HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Cases of Rights Violations Recorded In a Week in Luzon
10 persons abducted remain missing
just one week, three incidents of human rights violations involving 13
persons – one of them a church leader - were reported in different regions
of Luzon. Of the 13, three were killed and 10 others were reported
abducted. Those abducted allegedly by military and police authorities
remain missing at presstime.
RONALYN V. OLEA
In just one
week, three incidents of human rights violations involving 14 persons were
reported in different regions of Luzon. Three persons were killed and 10
others were reported abducted. Military officials claimed the victims are
members of the New People’s Army. However, documentation by human rights
group Karapatan claimed otherwise.
killed were a church leader and two peasants in two separate incidents.
reportedly abducted in Batangas by military and police authorities remain
missing at press time.
Barrameda Baclao was shot dead by an unidentified gunman just outside his
home in Daraga, Albay, Bicol on Nov. 10. Baclao is the coordinator of
Andurog-Bicol, a disaster relief program of the United Church of Christ in
the Philippines (UCCP) and the regional coordinator of the Promotion for
Church People’s Response (PCPR).
A report by
the human rights alliance that was distributed to the reporters in a news
conference Nov. 13, showed that Joel went out of the house on Nov. 10,
around 8 p.m. to check why their dogs were barking. After a few seconds,
his wife Rowena heard gunshots.
followed her husband was six meters away. She said that when she tried to
come near Joel, a man was firing at her husband using a long rifle.
sustained four gunshot wounds, two on his head (near his chin and in
between his nose and upper lip). Another bullet hit his right side and one
more found its mark two inches above his navel.
said that a week before the incident, her husband told her that a certain
“Butch Javier” warned him on Oct. 30 to take extra care because he was
already included in a “list.” Human rights workers believe the list
referred to could be an “Order of Battle” of the military.
told Karapatan that on Sept. 26, a group of government soldiers went to
their house and tried to conduct a search, but her father-in-law prevented
them from doing so.
separate incident on Nov. 9, two farmers from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan
were reportedly abducted and killed by unidentified men wearing military
vests. The two were Amador
Rolando Dela Cruz.
a.m. on the same day, someone who introduced himself as “Obeng,” knocked
on the door of Amador’s house. When he was about to open the door, Ralina,
Amador’s wife, said they heard guns being cocked. Peeping through the
window, the couple saw about 10 men in military vests carrying
unidentified men forced open the backdoor. One of them asked about
Amador. The man took Amador and Rolando dela Cruz, Amador’s nephew, with
them. The man told the family that their commander simply wanted to talk
to Amador and Rolando.
following day, around 7 a.m., a jeepney driver found the bodies of Amador
and Rolando in a village in Baras, Rizal. Amador had two gunshots on his
head while Rolando had two gunshots on his head and two on his back.
10 suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were arrested on Nov.
6 reportedly by soldiers and policemen on their way from Mindoro
Occidental to Batangas.
were Danilo Mayo, Mary Ann Vibat, Ronnie Ferrer, Marichu Cataquiz, Paterno
Atienza, Precy Balmes, Christopher Malabanan, Rufino Arante Tabares, Lijan
Gunmay and Analiza Espiritu.
be responsible for the arrest were members of the 740th Combat
Group Air Force of the Philippine Army, the 2nd Infantry
“Jungle Fighter” Division and the Philippine National Police regional
office covering the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan
interview, Anita Vibat, mother of one of those arrested, said her daughter
Mary Ann is not a member of the NPA. Anita told Bulatlat that Mary
Ann serves as a pastor of the United Methodist Church in Mindoro.
silang batayan para hulihin siya.Kung nasa kanila man ang anak ko,
tratuhin nilang tao, hindi makahayop,” (They do not have any basis to
support their claims. If they have my daughter, they must treat her
humanely), Mrs. Vibat said.
At around 6
a.m. on Nov. 6, the 10 who came from Abra de Ilog, Mindoro Occidental were
aboard an orange barangay service jeep on their way to Batangas on board a
RORO (Roll-On, Roll Off boat plying the route of Batangas-Mindoro and
vice-versa). An hour later, Danilo Mayo’s wife received a text message
from her husband that they were on board the boat and will text her as
soon as they arrive at the pier in Batangas. However, the message never
came. The ten were reported missing.
following day, members of the Quick Reaction Team of Karapatan found the
orange Barangay Service Jeep parked in front of the Philippine National
Police (PNP) station in Barangay Poblacion, Cuenca, Batangas. Police said
they found the jeep abandoned in the middle of a road in Barangay Ibabao,
also in Batangas.
On Nov. 8,
Karapatan held a fact-finding mission at the Batangas Pier and Nasugbo,
Batangas. The team was able to confirm through the records of the
Philippine Coast Guard that the barangay service jeep traveled to Abra de
Ilog, Mindoro Occidental on November 5 and went back to Batangas City on
board Montenegro Lines at 6 a.m. on Nov. 6. The FFM team also went to the
740th Combat Group headquarters in Barangay Malitlit, Lipa
City, Batangas. Military officials, however, denied that they had custody
of the 10 missing persons.
On Nov. 9,
the FFM team went to Barangays Ibabao and San Felipe in Cuenca, Batangas.
Barangay San Felipe said they witnessed how on Nov. 6, around 9-10 a.m.,
the orange jeepney was blocked by a red Tamarraw jeep, an avocado-colored
van and a gray CRV-Revo.
Forced out of vehicle
residents said, the armed men forced the occupants out of the jeep and
transferred them to the other vehicles, manhandling those who resisted by
hitting them in the stomach, kicking them and twisting the victims’ arms
witnesses, the Revo vehicle had a red plate with no number on it, only the
words “For official use only.”
were done, the three vehicles then sped off toward Lipa, Batangas.
On Nov. 9,
the FFM team proceeded to Fernando Airbase where they demanded from its
officials to surface the 10 individuals held in San Felipe. A man who
introduced himself as Sergeant Atienza told the group that the missing
persons were not there.
certain Bong Pineda who introduced himself as the official civilian
representative of the airbase said that nine of the 10 missing had already
been charged with murder and illegal possession of firearms. Pineda said
they were brought to Alitagtag, Batangas for an inquest. But, a Rosel
Babal told the FFM team said that the victims were not there and that they
were transferred to Fort Bonifacio.
afternoon of that same day, radio stations DZMM and DZBB reported that the
AFP captured nine rebels of the New People’s Army including its
top-ranking official based in Mindoro island. They were charged with
murder and illegal possession of firearms.
station, IBC Channel 13 likewise released a report stating the same. All
these were based on the press statement issued by the AFP in Manila.
However, the military list did not include some of the people included in
the Karapatan list of victims.
rights group along with the victims’ families and lawyers are demanding
that those being held be surfaced so they can find out what their
conditions are. Bulatlat
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