Incoming NCR police chief, AFP Chief of Staff sourced from a long line of butchers, human rights violators - Karapatan

“The impending designation of Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas as Philippine National Police National Capital Region chief and the recent appointment of Lt. Gen. Noel Clement as the new Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff are indications of how the Duterte regime rewards butchers who have instigated unspeakable terror in many communities,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. 

The Karapatan official warned that both Sinas and Clement have made Visayas their “bloodbath laboratories” for how far they can push the limit with regard to State terrorism. "It is in Cebu where reported killings in relation to the government’s anti-narcotics campaign have been conducted. It is in Negros where tokhang-style killings and arrests have been applied to activists, human rights lawyers and entire communities. Instead of such promotions, both should be held accountable for the human rights violations they have actively perpetrated," she added. 

“No doubt that the implementation of fascist policies that have long terrorized communities, as well as the killings in urban and rural areas, will heighten with coldblooded murderers at the helm. Clement was General Jovito Palparan’s protégé during the time of then President Gloria Arroyo while his stint as well as that of Sinas’s in the Visayas have been marked with numerous reports of human rights violations. Both are trained to think with bloodshot eyes, seeing red, and with no inkling of what human rights are,” added Palabay.

According to Palabay, Clement led the 204th Brigade back in 2002, which was responsible for the killing of Karapatan-Southern Tagalog Secretary General Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy in Occidental Mindoro. The victims were on a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations when they were killed. Clement was also involved in the enforced disappearance of peasant organizer Jonas Burgos in 2007. Clement was also with the 10th Infantry Division in Mindanao, which has been fraught with human rights violations. He has led the militarization of Negros and Bohol as the chief of the AFP’s Central Command in Cebu.

Meanwhile, Sinas, since assuming the Central Visayas police chief position since June 2018, has been implicated in killings in relation to the government’s war on drugs and in the mass murder of farmers and widespread arrests of residents. His long list of brutal violations include the Negros 14 killings, and he is associated with the masterminding and implementation of the dreaded Oplan Sauron.

The Karapatan official reiterated that “people like Clement and Sinas remain a menace to the Filipino people, as they mindlessly kill farmers, workers, environmental defenders, and human rights workers. Clement and Sinas are dangerous butchers who succeed a long line of criminals who have built their careers on the massacre and killings of civilians. The least we need in this already repressive climate are Palparan-wannabes. These killers are further enabled by an equally merciless Commander-in-Chief who does not grasp due process, let alone human rights.”

The leadership of Clement in the 10th ID has led to the killing of peasant leader Jimmy Saypan, union leader Danny Boy Bautista, and several other members of the Compostela Farmers Association (CFA). The same unit was also responsible for the massacre of eight (8) Lumad in Sultan Kudarat in December 2017, an incident investigated by the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) and declared as a human rights violation under martial law in Mindanao.

“From Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, these Palparan-wannabes have perpetrated State terrorism. The AFP and PNP, as institutions, glorify militarism and killing sprees. The mercenary tradition of the AFP and the PNP remain very much alive, maintained by killers like Clement and Sinas. With an emerging tyrant, the AFP and PNP are bribed with higher salaries, more equipment and more resources. This will further fuel State terrorism that will give license to the likes of Clement and Sinas to kill, kill, kill,” Palabay concluded.