For HUMABOL, there has to be no room for compromise when it comes to the call to abolish NTF-ELCAC. We expect the same from presidential aspirants and VP Leni Robredo who had backtracked from her earlier position of supporting the call.
NTF-ELCAC, funded by billions of people’s taxes, was created by Pres. Duterte as a weapon to suppress dissent and silence those who oppose his tyrannical rule. Its P19-billion budget fittingly dubbed as “generals’ pork” which still needs to be accounted for, has also become a fat source of corruption. NTF-ELCAC red-tags critics and activists in order to justify attacks against the latter.
Peasant rights advocates, peasant leaders, and human rights defenders in Bohol who were heavily red-tagged by the task force were either harassed by state security forces, slapped with trumped-up charges, or extrajudicially killed.
After Pres. Duterte’s issuance of E.O. 70 that created NTF-ELCAC in December 2018, at least 22 peasant leaders and rights advocates in Bohol were charged with different fabricated cases of whom 8 are currently detained including UCCP Pastor Dodo Vallente, Alvin Fortaliza (Anakpawis Partylist Bohol Coordinator/Creative Director of the peasant-based theater group Bansiwag), farmer Alfie Sarsale and Robin Boybanting (Bansiwag choreographer). There were also 4 victims of extrajudicial killings. They were Pelagio Compoc (farmer and tanod), Marlon Maldos (Bansiwag choreographer/activist), Lucresia Tasic (Anakpawis campaigner) and Lorenzo Pana (former HUMABOL district officer).
If VP Robredo wants the vast majority to be on her side she must listen to and support the calls of the peasantry and other oppressed sectors – the ones she calls as the “laylayan”, whose rights are trampled upon and who are continually terrorized by NTF-ELCAC, not the other way around.