Maglunsod’s name appeared on page 15 of the document, under the “Industrial Labor” section of a so-called WACOM or White Area Committee Organizational Report, 4th Quarter, 2007.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan is also on the list. Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano was also mentioned in the document.
“This kind of document from the military is extremely alarming, listing down names of innocent civilians who are already considered as criminals! This is alarming in the context of continuing cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances,” Maglunsod said in Filipino. “Civilians named in the document were not afforded due process.”
Maglunsod told his colleagues in the Lower House that “we are going back to the era of barbarism where violence prevails.”
Meanwhile, Mariano said “it is clear that my movements are being closely monitored by the military.”
Mariano was cited in pages 59-60 of the document, noting his attendance to the Farmers’ Association of Davao City’s 8th Congress in October 2007.
The document read, “…Mariano presented the CARP which he claimed to be not truly implemented by the govt as farmers are still working for landlords. Mariano announced that they will protest to scrap the joint projects of Japan & Phils (JPEPA) since it will affect the trade of the farmers.”
“Such document and vilification by the Arroyo government and the AFP’s 10th ID puts the lives of those listed in danger,” Mariano said.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) also condemned the inclusion of lawyers in the OB.
Based on the own monitoring and documentation of the NUPL and Counsels for the Defense of Liberties (CODAL) from 2001 to 2008, two lawyers previously listed in similar military OBs have already been killed.
Lawyer Norman Bocar was gunned down, September 1, 2005, in Borongan, Eastern Samar. He was among those listed in the OB called Oplan Ligpit (Operation Plan Exterminate) of the 8th Infantry Division. Juvy Magsino, meanwhile, was shot dead on Feb. 13, 2004 in Naujan, Mindoro Oriental. In 2002, then Col. Jovito Palparan Jr. of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, labeled Magsino as a communist and supporter of the NPA. Palparan even told the media that the army would be monitoring Magsino.
Besides those listed in the most recent OB, 15 lawyers and two lawyers’ groups have been told that either they are included in the military’s OB or have been openly labeled as rebels, according to the NUPL and CODAL.
Threat to Press Freedom, Human Rights
In a separate statement, journalist Carlos Conde responded to the 10th ID’s recent statement. “I am alarmed that the 10th ID continues to insist that I am a stooge of the Left who can be manipulated to spread falsehood about the military. The implication of this is that, journalist or not, I am aiding the enemies of the state and, thus, fair game.”
Conde added that “the 10th ID’s denials and innuendos are not only damaging to my person and my profession — it flies in the face of so much evidence, already presented by many human-rights groups and such institutions as the United Nations Human Rights Council, that OBs are being used by the military not only as a hit list — it uses these to harass and intimidate civilians, noncombatants and critics.”
Conde said he views the OB as well as these recent statements from the 10th ID as “a threat, a warning to other journalists to stop writing about human-rights violations attributed to the military.”
The NUPL also asserted that the inclusion of human rights lawyers in the OB is also “an act of harassment against lawyers providing legal services to victims of human rights violations.”
“This is not only an attack on the independent practice of the legal profession but also on the right of the people to access to courts as it sends a chilling effect on lawyers taking up cases of human rights abuses by the military,” the lawyers’ group said.
The NUPL urged lawyers listed in the OB to file the necessary cases against the Philippine Army including a petition of writ of habeas data both for themselves and the other victims of “communist labeling.”
The group also called on members of the legal profession including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to take action on what it perceives to be as an attack on lawyers.
Mariano called on the House Committee on Human Rights to immediately conduct a probe on the said document.
The NUPL said it would immediately report the incident to Leandro Despouy, the United Nations special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) with a request for these international bodies to conduct a fact-finding mission in the Philippines.
Mariano asserted that the latest OB “clearly shows that extrajudicial killing is an official policy of the Arroyo government.”
“Once again, the Arroyo administration is showing its utter lack of respect for the civil and political rights of the people, and its willingness to commit acts of repression if only to preserve the present dispensation and to perpetuate itself in power,” the NUPL said. (Bulatlat.com)