When Mylene and Raymond Golloso (then 13 and 6 years old, respectively) were killed by armed men on May 7, 2004 in their own home in Bulan, Sorsogon, no other armed group was in the village except seven Army soldiers and two members of the paramilitary Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
When Mylene and Raymond Golloso (then 13 and 6 years old, respectively) were killed by armed men on May 7, 2004 within the sanctity of their own home in Baranggay (village) Recto, Bulan, Sorsogon, no other armed group was in the village except seven soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 901st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division; and two members of the paramilitary Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
Eleven officials and 42 residents of Baranggay (village) Recto stood by this claim this in a signed statement. Bulatlat received a copy of their statement through the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), whose lawyers Rachel Pastores and Amylyn Sato will form part of the panel that will prosecute President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo before the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) in Den Haag, The Netherlands this coming March for violations of the Filipino people’s individual and collective rights.
Data from Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) show that there have been 791 victims of extra-judicial killings from January 2001 – when Arroyo was catapulted to power through a popular uprising – to November 2006. At least 340 of the victims are with known political affiliations. Of the 791, 58 are children, among them Mylene and Raymond Golloso.
Based on reports from human rights groups and the media, Mylene was cooking minatamis with her eldest sister Melody who was then 17 years old. Meanwhile, brothers Raymond and Resty were playing outside the house a few minutes before 3 p.m. on May 7, 2004.
Melody was getting a glass when they heard gunshots. Mylene rushed towards Melody and they called out to her brothers to get inside.
Melody told her three siblings to hide in their parents’ room. Mylene and Raymond sat on the bed while Resty stayed by the door, peeping out. They could not see anyone outside the house. They then heard two more gunshots.
When Resty looked back at his siblings, Raymond was wounded and had blood gushing from his head. He was almost dead and Resty was frantically trying to stop the bleeding. When he turned to Mylene, the left part of her face had been shattered and she was calling out to their mother.
Melody and Resty ran as fast as they could toward the nearest relative’s house, that of Vilma Gracilla, who lived almost 100 meters away from their place. However, the two children took several detours and negotiated slopes, so the total distance they traveled was about 1.5 kilometers.
As they were coming down from the house, they heard someone say, “Pasukin natin ang bahay, baka may buhay pa” (Let’s get inside the house, there might be others still alive). They had run a considerable distance when they heard another volley of shots and then a single loud shot.
Meanwhile, based on the account of Adelia Golloso (mother of the slain children), she had gone out at around 2:35 p.m. that day. She saw soldiers at the baranggay hall and at the house of Baranggay Captain Eduardo Adamos. She recognized one of them as Cesar Loares, a CAFGU member from Baranggay Quirino, Bulan.