Pinoy Weekly » Karapatang Pantao http://pinoyweekly.org/new Philippine news, analysis, and investigative stories Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:23:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Groups slam military for reneging on agreement with indigenous people http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/group-slammed-military-for-reneging-agreement-with-indigenous-people/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/group-slammed-military-for-reneging-agreement-with-indigenous-people/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:33:52 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=32234 Defiant Manobo children  Macky Macaspac

Defiant Manobo children. Macky Macaspac

A network of child rights advocates slammed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for occupying a Manobo community as base of military operations despite an agreement with leaders of the tribal group.

In a protest in front of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, the Save our Schools Network (SOS Network) said that AFP’s 68th Infantry Batallion, 1003rd Brigade, Philippine Army agreed to leave the community of Manobo tribe in Sitio Nasilaban, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod town in Davao del Norte and encamp away from civilian populace.  But instead of leaving the area, the military encamped at the heart of the community according to the group.

Community leaders confirmed that soldiers are now encamping in the purok hall used by Manobo’s for their community meetings,” said Madella Santiago, spokesperson of the SOS network.

Alternative news site Davao Today reported that the Department of Education (DepEd) Region XI met with the military together with school administration of Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) and the Mindanao Interfaith Services, Inc. (MISFI) in a dialogue on November 6.

The DepEd urged the military to spare the indigenous peoples’ schools and requested to move a little bit further away from the community and school.

“They (military) are violating national and international laws, which provide protection and safety of civilians from military encampments in populated areas, they themselves don’t honour their own words,” said Santiago.

They also accused soldiers of forcing residents to sign a document belying claims a tribal leader that drunken soldiers went on a shooting spree last October 11-17.  “The soldiers have threatened us, (and said) that those who will not sign the paper are no doubt a supporter or member of NPA (New People’s Army),” said Datu Teody Mansimuy-at, one of the tribal leaders of Salugpongan.

The group blamed the government’s counter insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, for massive combat operations in Mindanao.

“(Oplan Bayanihan) continues to deprive Lumad (people) of their rights, especially the right to education. We are challenging the AFP to honor their words and adhere to the national and international laws and instruments. We demand their immediate pull-out from the communities,” Santiago added.

Progressive lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc, meanwhile, filed a resolution calling for a congressional investigation.

 

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/group-slammed-military-for-reneging-agreement-with-indigenous-people/feed/ 0
Pagmimina at militarisasyon: Magkaugnay na panganib sa Mindanao http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/pagmimina-at-militarisasyon-magkaugnay-na-panganib-sa-mindanao/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/pagmimina-at-militarisasyon-magkaugnay-na-panganib-sa-mindanao/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 12:52:57 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=32150 minda_infograph

 

Hindi nananahimik ang mga mamamayan ng Mindanao sa banta ng pagkasira ng kalikasan dahil sa mapanirang pagmimina. Kung kaya inihaharap sa kanila ng gobyerno ang militar. Pero hindi  patatakot ang taumbayan.

Nang dumaan ang mga bagyong Sendong at Pablo sa Mindanao noong nakaraang mga taon, nakita ang epekto ng pagkasira ng kalikasan: Pagbaha at pagguho ng lupa, na kumitil ng libong buhay.

Isa sa itinuturo ng mga eksperto na pangunahing dahilan kung bakit bulnerable ang mga mamamayan dito sa kalamidad: Kalakhan sa Mindanao sa kasalukuyan ay sinisira na o target pa ng dayuhang malakihang pagmimina.

Dahil polisiya ng Malakanyang ang akitin ang dayuhan at malalaking kompanya ng mina, wala itong polisiya na kontrolin ang pagkasira ng kalikasan dahil sa pagmimina. Bagkus, protektado pa ang mga ito ng mga insentibo, tax exemptions at malaking merkado ng murang lakas-paggawa.

Sinumang dayuhan at malalaking kompanya ay maaakit sa likas na yaman sa Mindanao: Ginto, pilak, at tanso, ang pangunahing namimina dito, bukod pa sa chromite, molybdenite, at iba pang mineral. Hindi pa kasama ang tinatayang pagmumulan ng hydroelectric power sa Silangang bahagi ng Mindanao.

Pero umaakit ng matinding paglaban ang mga proyektong ito. Kung kaya, nangangailangan ito ng “proteksiyon”. Hindi sapat ang security guards, kaya mismong mga tropa ng Armed Forces of the Philippines ang itinatalaga.

Sa kasalukuyan, nakadestino sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Mindanao ang mga elemento ng AFP. Mayroon silang 5 dibisyon, (4 full divisions), at 48 batalyon. Nakasentro sila sa silangang bahagi ng Mindanao (Southern Mindanao Region, Caraga, Far South Mindanao at Northern Mindanao), habang may ilan pa sa ilang probinsiya sa kanluran.

Kung hindi pa sasapat ang mga bilang na ito, may 700 puwersang Kano ang nananatili sa Zamboanga City.

Marami sa mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao na naitala ngayong 2014 ay dahil sa operasyong militar, pambobomba, strafings, clearing operations, at sapilitang paglikas.

Makikita ang epekto ng mga operasyon ng militar: Pagsasara ng mga paaralan, paglikas o bakwet (evacuate) ng mga katutubo at magsasaka sa kanilang mga komunidad at lupang ninuno, at kabi-kabilang kaso ng abuso sa mga aktibista. Kawawa din ang mga maliliit na nagmimina kapag nadawit at nakasuhan sila ng illegal possesion of explosives: non-bailable ang kaso na ito, kahit makitaan lang ng kurdon.

Matindi rin ang pagrekluta ng paramilitar sa hanay ng  mga Bagani o Lumad. Binabalik ang estilong Alsa Masa (luma at brutal na grupong paramilitar), tulad ng Almara. May lumabas rin na mga ulat na ginagawang Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units (Cafgu) ang mga Lumad, kaya mismong sila ay nakikipag-laban sa kapwa nilang katutubo.

Sa kabila ng mga ito, mayaman ang kasaysayan ng Mindanao sa paglaban sa mga aktibidad na katuwang ng malalakihang pagmimina. Noong 1994, nagdeklara ang mga Talaingod Manobo sa Davao del Sur ng “pangayaw” o tribal war laban sa Alson company guards para maprotektahan ang lupang ninuno. Ito rin ang unang pagkakataong lumikas ang mga Lumad sa kanilang komunidad.

Patuloy ang pakikibaka ng mga Lumad na maprotektahan ang Pantaron Range mula sa malaking komersiyal na pagmimina at pagsira sa mga kagubatan dahil sa maramihang pagputol ng mga kahoy.

Sa Nobyembre, nakatakdang magmartsa ang daan-daang katutubo at mamamayang Mindanaoan. Dadaan sila ng Tacloban para makiisa sa mga kapwa biktima ng kalamidad. Pagkatapos nito, maglalakbay sila patungong Maynila para mas malakas na ipahayag: Hindi mananahimik ang Mindanao, tututol sila sa mapanirang pagmimina at militarisasyon.

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/pagmimina-at-militarisasyon-magkaugnay-na-panganib-sa-mindanao/feed/ 0
Military instigating tribal war in Mindanao http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/military-instigating-tribal-war-in-mindanao/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/military-instigating-tribal-war-in-mindanao/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 02:10:28 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=32100 Henry Alameda's coffin draped in white cloth. Photo Contribution

Henry Alameda’s coffin draped in white cloth. Contributed Photo

Lumad leaders accused military of using a tribal paramilitary group to provoke a “redo” or tribal war among indigenous people in Surigao del Sur, and cover-up the intensification of military operations.

Since October 24, after the death of Henry Alameda, a tribal leader of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu) purportedly by paramilitary group under a Manobo cheftain Calpit Egua, forced thousand of Lumads to fled their homes.

In a statement, Mapasu said that Egua’s men set on fire a corn shelter, burned down a school built by non-government organizations and ransacked a coomunity cooperative in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

“The group that killed Henry Alameda last October 24 was with from the more or less 30 men in the neighboring community of Logdeck. The 17 military and paramilitary men in Cabalawan were also from Logdeck,” said Jalandoni Campos, Mapasu chairman.

He added that one of the men that showed up in Panukmuan wore a full jungle military uniform. One of the men in the group that showed up in Kabulohan on October 26 also wore a full jungle military uniform. There are many soldiers in our communities but only six to nine only usually go to the communities and are ordered to wreak havoc.

Lumad leaders believe that military ordered the paramilitary group to terrorize their communities. “They would like to provoke the anger of Mapasu members against Kalpet to rationalize their pronouncements of redo or tribal war. They would like to wash their hands of the incidents,” Campos said.

Mapasu said that the military has been launching military operations in the mountainous areas of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur and in Lianga and San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.

“We, Lumad leaders, declare that even if Kalpet’s followers abduct and kill, we will still hold the military accountable because they are the ones giving orders. Kalpet’s men are members of the paramilitary,” Campos said.

Military operations

According to human rights group Karapatan, at least 22 communities of Mapasu have been target of massive military operations since 2005.

From October 24 to 27, members of the 3rd Special Forces and the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion of the Philippine Army were seen in the vicinity of Lumad communities.

Almost two thousand Lumad trekked the mountain to flee from military operations. They are currently in Diatagon community Gym. Photo Contribution

Almost two thousand Lumad trekked the mountain to flee from military operations. They are currently in Diatagon community Gym. Contributed Photo

“The incident is among the many cases of alleged atrocities in the course of the combat operations by the joint forces of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion under Lt. Col. Jesus Durante of 36th IB, 3rd Special Forces Battalion, 401st Brigade, elements of CAFGU, and the paramilitary group of Calpit Egua, and Marcos Bocales, former leader of Task Force Gantangan, a remnant of Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya,” said Cristina Palabay secretary general of Karapatan.

In a radio interview in Butuan, 4th Infantry Division Spokeperson Maj. Christian Uy admitted that the 401s Brigade is conducting military operations in San Lorenzo in Prosperidad and in the mountainous communities of Lianga and San Miguel in Surigao del Sur. But he denied that they are supporting the paramilitary group of Calpit Egua.

Recently, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang announced the deployment of two more army brigades to Mindanao. The additional troops will augment the 55 combat battalions already deployed in areas considered insurgency hotbeds.

But human rights and Indigenous peoples groups said that the massive military deployment in Mindanao is an attempt to protect current and future large-scale mining operations within the ancestral lands of the Lumad people. Lumads under Mapasu have refused to allow coal mining within the Andap Valley Complex.

Andap Valley Complex covers the mountainous areas of San Miguel, San Agustin, Marihatag, Cagwait, Tago and Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

As a result of the alleged havoc caused by Egua’s group and backed by the military, at least 2,000 individuals evacuated to Barangay Diatagon gym, affecting 11 tribal communities in Barangays Diatagon and San Isidro in Lianga; four tribal and settler communities in Barangay Buhisan, San Agustin and one tribal community.

Aside from burning a community school, Karapatan also reported that teachers and students of the Lumad Community Learning Centers have been harassed, threatened, vilified as “New People’s Army schools” and used as temporary military camps by operating troops.

The evacuation caused seven community learning schools to close, affecting 569 pupils.

Three learning centers in Nalindog, Hayon and Sangay in Libas Sud, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur have also closed down because of ongoing military operations affecting 306 students, according to the group.

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/11/military-instigating-tribal-war-in-mindanao/feed/ 0
Another tribal leader killed in Mindanao http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/another-tribal-leader-killed-in-mindanao/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/another-tribal-leader-killed-in-mindanao/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 15:38:24 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=32015 Members of Karapatan and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) staged a picket outside Camp Panacan-10thd ID to call for accountability and justice for the killing of Lumads Rolando Dagansan and his son Juda Dagansan.  Soldiers under 66th IB-AFP are believed to be behind the killing of the victims last October 12, 2013 at Tubod, Manurigao, New Bataan, Compostela Valley. Kilab Multimedia

Members of Karapatan and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) staged a picket outside Camp Panacan to condemn the killing of Rolando Dagansan and his son Juda. Kilab Multimedia

A Manobo tribal leader leader was shot and killed by suspected military agents in Lianga, Surigao del Sur on October 24.

According to human rights group Karapatan, Henry Alameda was dragged outside of his house in Sitio Cabalawan, Brgy. San Isidro, Lianga, Surigao del Sur by three men armed with M14 and M16 rifles. Alameda refused to go along with the armed men and clung to a post in a waiting shed outside of their house.

This prompted one of the suspects to shoot him twice in the chest while another shot him in the head.

According to the group, witnesses saw that elements of 2nd Scout Ranger Batallion of the Philippine Army were on foot patrol in Upper Oregon, Logdeck, San Isidro, Lianga early morning of October 24.

Before he was killed, Alameda was an active council member of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), a Lumad organization strongly opposing mining operations and land conversions for big agro-corporate plantations in the Caraga Region.

The killing was witnessed by Henry’s wife and their children.

On the same day, in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, members of the same military and paramilitary units reportedly killed a resident of Brgy. San Lorenzo and wounded five other residents.

Karapatan said that around 8 PM, 15 armed men arrived in San Lorenzo, Prosperidad. Around eight armed men went to the house of Brgy. Capt. Alejandro Dumaguit.

Dumaguit was told to get out of the house by the armed men and was immediately fired upon. One of the bullets hit his shoulder when he was about to reach the door.

Two of Alejandro’s children ran to him and were also hit by bullets. When 13 year-old Elejen Dumaguit was hit on her stomach, while Aldren Dumaguit tried to shield his sister from the bullets and was then hit and killed.

Alejandro was able to identify a certain Waway Belandres as one of the shooters.

Another group of seven armed men, meanwhile, went to the adjacent houses of Alfredo Undayon and Victor Undayon, surrounding and indiscriminately firing upon the two houses.

Alfredo’s 16 year-old son Enggoy opened the window upon hearing gunfire. He was shot at by the armed men but was not hit and immediately crawled toward his sister, Lynlyn, 8, and dragged her to the kitchen.

Alfredo was talking with his neighbor Arsenio when they heard gunfire. They immediately jumped out of the house and ran for safety but were fired upon. Alfredo was hit in his elbow.

Karapatan added that troops from the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion, 36th IB PA and the 3rd Special Forces Battalion under the 401st Brigade of the Philippine Army have been launching military operations in the mountainous areas of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte.

Accompanying the military troops were members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units (Cafgu) and a paramilitary group under a certain Datu Calpit Egua.

On October 12, a Mandaya father and son his were killed while on their way home in Tubod, Manurigao, New Bataan, Compostela Valley. The Eastern Mindanao Command said that the killing of Rolando Dagansan, 43, and his son Juda, 15 was accidental.

Human rights groups in Mindanao have documented 83 extra-judicial killings, mostly of Lumad leaders and environmental defenders, as of September alone.

Aside from the killings, Karapatan said that almost 500 activists, Lumad leaders and human rights advocates have been charged with “fabricated charges” mostly by military units and mining corporations.

 

 

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/another-tribal-leader-killed-in-mindanao/feed/ 0
Pamilya ng mga napaslang sa Abra, sumisigaw para sa katarungan http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/pamilya-ng-mga-napaslang-sa-abra-sumisigaw-para-sa-katarungan/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/pamilya-ng-mga-napaslang-sa-abra-sumisigaw-para-sa-katarungan/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:10:46 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=31946 Nanawagan ng katarungan ang mga kaanak at grupong pangkarapatang-pantao sa harapan ng Kampo Aguinaldo.  Anila, taliwas  daw islogan ng AFP  ang nararansan ng mraming komunidad sa kanayunan. Maky Macaspac<strong

Nanawagan ng katarungan ang kaanak at grupong pangkarapatang-pantao sa harapan ng Kampo Aguinaldo. Anila, taliwas daw islogan ng AFP ang nararansan ng maraming komunidad sa kanayunan. Maky Macaspac

Nanawagan ng mas malalim na imbestigasyon hinggil sa pagpaslang sa ilang sibilyan at rebeldeng nahuli diumano ng militar sa isang engkuwentro noong Setyembre sa Lacub, Abra.

Sa kanilang piket sa harap ng Kampo Aguinaldo, sa Quezon City, iginiit ng kaanak ng mga napaslang na kailangang magkaroon ng malalimang imbestigasyon hinggil sa mga pangyayari sa naturang lugar, lalo na matapos ang sinasabing engkuwentro sa pagitan ng mga elemento ng 41st Infantry Batallion ng Philippine Army at mga miyembro ng New People’s Army (NPA) sa lugar.

Batay sa inisyal na independyenteng mga imbestigasyon, nilabag ng 41st IB ang International Humanitarian Law dahil sa diumano’y mga bakas ng pagpapahirap (torture marks) sa mga katawan ng pitong biktima na kinilalang miyembro ng NPA.

Matatanggap namin kung namatay si AJ sa lehitimong engkuwentro. Pero posibleng buhay siya at posible rin na pinahirapan bago patayin,” ani Cynthia Dacanay, asawa ni AJ Jaramillo isa sa mga napatay na NPA.

Batay sa awtopisiya ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), tadtad ng bala ang likod at ibabang bahagi ni AJ, at may bahagi rin ng katawan na sunog na maaari daw sanhi ng malapitang pagbaril. Wasak din ang kanyang panga at kinailangan. Naniniwala si Dacanay na pinahirapan muna ang kanyang asawa bago patayin.

Patay ang kapatid ko, pero walang tama ng bala,” sabi naman ni Jang Monte, kapatid ng isa ring miyembro ng NPA na si Recca Noelle Monte. Batay din sa awtopsiya ng NBI, walang anumang tama ng bala ang katawan ni Recca. Pero basag ang kanyang bungo, durog din ang ibabang bahagi ng kanyang katawan.

Hiling ng mga kaanak ng mga napaslang sa lacu, Abra na magkaroon ng hiwalay na imbestigayson para sa katarungan .Macky Macaspac

Hiling ng kaanak ng mga napaslang sa Lacub, Abra na magkaroon ng hiwalay na imbestigayson para sa katarungan. Macky Macaspac

Bukod sa dalawa, maging ang anim pang miyembro ng NPA ay may mga bakas ng pagpapahirap, kung hindi man sinalaula ang kanilang mga bangkay, ayon sa Hustisya, grupo ng mga biktima ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao.

Malalang paglabag sa karapatang pantao ang naganap sa operasyon ng militar noong Setyembre 4 hanggang 6. Dapat managot ang 41st IB,”sabi ni Cristina Guevarra, pangkalahatang kalihim ng Hustisya.

Maliban sa akusasyong paglabag sa karapatan ng mga miyembro ng NPA bilang kombatant, inakusahan din ng grupo ang militar ng pagpaslang sa dalawang sibilyan.

Ayon kay Guevarra, pinaslang ng militar si Noel Viste matapos siyang gamiting guide ng mga militar. Biktima rin daw ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang si Fidela Salvador, isang enhinyero na nagsusubaybay ng mga proyekto ng isang non-government organization nang maganap ang labanan.

Sinabi naman ng grupong Karapatan na maituturing na  war crimes ang naganap sa Lacub, Abra.

“Ang pagtortyur, pagpatay at pagsalaula sa mga bangkay ng pitong NPA ay paglabag sa Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law na nilagdaan ng gobyerno at ng National Democratic Front,” ani Cristina Palabay, pangkalahatang kalihim ng Karapatan.

Panawagan ng kaanak na maglunsad ang Kamara ng isang hiwalay at malalimang imbestigasyon. Gayundin ang idudulog nila sa International Committee of the Red Cross at sa GPH-NDF Joint Monitoring Committee.

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/pamilya-ng-mga-napaslang-sa-abra-sumisigaw-para-sa-katarungan/feed/ 0
LETTER | Justice for Recca, Justice for Lacub http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/justice-for-recca-justice-for-lacub/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/justice-for-recca-justice-for-lacub/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:17:25 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=31828 Photo by <strong>KR Guda</strong>

Photo by KR Guda

LIHAM iconOur grief remains without measure and no words can approximate the anguish that we feel with the death of our daughter, our sister, Recca Noelle M. Monte.

Recca, 33, was a member of the New People’s Army in the Cordillera region. She died along with six other combatants and two civilians in the course of military operations conducted by the 41st Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Guinginabang, Lacub, Abra last September 4, 2014.

We were informed of her death last September 7 by the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance after they had retrieved the remains of Recca and her comrades in Lacub and brought them to Baguio City.

It was and it still is a difficult time for the family.

We never had the chance to see her. We had to identify her through photos taken after she was retrieved in Lacub. Recca was barely identifiable if not for her distinct overbite. Half of her face had been blown off. The desecration of her remains was undeniable and apparent.

Our anguish grew a thousand fold as the autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation confirmed this and more.

The autopsy revealed that Recca had not sustained any gunshot wound. Not a single bullet passed through her body. Her skull resembled that of a crushed egg and her brains were missing. Her legs bore multiple fractures, the bone practically shattered. Her lungs were severely contused. Massive hematoma covered her torso. Blunt massive traumatic injuries were identified to be the cause of her death.

Clearly, Recca had been captured alive that morning of September 4 yet she was later left by military elements for local residents to bring to Lacub poblacion lifeless and inhumanely desecrated.

We believe that she was subjected to much torture, inhumane and barbaric treatment until her last breath.

Likewise, the remains of six other members of the NPA and two civilians killed in the same military operation appear to have been desecrated as well.

All these indicate that there were gross violations of international and domestic instruments on the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. War, violent and harsh as it already is should not be so cruel and inhumane that the helpless, lifeless body of one’s enemy should be desecrated. We are appalled that our family bears as direct witness to this brutality of the AFP.

In the midst of these violations, we find it an insult, even abhorrent, unjust and revolting that the AFP and its commander in chief President Aquino should deem the 41st IBPA and its commanding officers worthy of commendation and promotion. These medals and commendations accorded to 2Lt. Joe Mari Landicho and Capt. Deo Martinez, head of operating troops and operations officer respectively and the rest of the 41st IBPA tell us how these barbaric acts are condoned, encouraged and even applauded by this government.

We demand that these medals and commendations be recalled.

We strongly appeal that the 41st IBPA, all units involved in the military operations in Lacub, and the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippines Army (IDPA), from which the 41st IBPA takes its command, be investigated, prosecuted and brought to justice. Urgent and necessary steps should be taken to make those responsible for these gross violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law are meted out with the utmost disciplinary action and are made accountable.

We call for the immediate pull out of troops and an end to military operations in Lacub, Abra and for peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to immediately resume.

We shall fight for justice and we shall not rest.

The family of Recca Noelle M. Monte,

Capt. Noel Monte Sr PCG (ret)
Rebecca Monte, MD
Janice Lee M. Monte
Noel Monte, Jr.

We commemorate the 40th day after her death on October 14; however, the public memorial service will be held on October 18, Saturday, 3:00PM at the St. Peter Parish Columbary, Commonwealth Quezon City. Do join us once more in celebrating her life and in affirming our commitment to fight for justice.

(ALSO READ: Letter/Statement of the family of Engr. Delle Salvador)

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/justice-for-recca-justice-for-lacub/feed/ 0
SEA indigenous people to media: Give voice to our struggles http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/sea-indigenous-people-to-media-give-voice-to-our-struggles/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/sea-indigenous-people-to-media-give-voice-to-our-struggles/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 02:37:22 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=31717 Maybelle Wayas of the Task Force Indigenous People in the Philippines together with other IP leaders in Southeast Asia shared their experience in a 2 days media dialogue held in Bangkok Thailand last October 1-2.  Macky Macaspac

Maybelle Wayas of the Task Force Indigenous People in the Philippines, together with other indigenous people’s leaders in Southeast Asia, share their experience in a media dialogue held in Bangkok, Thailand on October 1to 2. Macky Macaspac

Bangkok, Thailand – Representing almost 50 million people with more than 1,000 groups scattered in 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), indigenous people’s groups challenged media practitioners to be more prudent in reporting issues that affect their identity, culture and rights.

In a recent two-day media dialogue here, indigenous people from Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand,  Vietnam and the Philippines discussed common and serious issues like discrimination, oppression and marginalization by nation-states. But these issues, they said, lacked sufficient media coverage.

“The coverage of media is difficult, especially here in the Mekong Region,” said Joan Carling, an Igorot from the Cordillera Region of the Philippines and secretary general of Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

Carling added that except for the Philippines and Indonesia, indigenous people’s issues in other countries sorely lacked media attention due to discrimination and non-recognition of several states.

No media sympathy

Carling cited the Thai media coverage of a story about a series of crash landings of three military helicopters.

The real reason, she said, behind the crash landings were the government’s forest rangers who burned some houses of a community of Karen people, an indigenous people in Thailand.  The three helicopters were responding to assist the rangers but went down one after the other.

Media sympathetically reported on the pilots, but did not adequately report on the plight of the Karen people, she said.

“What happened behind the accident? In the first place, it could have been avoided if they (forest  rangers)  did not burn the houses  to drive away the Karen people,” said Carling.

Carling said that Karen people were being disregarded as an indigenous people. Media has fed on the general perception that hill tribes like the Karen are foreigners.  This is also happening now in Cambodia, Carling added.

Asean integration

While member-countries in the Asean aim for integration in 2015, AIPP said that indigenous people in the region are now working to have them recognized as a political entity with collective concerns and issues as stated in United Nations principles.

"We don't exist as indigenous people--not in any document,says Joan Carling, secretary general, Asian Indigenous People's Pact Foundation Macky Macaspac

“We don’t exist as indigenous people, not in any document,” says Joan Carling, secretary general, AIPP referring to their non-recognition in the Asean Charter. Macky Macaspac

According to Carling, however, the Asean Charter does not recognize indigenous people and even view them as threat. Asean member-countries, she added, have a long record of oppressing indigenous people and exploiting their economic and socio-cultural heritage.

“We lobbied hardly in the Asean. In meetings with country representatives, they adopted our proposal for legal recognition as distinct groups with collective rights. But it was stricken out when the member states held their meeting,” said Carling.

Aside from non-recognition in the Asean, some countries do not have national laws and policies that recognize indigenous people. In countries that have such laws, like the  Philippines with its Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, violations of indigenous people’s rights still persist.

Indigenous people’s groups also fear that the Asean Community Integration by 2015 will further deprive them of their rights.

In the Asean economic blueprint, member-countries are pushing for a free trade and investment plan that include projects that threated indigenous people’s communities. These include interconnecting roads and highways, economic zones, mining, dams and power projects, palm oil plantation and other bio-fuel projects, commercial agriculture, as well as land concessions for economic purposes or for real estate development and commercial tourism.

For indigenous people, the projects mean further violations of their rights and the destruction of their ancestral lands. States and multi/transnational corporations have been targeting the rich natural resources of their communities for mineral extractions.

“If we lose our land and forest, we lose everything,” explained Carling.

The group challenged the media to give more attention to the emerging issues and concerns of the indigenous people of the Asean and put forward their collective interest in reporting. “We will explore the challenges that media face and come up with an action plan to make more visibile the interest of  indigenous peoples, promote their voice, access and participation in media,” Carling concluded.

 

 

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/10/sea-indigenous-people-to-media-give-voice-to-our-struggles/feed/ 0
Dalawang dinukot na kabataan, tinortyur – Ridon http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/dalawang-dinukot-na-kabataan-tinortyur-ridon/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/dalawang-dinukot-na-kabataan-tinortyur-ridon/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:40:31 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=31671 Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon. <strong>PW File Photo<strong>

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon. PW File Photo

Sumailalim sa mental at psychological torture ang dalawang kabataang organisador sa isang kampo ng militar bago sila inilitaw sa Cabanatuan City ng mga pulis.

Ito ang napag-alaman ni Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, matapos makausaup ang dalawang kabataan na sina Gerald Salonga, 24 at Guiller Cadano, 22. Sa bisita ng kabataang kongresista noong Setyembre 28 sa piitan ng dalawa sa Nueva Ecija, isinalaysay nina Salonga at Cadano ang kanilang pinagdaanan sa kamay ng mga militar.

Dinukot sina Salonga at Cadano sa Brgy RT Padilla, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija ng pinagsamang puwersa ng Philippine National Police (PNP) at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) noong Agosto 9 at inilitaw lamang sa PNP Provincial Public Safety Company Headquarters noong Agosto 11.

Kinasuhan ang dalawa ng paglabag ng Republic Act (RA) 10592 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act) at RA10591 (Illegal Possession of Explosives).

Nauna nang sinabi ng PNP na pag-aresto at hindi pagdukot ang nangyari. Kasalukuyang nakapiit ang dalawa sa BJMP Detention Facility sa San Jose, Nueva Ecija matapos silang ilipat doon sa bisa ng isang court order noong Setyembre 3.

‘Tinortyur kami’

Bago dalhin ang dalawa sa Cabanatuan City, sumailalim ang dalawa sa isang araw na iterogasyon sa isang kampo ng militar sa San Jose, Nueva Ecija, ayon kay Ridon.

“Sinabi sa akin ni Salonga na sigurado siya na sa San Jose City (ang lugar) nang magawa niyang makasilip sa pagkakapiring ng kanyang mata habang nasa sasakyan,” ayon kay Ridon.

Sumailalim umano si Salonga sa isang 13-oras na interogasyon at binantaan na may mangyayaring masama sa kanyang ina kung hindi niya aaminin na miyembro siya ng NPA.

“Sa isang punto, ayon kay Gerald, inilabas din siya mula sa interrogation room at pinaluhod sa lupa kung saan daw siya ililibing,” dagdag ni Ridon.

Ayon sa mambabatas, malaki ang posibilidad na pareho ang mga dumukot at nagtortyur sa dalawa. Nang tanungin umano ni Ridon kung sino ang mga umaresto sa kanila, sinabi ng dalawa na nakikilala nila ang ilan sa mga pangalan.

Sa pagdinig ng plenaryo sa deliberasyon ng panukalang badyet ng Department of National Defense (DND), hiniling ni Ridon ang detalye kay DND Sec. Voltaire Gazmin at sa matataas na opisyal ng Philippine Army sa pagdukot at pagkulong kina Cadano at Salonga na parehong miyembro ng Kabataan Party-list.

Ayon sa DND, pinagsamang puwersa ng Nueva Ecija Police, 7th Military Intellegence Batallion, at 3rd Infantry Battalion ang dumukot sa dalawa na pinamumunuan nina PNP Inspector Dale Allan Tagle, Lt. Col. Eugene Mata, at Lt. Col. Dmark Mamaril.

Kaso vs militar

Plano ng Kabataan na kasuhan ng kasong torture at serious illegal detention, hindi lamang sa mga opisyal na umaresto sa dalawa, kundi maging sa commanding officers at sa matataas na opisyal ng militar at pulis.

“Ilegal na inaresto sina Gerald at Guiller at isinailalim ang dalawa sa brutal na interogasyon. Dapat agad na idiniretso ng umarestong mga opisyal sa police detention facility ang dalawa at hindi na kinakailangang isailalim sa psychological torture o maging sa interogasyon na wala man lang abogado,” ayon kay Ridon.

Para sa mambabatas, walang kaso laban sa dalawa at walang warrant of arrest nang kunin sila.

“Kahit na sakaling may warrant sila, tulad ng sinasabi ng militar, ipinakikita ng ebidensya na para iyon sa iba,” paliwanag ni Ridon.

Ang tanging ebindensiya lamang na pinanghahawakan ng mga umaresto sa dalawa ay pawang maling mga imbentaryo ng mga materyal na narekober umano na mga pambasabog at armas, ayon sa mambabatas.

“Malinaw na hindi ito tatanggapin sa korte dahil hindi kailanman pinirmahan ng dalawa ng imbentaryo. Hindi ginawa ang sinasabing imbentaryo sa kanilang presensiya o kahit sa presensiya ng may-ari ng bahay kung saan sila inaresto o sa presensya man opisyal ng barangay. Ilan ito sa mga rekrisitong kailangan para maging valid inventory ang recovered items,” ayon kay Ridon.

Sabi pa niya, patunay ang kaso na hindi nagbabago ang AFP at PNP sa ilegal na pag-aresto at pagkulong nito sa mga organisador na kabataan at mga miyembro ng progresibong mga organisasyon. Mga pulis at militar rin umano ang pangunahing lumalabag sa karapatang pantao sa bansa, pagtatapos ni Ridon.

 

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/dalawang-dinukot-na-kabataan-tinortyur-ridon/feed/ 0
Ika-58 buwan ng Ampatuan masaker, ginunita ng CEGP http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/ika-58-buwan-ng-ampatuan-masaker-ginunita-ng-cegp/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/ika-58-buwan-ng-ampatuan-masaker-ginunita-ng-cegp/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:58:42 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=31603 Nagtirik ng kandila ang mga kasapi ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines sa paggunita ng ika-58 buwan ng Ampatuan masaker.<strong>Pher Pasion</strong>

Nagtirik ng kandila ang mga kasapi ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines sa paggunita ng ika-58 buwan ng Ampatuan masaker. Pher Pasion

Nag-alay ng kandila ang mga kasapi ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) bilang simbolo ng paghahanap pa rin ng hustisya sa mga naging biktima ng Ampatuan masaker at iba pang alagad ng midya na pinaslang.

Itinaon nila ito sa ika-58 buwan ng Ampatuan masaker, na naganap noong Nobyembre 23, 2009 at ikinasawi ng 58 indibidwal, kabilang ang 32 mamamahayag.

“Nanawagan ng hustisya ang mga publikasyong pangkampus hindi lamang sa mga biktima ng Ampatuan masaker kundi maging sa lahat ng mga miyembro ng midya na pinaslang sa Pilipinas. Kailangan managot sa taumbayan si Noynoy Aquino dahil mapasahanggang ngayon, wala pang nangyayari sa ipinangako niyang hustisya,” ayon kay Marc Lino Abila, presidente ng CEGP.

Bago pa man maging presidente si Aquino, nangako ito na kung mauupo sa puwesto ay bibigyan ng katarungan ang mga biktima ng Ampatuan masaker. Hindi pa rin ito natutupad sa kasalukuyan.

Mga kasapi ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines sa Mendiola sa ika-58 buwan ng Ampatuan massacre.<strong>Pher Pasion</strong>

Mga kasapi ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines sa Mendiola sa ika-58 buwan ng Ampatuan masaker. Pher Pasion

Dagdag ni Abila, “higit na nakakagalit ang sinabi ni Aquino sa Belguim kamakailan na hindi daw work related ang mga naging pagpatay sa ibang mga alagad ng midya. Nagpapakita ito o salamin ito ng kawalang sinseridad ng pangulo na bigyan ng hustisya ang mga biktima.”

Mula noong 1986, nasa 145 na ang naitalang kaso ng pamamaslang sa hanay ng midya. Sa 145 na kaso, mayroong 25 kaso ng pamamaslang ang naitala sa ilalim ng administrasyong Aquino.

Wala signipikanteng hakbang ang administrasyon para matigil ang mga pamamaslang sa hanay ng midya, ayon sa CEGP. Umano’y naririyan pa rin ang kultura ng walang-pakundangang pamamaslang, pananatili ng private armies, at mga banta sa buhay ng mga mamamahayag,

“Maging sa campus publications, tumatagos ang tinatawag nating culture of impunity at pag-atake sa midya. Nariyan halimbawa sa mga forum ng mga militar sa mga school kung saan nagkakaroon ng red baiting o inaakusahang communist fronts ang mga kritikal o progresibong mga publikasyong pangkampus. Nalalagay sa panganib ang mga buhay ng mga campus journalist sa ganoon,” ayon kay Abila.

Sa unang anim na buwan ng 2014, nakapagtala CEGP ng 185 kaso ng paglabag sa kalayaan sa pamamahayag sa kampus kabilang ang libelo, harassment, surveillance, at iba pa.

“Nakakaranas na ng mabibigat na kaso kagaya ng libelo ang campus journalists. Halimbawa ang kaso na kinakaharap ngayon ng UP Baguio Outcrop na umabot na sa korte. At huwag din nating kakalimutan ang kaso ni Beng Hernandez na napaslang sa kamay ng mga ahente ng CAFGU (Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units) na wala pa ring hustisya sa kasalukuyan,” ayon kay Abila.

Si Hernandez ay dating mamamahayag pangkampus mula sa Atenews ng Ateneo De Davao University na napaslang ng mga ahente ng CAFGU sa pamumuno ni M/Sgt Antonio Torilllo noong Abril 5, 2002 sa North Cotabato, habang nasa fact-finding mission sa kalagayan ng karapatang pantao sa komunidad ng mga Lumad.

Umabot ang kaso ni Hernandez sa United Nations Human Rights Committee, na kinuwestiyon ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas sa kawalang aksyon nito sa kaso, sa kabila ng matibay na ebidensya laban sa mga salarin. Wala pa ring katarungang nakakamit ang pamilya ni Hernandez sa kasalukuyan.

 

 

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/ika-58-buwan-ng-ampatuan-masaker-ginunita-ng-cegp/feed/ 0
Rights group: Civilians killed, rebels tortured in Abra military ops http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/rights-group-civilians-killed-rebels-tortured-in-abra-military-ops/ http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/rights-group-civilians-killed-rebels-tortured-in-abra-military-ops/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:37:52 +0000 http://pinoyweekly.org/new/?p=31598 The urn containing Recca's ashes. Arkibong Bayan

The urn containing Recca Noelle Monte’s ashes. Arkibong Bayan

A human rights group called for a total military pull-out in Lacub, Abra to give civilians respite from intensified military operations, alleging that the military used “excessive force” that resulted in the death of two civilians and seven members of the New Peoples Army (NPA), some of whom were tortured.

In a statement, the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) accused elements of 41st Infantry Batallion under the Northern Luzon Command of grave human rights and international humanitarian law violations.

According to the group, there were strong indications that the victims of an alleged military encounter were severely tortured and that their remains were desecrated.

Among those killed in military operations last September 5 was Fidela Salvador, an engineer. The group stressed that Salvador is a civilian, contrary to the claims of the military that she is a combatant of the NPA.

“Salvador is a civilian and a member of a non-government organization monitoring socio-economic projects in the area when the incident happened,” said Audrey Beltran, secretary general of CHRA.

CHRA added that the autopsy report conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reveals that Salvador suffered from 9 gunshot wounds, multiple contusions and lacerations and a head injury caused by a blunt object.

The group also accused the military of violating rules of engagement during their combat operations against the NPA. “Even if the members of the NPA had no more capacity to fight back, they were still slain,” the group stated.

Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan, during the deliberations of the Department of National Defense’s (DND) budget in Congress, also revealed that the NBI autopsy report showed that the NPA combatant Recca Noelle Monte had no gunshot wounds and actually died of “massive blunt traumatic injuries in the head, face and chest.”

In a public post in her Facebook account, Jang Monte, sister of Recca Noelle, described that her sister was almost unidentifiable when she claimed her body. “I could not believe what I saw. Half of her head from the bridge of her nose and up was practically blown off. She was barely identifiable if not for her prominent overbite and the shirt she wore,” wrote Jang.

Quoting from the autopsy report, Jang also wrote that Recca’s legs were also severely fractured, with her left leg nearly separated.

“My sister’s body bore several marks of torture, ” Jang concluded. The Monte family believes that Recca was caught alive by the military, and demands justice for the inhumane treatment she suffered in the hands of the military.

CHRA and the families of the victims are mulling to file complaints against the 41st IB in local and international bodies, as they call for a total military pull-out in Abra. The group will also launch a national fact-finding mission in the coming days to conduct deeper a investigation.

Meanwhile, Ilagan moved for the deferment of the deliberation of the DND budget until Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin submits the incident report of the 41st IB and brings in Lt. Col. Rogelio Noora, Nolcom field commander, to the House plenary to answer questions on the circumstances of the said military operations.

“It is the responsibility of this House to ensure that the budget of the DND will not be used to violate human rights and international humanitarian law.  It is also about time that the DND and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) take seriously issues of human rights raised against the military establishment and not just brush them with sweeping denials and public avowals about a ‘new AFP,’” Ilagan said.

]]>
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2014/09/rights-group-civilians-killed-rebels-tortured-in-abra-military-ops/feed/ 0