
Meanwhile, 303rd Brigade commander B/Gen Orlando Edralin denied government troops massacred the Faustos, claiming Roly was their asset.
Edralin alleged that it was the NPA who killed the family.
Magbuelas however laughed off Edralin’s allegations, adding the general only humiliated himself before reporters when he made the denials.
“How can one be a military asset when an individual was repeatedly threatened and tortured, and his house was ransacked just recently?” Magbuelas asked.
Human rights reports said that Emelda complained to their farmers’ organizations of the soldier’s ransacking of their house.
“The people know the dirty record of killings and the various forms of abuses perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the 303rd Brigade,” Magbuelas said.
“The people will be the judge. Due to the consecutive extrajudicial killings, such as the case of Crispin Tingal Jr. and now the Fausto family massacre, (the military) can no longer deceive the public even if they shed buckets of crocodile tears to get the sympathy of the very people who are victims of their atrocities,” the MCC spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, activist groups held a condemnation rally in front of the Commission on Human Rights in Quezon City last Friday, demanding swift and impartial investigations of the massacre.
The groups said accusations and reports of the military’s hand in the gruesome murders must be looked into.
The national alliance for women Gabriela said the massacre is a gross violation by the AFP as it targeted non-combatants.
The group also pointed out that the military committed a grave violation of the United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Protection of Women in Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict.
In a separate statement, the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) said investigating authorities should also look into human rights violations under the lock down imposed by the military in nearby Himamaylan City.
UMA said the military imposed a media blackout on the status of 15,000 evacuees, downplaying their assault on seven farm workers, strafing of 15 Tumandok households, and looting of civilian homes.
The group reported at least 21 farmers have been victims of extrajudicial killings under the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government.
“[We are] worried the Fausto massacre marked the beginning of another spate of killings on the island,” UMA chairperson Ariel Casilao said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
GENEVA, Switzerland—The New People’s Army (NPA) in Masbate said its successful military operations in the towns of Placer and Dimasalang are its contributions to the celebrations of their 54th founding anniversary tomorrow, March 29.
The NPA’s Jose Rapsing Command (JRC) in the province said its coordinated guerilla actions last Wednesday, March 22, in Barangay Locso-on in Place and Barangay Gain in Dimasalang resulted in the deaths of 10 government soldiers and the wounding of not less than seven others.
The fatalities belonged to the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, augmented by troops from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
JRC-NPA spokesperson Luz del Mar in a statement said they belie Joint Task Force Bicolandia’s claims the government soldiers were ambushed near communities and civilian spaces, in turn accusing government troops of attacking schools “in a desperate attempt to cover up their defeat.”
Del Mar said JRC-NPA their offensive was a reaction to the ongoing focused military operations of their enemies using many drones, helicopters and soldiers.
She added that their coordinated attacks were meant to punish the Philippine Army for its attempts to recruit Masbate students to join the paramilitary Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
In a post on its Facebook page, the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army said only two soldiers and two police officers were wounded in the firefights.
In a statement by Acting Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Isidro Purisima subsequently posted on the same military social media page, he said that a government soldier was killed while two others were wounded.
Meanwhile, the Inquirer reported that another soldier was killed in a firefight with the NPA in Masbate Monday, March 27.
Corporal Antonio Parreno Jr. was killed after the 2nd Infantry Battalion figured in a five-minute exchange of gunfire with some 12 communist rebels in Barangay Villahermosa in Cawayan town, the report said.
Del Mar said their series of attacks against government troopers is in defense of Masbate citizens suffering from the intense militarization of their province.
“These tactical offensives prove that the claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP and CAFGU of their strategic victory against the revolutionary movement are false,” del Mar added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
CPP: AFP unit involved in May 2020 massacre in Sorsogon
The New People’s Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denied the two soldiers killed in an ambush in Camalig, Albay last February 20 were part of the search and retrieval operations for the victims of the plane crash on Mayon Volcano.
In a statement, Santos Binamera Command (NPA-Albay) spokesperson Florante Orobia said the two soldiers of the 31st Infantry Battallion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) were buying supplies at a market place around 7:20 AM when fired upon by its partisans.
Orobia said Private First Class (PFC) Mark June Esico and PFC John Dave Adcolin were also part of the security detail of an infrastructure project in the same town at the time of the incident.
The CPP said in a separate statement issued to journalists that the ambush was a legitimate military operation against government soldiers actively involved in counterinsurgency operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“Military supply lines comprise an important aspect of war operations…Disrupting the AFP’s supply lines are among the tactics for waging guerrilla warfare,” CPP spokesperson Marco Valbuena said.
Earlier, Philippine Army 9th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Adonis Bajao claimed the two soldiers were assigned to extend assistance to the search and retrieval operations of the four victims of a plane crash on Mayon Volcano.
Bajao added that the ambush was in retaliation to his division’s successes against the NPA in the Bicol region.
The CPP however said the soldiers were armed, ready to engage in battle when ambushed, and a .45 caliber pistol was in fact taken from them.
“The claim of the 9th ID that the troops were preparing for search and rescue operations over a missing Cessna plane is a sorry PR attempt to gloss over the brutal counterinsurgency record of the 31st IB, in the hope of gaining public sympathy,” Valbuena said.
The CPP spokesperson said the two soldiers’ unit is responsible for scores of human rights violations, including the May 8, 2020 massacre of five farmer in Bulan, Sorsogon.
He added the 31st IBPA was also involved in other cases of killings, torture, illegal arrests and detention, threats and harassments of farming communities in Sorsogon and Camarines Sur provinces.
“The partisan operations of the NPA in Albay point to the fact that armed guerrilla operations in Bicol continue to expand. It shows the ability of the NPA to deploy teams anywhere in order to strike at enemy military targets,” Valbuena said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Award winning poet and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Ericson Acosta was murdered by the military Wednesday morning in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, a rebel spokesperson announced.
NDF-Negros spokesperson Bayani Obrero said in a statement that Acosta and a companion were captured alive at around two o’clock in the morning of November 30 but were announced as casualties in a “fake encounter” a few hours later.
Obrero belied the announcement made by the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) that the bodies of two New People’s Army (NPA) members were “found” at the site of a second firefight between government troopers and the revolutionary group in Sitio Makilo, Barangay Camansi in the said city.
In an earlier announcement, the government unit said that they, along with the 47th IB-PA, fought against 10 NPA fighters twice in a span of 15 minutes that resulted in the discovery of two dead rebels, presumably Acosta and his unnamed companion.
The government troopers said the insurgents were earlier involved in a series of gunfights in Carabalan, Himamaylan City in October.
The NDF in Negros however said Acosta and companion were summarily executed as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ “despicable policy of taking no prisoners in their counter-insurgency campaign.”
“Twisting truths cannot cover the fact that butchers 94th Infantry Battalion and 47th Infantry Battalion captured NDF Consultant Ericson Acosta and his companion, a peasant organizer, alive around 2:00 this morning,“ Obrero said.
Obrero said Acosta was in southern Negros to consult on the situation of farm workers as one of the NDFP peace consultants working on social and economic reforms.
Acosta attended the formal peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in 2017 in Italy and The Netherlands.
Acosta, first arrested in February 2011 in Samar Island, regained freedom two years later.
A highly-regarded writer, singer and actor, he later won a National Book Award for his first poetry collection “Mula Tarima Hanggang at iba pang mga Tula at Awit” published by the University of the Philippines Press in 2015.
He was a former culture editor of The Philippine Collegian.
He is survived by a son with fellow poet, actor and campus journalist Lorena Kerima Tariman who was similarly killed in what the military described as an “encounter” in Silay City, Negros Occidental in October 2021. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
‘Special Ops’ targeting chairperson and spokesperson, BAYAN says
Activists in Aklan province called on the military and police to stop its operations targeting their leaders and demanded the withdrawal of army troops in civilian communities.
In an alert, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Aklan said it condemns the harassment against its chairperson George Calaor and spokesperson Kim-Sin Tugna, as well as members of peoples’s organizations and other civilians.
“We will hold the 301st Brigade of the Philippine Army, the local PNP, and the Duterte government responsible for any harm done to Calaor and Tugna,” the group said.
BAYAN-Aklan reported that a coordinated police and military operation is ongoing against its leaders and members that is “clearly intended to sow fear and silence activists like Calaor and Tugna.”
“This could be a prelude to a wider violent crackdown in the province and region. We remember how state forces previously attacked communities in Capiz and Iloilo which led to massacres and extrajudicial killings,” the group added.
The Philippine Army denied BAYAN’s accusations.
‘Only for training’
In a statement, 301st Infantry Brigade-Philippine Army commander Brig. Gen. Marion Sison said the presence of soldiers Barangay Cawayan, New Washington, and Barangay Poblacion, Kalibo, is part of a 45-day immersion phase as students of the Civil-Military Operations Competency Enhancement Training (CMOCET).
“CMOCET is an In-Service Training of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division Training School focused on “community consultations and problem-solving sessions,” the general said.
“CMOCET students were not deployed to conduct surveillance on anyone but to apply their learning through community visitations, dialogues, symposiums, and awareness drives,” he added.
Sison also said that the deployment has the approval of local government officials.
Surveillance against activists
BAYAN-Aklan however reported that the soldiers are conducting surveillance operations against Tugna and Calaor, both red-tagging victims by the military.
The group said that Barangay Poblacion chairperson Neil Candelario has confirmed that a “special operation” is being conducted against the Calaor, also a well-established poet, and Tugna.
“In fact, our (Calaor and Tugna) pictures were first shown to him (Candelario) while investigating our persons to the Punong Barangay. It was also the barangay captain who told us about the “special operation” as verbalized by their personnel when they a paid courtesy call to Punong Barangay Candelario on June 20, 2022,” BAYAN-Aklan revealed.
“Moreover, there are people in the communities that can confirm their surveillance activities against Mr. Tugna and Mr. Calaor,” it added.
The group said it fears that the “special operations” would lead to warrantless searches and arrests, and possibly, extra-judicial killings, recalling the massacre of nine Tumandok indigenous persons and the arrest of 17 others in December 2020.
Like the massacre and mass-arrest victims, BAYAN-AKlan leaders and members have been the subject of intensified vilification and red-tagging by the military and the police, it added.
BAYAN-Aklan said the military have no business being in civilian communities except to so fear among the populace. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
A bishop, Iglesia Filipina Independiente’s (IFI) first-ever woman prelate, is being red-tagged in Ilocos Norte, along with three priests.
Bishop Emelyn Gasco-Dacuycuy and IFI priests Noel Dacuycuy, Randy Manicap and Arvin Mangrobang were accused by a shadowy group calling itself the Tagapagtanggol ng Bayan Laban sa Terorismo as New People’s Army (NPA) recruiters.
Posters and streamers bearing the victim’s pictures and alleging the priests and the bishop were NPA recruiters were found at the IFI Parish in Batac town Thursday morning, June 2.
The bishop also disclosed that more such flyers were distributed this morning at the IFI Cathedral in Laoag City and the Parish of Banna where she pastorally resides.
The posters ordered the priests to surrender at a police station to clear their names.
In a press conference Friday, Rev. Mangrobang said he does not need to have his name cleared again after already talking to the Vintar chief of police earlier.
Mangrobang revealed that a hand-painted streamer made from a rice sack had already been hung in Vintar last May 8 accusing him of being a NPA supporter.
“The new posters bearing our photos are worse. I have not even seen a NPA member,” Mangrobang said.
The priest said he only recruits sacristans to assist in the altar during Masses and to help in doing God’s work.
“They must know that I am a full-time priest and that I stay in the convent,” he added.
Rev. Dacuycuy for his part blamed President Rodrigo Duterte’ anti-terror law for the red-tagging activities against them.
“They insist that those who speak out in behalf of the people are automatically leftists or terrorists,” Dacuycuy explained.
In a statement Friday, Bishop Dacuycuy said she strongly condemns the “malicious accusations” and denied she ever recruited or is involved with the NPA.
The prelate said she met with Ilocos Norte police director Julius Sibaen Thursday who, she said, assured them of their security.
“Today, we will go to Batac PNP to file a blotter about the hanging of the tarpaulin at the gate of [the] Batac convent and scattered flyers bearing our faces with false accusation that happened yesterday morning,” Bishop Dacuycuy said.
Dacuycuy said her diocese is ready to hold a dialogue with government agencies and the military in the area.
Dacuycuy made history when she was consecrated IFI’s first woman bishop in May 5, 2017 whose diocesan see was the birthplace of IFI co-founder and first supreme bishop Gregorio Aglipay.
Ilocos Norte is also the home province of president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. whose family also dominated the local elections in the province earlier this month. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
(This report earlier mistakenly said the Rt. Rev. Dacuycuy was the country’s first-ever woman bishop. Two United Church of Christ in the Philippines woman bishops in fact preceded her.)
Has Camp Aguinaldo become ungrateful of People Power? Do its current occupants, once desperate for the people’s protection, think nothing of injuring those who once protected them from a dictator’s tanks and guns?
As hundreds of people commemorated the 36th anniversary of the People Power uprising with a rally at the monument at the corner of EDSA and White Plains Avenue on Friday morning, they were pelted with stones and plastic bottles from inside the military camp.
“Mga kababayan, bago po ako magsimula, nais ko pong ibalita sa inyo na kanina pa hong may lumilipad ng bato at mga bote mula sa loob ng Camp Aguinaldo papunta po rito sa ating hanay,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. announced at the start of his speech towards the end of the rally. (Compatriots, before I start, let me announce that stones and bottles flew towards us from inside Camp Aguinaldo.)
Reyes said that the police failed to let the pelting stop, adding that a Polytechnic University of the Philippines employee was hit on the head by a stone.
“Nasan po yung mga pulis? Nasan yung mga pulis? Bakit hindi nyo po maprotektahan yung mga tao laban doon sa mga nambabato [mula] sa loob ng Camp Aguinaldo?” Reyes asked. (Where is the police? Where is the police? Why can’t you protect the people from those throwing from inside Camp Aguinaldo?”
The victim, Vilma S. Tuno said she was seated near the camp’s wall along White Plains Avenue and intently listening to the program when hit by a stone.
“Tumama sa ulo ko. Ang laki ng maga at sobrang sakit kaya na-obliga ako pumunta sa emergency room,” she told Kodao. (The stone hit my head. The swelling was huge and it was very painful. I was forced to go to the emergency room.)
Tuno was rushed to the V.R. Potenciano Hospital at EDSA-Mandaluyong where she was advised to undergo a CT Scan to check for possible effects to her previous brain surgery for epilepsy,” human rights group Kapatid said.
“This is to strongly inform the Camp Aguinaldo officials that the stone-throwing incident from inside your wall has caused physical injury. Several other rally participants were also directly hit by stones, sticks and plastic bottles,” Kapatid added in its statement.
“This kind of incident must not go unpunished. Kapatid condemns this despicable act against us who are marking #EDSA36 near the People Power Monument. We call on Camp Aguinaldo officials to investigate this incident and put a stop to all such acts.
This reporter was also hit on his torso while another stone bounced off the pavement and hit his thigh.
Journalist Lito Ocampo also complained that he was almost hit by an empty soda bottle thrown from inside the camp.
Camp Aguinaldo is the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and where the Department of National Defense is located.
It was where then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile and his cohorts holed up when they turned against then President Ferdinand Marcos.
Reyes bewailed that during the uprising, the people went to EDSA to protect the people from inside the camp from an impending full-scale military attack ordered by Marcos.
“Noong EDSA, iyong mga tao, pumunta rito sa EDSA para po protektahan yung mga nasa loob ng Camp Aguinaldo. Ngayon po, yung mga tao, nagtitipon dito sa EDSA, binabato ng mga naroroon sa loob ng Camp Aguinaldo,” Reyes complained. (During the uprising, the people went to EDSA to protect those inside Camp Aguinaldo. Now that the people commemorate the uprising, stones are being thrown at us from inside the camp.)
The police, hundreds of them, did not stir from under their tents and under the trees, even after hearing the complaint. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)