Davao City— A day after the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day and a few days after a notorious retired general said he will intensify his anti-communist campaign in Davao City, Ariel Casilao, spokesperson of Bayan Muna in Southern Mindanao, received a death threat through a voice call. The caller using the number 09107673345 threatened Casilao: “Asa ka karon Casilao? Putang ina mo! Hapit na imong adlaw. (Where are you now, Casilao? You son of a bitch! Your days are numbered.”
Casilao, also a local candidate under Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s political party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, reported the incident to the Philippine National Police at Camp Eleonor. He was accompanied by leaders of other progressive groups
Undaunted, Casilao said the death threat follows the similar pattern in the killing and/or abduction of members of progressive groups.
Casilao said he believes that the presence of Gen. Jovito Palparan and Jun Alcover in the city and their open dirty propaganda against Bayan Muna and other progressive groups is a concrete threat that imperils our lives and the lives of other activists and advocates.
“Who else would issue threats against us and has a track record of killing? None other than the military and the AFP intelligence, such as Palparan, who is a guardian and ally of Arroyo,” Casilao said.
“Palparan and his cohorts have brought their legacy of terror here in Davao. Palparan as Arroyo’s “berdugo” (butcher) turned Mindoro and Rizal as the military’s killing fields. He is determined to do the same here hiding under the cloak of being congressman and now a wanna-be senator,” Casilao said.
Casilao said the death threat he has received is just one among the many dirty campaign moves of Palparan and his partylist groups Anad and Bantay.
“Palparan said it himself. He and his partylist is out to remove the so-called leftist organizations out of the way. They aim to sabotage the progressive partylist’s victory in the upcoming elections,” Casilao said.
Last week, General Jovito Palparan made an announcement that he, along with Bantay and Anad partylist will focus their campaign in Davao City.
Casilao, along with former Bayan Muna congressman Joel Virador are aspiring for local seats as councilors in the 2nd and 1st district respectively under the banner of Bayan Muna partylist. Both of them are guest candidates of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s political coalition Hugpong sa tawong Lungsod.