Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 3, Number 10 April 6 - 12, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
Gov’t Offensives Leave Trail of Human Rights Cases
New cases of summary execution, massacre, torture and harassment have sown a climate of terror in many provinces. Unfortunately, the same reports said, relatives of the victims and other residents are troubled over whom to ask for help due to the alleged involvement of the military, police and paramilitary men in these incidents.
villagers paying respects to the dead are also alarmed. A Karapatan-Southern
Tagalog report said a group of residents and visitors were attending the wake of
Florencio “Ka Lerry” de Castro in Barangay Tagbakin, Tiaong, Quezon on March
25 when two teams of the 5th Special Forces with 26 local policemen
– all in full battle gear – came and surrounded the house where the wake was
being held. The soldiers said they were looking for New People’s Army (NPA)
guerrillas in the area.
Lerry was an alleged NPA cadre who died in an encounter with soldiers of the 1st
Infantry Battalion last March 20 at Brgy. Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna.
following day, a quick reaction team (QRT) formed by Karapatan-Laguna and
Karapatan-ST went to the scene of encounter to conduct an investigation. Members
of the QRT said they were threatened by soldiers and police under a Colonel
Isles from taking pictures and videos while they were trying to recover the body
of the fallen alleged NPA guerrilla. They were also searched by sniffing police
dogs, they also said, while the funeral parlor where the corpse was brought was
execution in Bulacan
at about 9 p.m. March 12, the usual peaceful night in Barangay Pulong Bayabas,
San Rafael, Bulacan was shattered when five men in civilian clothes, some
wearing bonnets, came and surrounded the house of couple Regina and Michael
Santiago. The intruders dragged Michael, 28, out of the house while a gun was
poked at Regina.
of help by Anita, Michael’s
mother, sent barangay captain Ricardo Bernabe running to the nearby police
station and the 175th Infantry Battalion (IB), both in San Rafael, to
report the incident.
by the police that an encounter took place the following day in Pasong Intsik,
Michael’s family went to check and found themselves going to Funeraria Mendoza
in Bustos. They were shocked to find Michael’s body in the funeral and his
TV report, citing military claims, said Michael died in an “encounter” and
when found was holding a gun and wore an “NPA uniform” printed with
“Bagong Hukbong Bayan” – a shirt different from the one he was wearing
during the reported abduction.
Police Director P/Senior Supt. Felizardo M. Serapio, Jr. said the military was
responsible for Michael’s death during an encounter.
midnight of March 22 in Sitio Pagturian, Brgy. Villaflor, Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Oriental, Francisco Rabano and his wife Julita went out of their house to check
voices they were hearing. Once outside, someone grabbed Francisco’s flashlight
while another blew out the light of the lamp.
unidentified men barked orders to the couple to surrender their guns, but the
latter insisted they had none. Francisco was taken away from Julita while the
latter was ordered to sprawl under a table. She saw two armed men ransack their
commotion awakened the couple’s 9-year-old adopted son, Gerry Camagon.
Frightened, Gerry scampered downstairs.
house was then set on fire by the men, destroying all the couple’s appliances
and some P25,000 savings. Julita and her son managed to escape while the house
was burning. But three gunshots rang out from inside the house.
3 p.m. the following day, the burnt bodies of Francisco and his younger brother,
Mariano, in tight embrace were found in the wreckage. Miguela, their mother,
recalled that Mariano just left their house to ask for food from their
had five gunshot wounds in the body and another in the head while Mariano had
three gunshot wounds in the back and another in the head.
cases of disappearances have also been reported by Karapatan-ST. Fisherman
Teodoro Manongsong, 30, went missing since March 14. Manongsong’s sister,
Janette Capasio, reported the incident to the 204th brigade
headquarters in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental but was told by Gen. Jovito
Palparan that her brother was in “good health.”
councilor Luis Aspecto also went missing after Palparan reportedly placed him
under tactical interrogation on March 19.
whereabouts of Manongsong and Aspecto, both tagged by the military as NPA
suspects, are still undetermined at presstime.
Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, relatives of a slain church leader sought the help of
Karapatan in connection with their complaint that no investigation was being
made by police authorities on the killing.
church leader, Silvestro “Elvis” Ading, was shot dead inside the kitchen of
his house in Sta. Cruz 6:30 p.m. last March 7.
was the chairperson of the community organizations Nagkahiusang Magtutuo/Mag-uuma
sa Lubo and Lumad Kasakit ug Kalipay of the Bagobo tribe.
was also suspected as an NPA member by the the military and the local Citizens
Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
said that Ading was shot twice at close range in the lower right cheek
–probably the work of a professional marksman.
Attacks on Moros
March 20 marked the most unforgettable day for 28-year old Antajul Ayyadi, a sole survivor of a massacre in Brgy. Lampaki, Indanan, Sulu.
and his uncle Radjail Mukammali, 68, were tending their cattle 4 p.m. that day,
not far from the group of Almajar Jainul, 21, Jul Sahibul, 17, and Bennasir
Muammil, 13, were attending at their own cattle, when a group of armed men in
black uniforms shouted at them. The herders suspected the men to be military
personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Scout Rangers (AFP-SRs).
reaching the armed men’s place, suspected as members of the bandit group Abu
Sayyaf, they were ordered to take off their clothes which were used to blindfold
them and tie their hands at their back.
hitting them with high-powered rifles, the soldiers filled their mouth with
grass when they kept on denying their allegations.
beating resulted in the death of Mukammali while leaving Ayyadi badly injured.
Ayyadi “played dead” for almost 20 minutes and managed to survive after the
7 a.m. the following day, residents found three bodies belonging to Sainul,
Sahibul, and Muammil, all with deep wounds in the neck. Mukammil’s body was
also retrieved after two hours with the same wound.
Military authorities said the victims were killed by the ASG. Ayyadi insisted however that the scout rangers used the victims’ “bolos” to execute them. Bulatlat.com