Negros Occidental

Daughter of farmer killed in Negros Occidental clashes says her father was not a rebel

Reymund Titong

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Daughter of farmer killed in Negros Occidental clashes says her father was not a rebel

File Photo. The Caramihan family during the pinning ceremony of their daughter Charlene Caramihan. The daughter is about to graduate in college this 2024.

Courtesy of Charlene Caramihan

Even as the daughter asked that the death of her father be investigated, the military says maybe the family of Jose Caramihan was not aware he was a member of the NPA

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – The daughter of a farmer killed during the recent clashes between government forces and insurgents denied the allegation of the military that her father was a member or a supporter of the rebel New People’s Army’s Northern Negros Front (NPA-NNF) in northern Negros Occidental. 

Charlene Caramihan, daughter of the slain Jose Caramihan, said it was not true as claimed by the military that her father was an NPA member working with the rebels. According to reports by the military, the insurgents in northern Negros were trying to recover the rebel front, which the state forces had previously declared dismantled.

Sa mga nag ingon nga NPA Akong papa, dili intawon na sya ingon ana. Kami gin padako me ni papa nga puno sang pagpalangga og may respeto sa isig katawo, aron mag subay me sa sakto nga dalan ug mangin maayo ang among kaugmaon,” she said.

(My father was not an NPA, as some people had claimed. We were reared by our father with a lot of love and respect for other people and made sure that we would take the right path for us to have a better future.)

Charlene said her father worked hard on their farm just to send them to school, especially since she is about to graduate this year with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education majoring in Filipino.

Naninguha ang akong amahan para ma edukar og tarong ang iyang mga anak biskan sa kalisod,” she told Rappler. 

Military launches airstrike after fierce clashes in Negros Occidental

Military launches airstrike after fierce clashes in Negros Occidental

(Amidst hardships, my father put a lot of effort into ensuring that his children would get a good education)

Charlene insisted that her father was a farmer who worked as a woodcutter, and was also responsible for tending to their small farm in Sitio Manlusao, which was their main source of family income.

Her parents were members of the United Sagay, Escalante, Toboso Planters Association, Inc. (USETPAI), Charlene said.

She was filled with anguish when she discovered that her father was one of the three suspected rebels killed Wednesday, February 21, in the area where their farm was located, she told Rappler.

Amo na untang gusto ko e-clear ang pangalan ni papa Kay yanong mangunguma ra gid intawon na Akong amahan. Ang among diginidad mao ra na among pinanghahawakan Kay biskan pigado me, napangkamot akong amahan para kanamo nga iyang pamilya. Dili na sya intawon rebelde,” Charlene said. 

(I wanted to clear my father’s name that he was just a farmer. My father worked very hard for his family and us, and we maintained our dignity despite our dire circumstances. He was not a rebel)

According to Charlene, her father went to the their farm every day, but would always return home before dusk. There was never a day when he failed to arrive home.

Following the death of her father, she called for help from various groups to conduct an independent probe into the killing of her father, whose dream was just to see his children finish schooling. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel J-Jay Javines affirmed the military report that Jose Caramihan, along with two other slain individuals were communist rebels in the northern Negros city. 

Javines said maybe the family of Jose was not aware of his affiliation with the rebels in their area. 

Charlene, however, said she was certain that her father became collateral damage in the conflict between the NPAs and the state forces.

Bishop criticizes military airstrike in Negros Occidental as ‘disproportionate’

Bishop criticizes military airstrike in Negros Occidental as ‘disproportionate’

The fighting resulted in sporadic clashes, with airstrikes by the military using Augusta Westland-109 “Night Hawk” attack helicopters launched against rebels.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos recently criticized the attack, calling it a “disproportionate act” that not only caused property and livelihood disruption but also sparked dread and fear among people. 

The bishop would also facilitate psycho-social interventions for all the affected residents of the fierce encounters in Escalante City and Toboso town, Negros Occidental. 

On the other hand, the Commission on Human Rights in Negros announced its plan to conduct an independent probe on the attack of the military against the NPAs, which pushed residents to flee their homes and livelihood. –

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