By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Human rights group Karapatan called for an independent investigation on the killing of peace consultant Rogelio Posadas, 56, who was allegedly killed in an encounter with the military on April 20 in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.
According to a report by Negros-based media group Paghimutad, Posadas and three others were reportedly abducted by armed men along the Aranda-La Castellana road in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental on April 19.
According to witnesses, masked men on board a white van obstructed the victims who were riding on two motorcycles.
The death of Posadas was announced by the Visayas Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In a statement, the National Democratic Front-Negros and New People’s Army South Command said that Posadas was first arrested and subsequently summarily executed by his captors.
His companion, Lyngrace Martullinas, 28, and the two motorcycle drivers who were supposed to transport them — Renald Mialen, 21, and Ren-ren delos Santos, 18, are reportedly still missing.
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said that the reported summary execution of Posadas is a brazen violation of human rights instruments and international humanitarian law. She also called on state authorities to surface Posadas’s three companions.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ version of events reads like a badly written and plagiarized script,” Palabay said in a statement.
“We have seen how the military concocts scenarios many times before, where captured revolutionaries end up being declared as casualties in staged encounters or in bogus ‘nanlaban’ narratives,” she added.
Meanwhile, Karapatan raised concerns on Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s continuation of then President Duterte’s policy on “”no quarters given” in its counter-insurgency and anti-narcotics campaigns.
“The continuing and repeated incidents of extrajudicial killings on the ground show that Marcos Jr. pursues this same line and strategy, while the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and the Armed Forces of the Philippines commit such crimes with total impunity,” Palabay said.
Palabay added that even under domestic law, under the Republic Act 9851, such policy and acts are considered grave crimes against humanity.