Food Blockade in Misamis Oriental Confirmed

Mar. 27, 2010

By Media Mindanao News Service

News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988
Posted by Davao Today

SALAY, MISAMIS ORIENTAL (MMNS/October 15, 1987) – The military has resorted to food blockades in barrios Alipuaton and Ili-ilihon this town for three weeks now following the September 16 rebel attack on any army detachment in Purok 7, Sitio Taguntong, Alipuston, Salay.

This confirmation came from Capt. Isagani Ariston, commanding officer of Charlie Company, 9TH Infantry Battalion detailed in the eastern part of this province. In an interview with members of a fact-finding mission organized by the Philippine Alliance of Human rights Advocates (PAHRA), he insisted on calling the food blockade as ‘resource control.’

“We are applying ‘resource control’ because my troops are still operating up there (mountains). We are doing this to cut off rebel supply. It has been going on for 3 weeks, and will go on indefinitely,” Ariston declared.

Interviews with residence of Barrios Alipuaton and Ili-ilihan, revealed that the food blockade started on September 17, immediately after the detachment raid by around 50 NPA guerillas.

Rudy Adoremos, Ili-ilihon barangay captain, said that no official statement from the military or the civilian government preceded the spate of military operations in the barrios. The military was reported to arrive in Ili-ilihon right after the raid, firing cannons, bazookas and machineguns.

“The soldiers believe that the barrio residents have been supplying the rebels with food and medicine. That’s not true. We have nothing to give; some of us here can hardly eat,” Adoremos said.

Since September 17, residents of the two barrios have been allowed to buy only one kilo of rice or two kilos of corn, three tablets for headache, one to two small cans of salt, one box of matches, and one bar of soap for each family’s consumption for days. The military reportedly does not allow daily purchase of goods.

In another interview, Salay OIC Mayor Angelo Capistrano denounced the food blockade, saying that the military did not coordinate with the local government. He said he learned of the food blockade from the barrio folks themselves, after some visited his office complaining of arbitrary arrests, manhandling, illegal searches allegedly done by elements of Charlie Company, 9th IB.

Capistrano disclosed that Misamis Oriental Governor Vicente Emano and 4th Infantry Division Commander Brig. Gen. Mariano Adalem have been informed by his office of the developments in Salay.

Governor Emano recently called on all right–and left-wing armed forces to cease involving civilians in their armed encounters. He said that Philippine society cannot hope to achieve progress if constantly subjected to the “power of the barrel of a gun.” Emano, aware of the operation of a vigilante group called Civilian Security Force in Salay, also reiterated his call, during a recent press conference for the dismantling of all vigilante groups. Arming civilians, he added, “will not abate the insurgency problem.” The vigilante operation, Emano opined, “will only lead to more armed clashes between government and rebel troops . . . victimizing innocent civilians in the process.”

Meanwhile, Capistrano said he anticipates a dialogue among military officials, government authorities and the Salay residents soon. (Media Mindanao News Service News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988 Posted by Davao Today )

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