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Vol. VI, No. 6      March 12 - 18, 2006      Quezon City, Philippines











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Free the Sagada 11
Int’l campaign kicks off for punks tortured by police in Buguias

An international campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of the 11 punks illegally arrested, detained, and tortured in Buguias, Benguet is gaining headway with the creation of the Free the Sagada 11 Solidarity Campaign.

Posted by Bulatlat

An international campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of the 11 punks illegally arrested, detained, and tortured in Buguias, Benguet is gaining headway with the creation of the Free the Sagada 11 Solidarity Campaign.

The group’s petition specifically calls on the Philippine government, the police, the military and the justice department to issue a public apology to the victims and their respective families, and for the termination of police officers and soldiers involved in the illegal arrest, detention, and torture of 11 youth ages 15-25. 

FREE SAGADA 11: Punks rally to demand release of Sagada backpackers accused of being NPA members


The 11 backpackers, who hail from different parts of the country, are still in jail. They have been charged with robbery and homicide.

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), local counterpart of national human rights organization Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), identified the perpetrators as members of the 1604th Provincial Mobile Group (PPMG) and 3rd Coy, Regional Mobile Group, Philippine National Police (PNP); and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). 

As of March 11, over 1,000 private individuals and organizations mostly from the punk community and human rights advocates have signed the said petition. In the Philippines, organizations such as a-Manila.org (web), Earth First! Philippines, Local Anarchist Network, Food Not Bombs, Project Aperture, and Not for Sale are among the initial signatories.

The PNP insists that the victims, the youngest of which is a 15 year-old girl, are members of the New People’s Army (NPA) responsible for the raid at an Army detachment in Cabiten, Mankayan.

The victims had just come from a gig in Tarlac and decided to hitchhike to Sagada, Mt. Province when PNP officers arrested them in Buguias. From there, they were brought to Camp Molintas in Abatan, Buguias where they were subjected to various forms of intense physical and mental torture.

 “The actions done by the Benguet Police are definitely wrong, however you look at it,” the Food Not Bombs, a vegetarian anti-war group, stated in a petition, which may be accessed at http://www.petitiononline.com/sagada/petition.html. “These acts deserve condemnation, if not punishment by recalling all those involved from their duties. The Sagada 11 are innocent, adventure-loving trekkers.


“Most likely, due to the macho, prejudiced and unintelligent nature of police officers and the backwardness of the police institution itself, they have assumed that these individuals are communists and armed rebels due to the fact that they look and dress different, as punks tend to dress differently,” continued the group’s petition. 


The NPA Chadli Molintas Command issued a public statement on Feb. 20, stating that the victims are tourists and not members of the NPA. It also called on the PNP to respect the right to due process.


In a separate statement dated February 23, the Jennifer Maria Cariño Command (NPA-Benguet) said that the 11 youngsters were neither NPA members nor were part of the NPA unit that raided the Cabiten detachment.


“PNP Benguet was awarded Best PNP Provincial Office in 2005 for serving and protecting the interest of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, by harassing, intimidating, torturing, and killing people, including Lepanto union members and their families, Efren Agsayang, Joseph Coop, the people of Mankayan and neighbouring towns who are protesting the havoc being wrecked by Lepanto's mining operations, anybody they suspect of supporting the NPA, and now, even innocent punkistas,” the NPA-Benguet statement . Nordis / Posted by Bulatlat




© 2006 Bulatlat  Alipato Publications

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