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Karapatan Monitor (Jan-March 2010)

Karapatan Monitor (Jan-March 2010)

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The first quarter of 2010 is marked by mass arrest, detention and torture of health workers and farmers. Arresting security forces utilized fabricated charges and unfounded accusations. Consistent with 2010 as the end-year of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration's Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), extrajudicial killing and harassment and vilification of legal organizations and personalities continue. Of special concern is the unexplained death of a civilian employee in the U.S. military barracks in Marawi City.

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Karapatan Monitor is released quarterly by Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancent of People’s Rights).
The first quarter of 2010 is marked by mass arrest, detention and torture of health workers and farmers. Arresting security forces utilized fabricated charges and unfounded accusations. Consistent with 2010 as the end-year of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration's Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), extrajudicial killing and harassment and vilification of legal organizations and personalities continue. Of special concern is the unexplained death of a civilian employee in the U.S. military barracks in Marawi City.

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Karapatan Monitor is released quarterly by Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancent of People’s Rights).

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05/18/2012

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KARAPATAN
 Monitor 
 January - March 2010
T
he
 fi 
rst quarter of 2010 is marked by mass arrest, detention and torture of healthworkers and farmers. Arresting security forces utilized fabricated charges and un-founded accusations. Consistent with 2010 as the end-year of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration's
Oplan Bantay Laya
(OBL), extrajudicial killing and harassmentand vili
 fi 
cation of legal organizations and personalities continue. Of special concern is theunexplained death of a civilian employee in the U.S. military barracks in Marawi City.
 Arrest, torture and detention
Several cases of arrest, torture and detention reportedand documented this quarter illustrate an all-out attemptby the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in achievingOBL’s objective of dismantling the insurgency by using in-ordinately large number of troops and massive logistics.Such is the case of the illegal arrest, detention and tor-ture of the 43 health workers, now called the
Morong 43
.On 6 February, 43 participants and trainors of the First Re-sponders Training of the Community Medicine Develop-ment Foundation (COMMED) were illegally arrested by thecombined forces of the Morong, Rizal Philippine NationalPolice (PNP) and the 202
nd
Infantry Brigade of the Philip-pine Army. The health workers were manhandled, blind-folded, their hands bound behind their backs and forcibly brought to the military camp of the 2nd Infantry Divisionof the Philippine Army in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal by around 300 heavily armed elements of the military and po-lice. They were all subjected to mental and physical tortureto force them to admit to being members of the NPA.During this “operation,” four 6x6military trucks, two armored personnelcarriers (APC), a KIA Pride car and anambulance were used in the illegal arrest.The raid very early in the morning shocked the residents of Barrio Maybangcal, Morong, the location of the farm resortof Dr. Melecia Velmonte, a renowned infectious diseasespecialist, where the training was being held.For more than 36 hours, the victims remained blind-folded and bound, and their movements restricted. Womenand men were subjected to such indignities as guards they could not see because of the blindfold pulled down theirunderwear when they had to go to the toilet.The health workers were accused of making explosivesand being members of the underground armed movement.Dr. Alexis Montes, 62 years old and one of the trainors, was preposterously accused as the one commissioned to“neutralize” retired Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr, the notoriousgeneral accused of being involved in many of the killingsand enforced disappearances.To cure the illegality of their arrest, their captors com-mandeered a prosecutor, brought him inside the camp andproceeded to inquest the detainees. Ignoring the victims’repeated invocation of their right to counsel, the military authorities charged 40 of them with illegal possession of arms and explosives, a criminal non-bailable offense, andthe remaining three with illegal possession of arms andammunitions, a bailable offense.To date, the detainees remain in a militay camp, andsubjected to pressure tactics by their military captors thruthreats to their persons and to members of their families.Five of the 43 detainees were already isolated from therest for allegedly admitting to being members of theNPA. Relatives of the five were separately taken asideby camp guards and forcibly brought inside the campto see their detained loved ones. They were warned thatthey themselves might not be allowed to leave the camppremises.In another incident, on 7 March,
13 farmers,including two minors,
were arrested and tortured in SitioKalabirahan, Barangay Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela
The “Morong 43” and their relatives remainsteadfast in seeking justice, despite the PNP’sand AFP’s pressure tactics.
 
2
KARAPATAN
Monitor 
Valley by elements of the 25
th
Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army (25
th
IBPA) and Scout Rangers. The victims wereaccused of being members of the NPA and were interrogatedabout their alleged hidden guns.The soldiers had an armed encounter with the membersof the NPA two days before. The next day, the farmers werebrought by the soldiers to a military depot in Mt. Diwalwal. At around 10:00 p.m, the victims were transported to the25
th
IBPA headquarters accompanied by 60 soldiers in 6x6military trucks.They were photographedholding signs with the word“commander” written on themand made to sign documents thatthey could not understand. Thevictims were held incommunicadoby the soldiers until March 10before they were turned over tothe police and brought to theMonkayo Police Station. At the police station, they  were again photographed holdingsigns with their alleged chargeson it. They were detained forone night at the police station.The following day, 11 of them were brought to the ProvincialProsecutor in Nabunturan by the combined forces of the PNPand the 25
th
IBPA while thetwo minors were brought to theDepartment of Social Welfareand Development (DSWD). The11 were charged with multiplefrustrated murder, murder andviolation of the election gun ban.But the victims were released when Prosecutor Graciano Arafolruled on the illegality of theirarrest because the prescribedperiod of filing of charges hadalready lapsed. The two minors were also turned over by theDSWD to their relatives.These cases show, on theone hand, the might, resources,firepower that the military canutilize and the extent to whichthe security forces can violatehuman rights just to reach thearmed forces’ objective of supposedly ending the insurgency through the OBL. On the other hand, they are also proof of a desperate counterinsurgency program that victimizesunarmed civilians and members of legitimate people’sorganizations.
 Killings continue
On March 18,
Ronelo Perez 
, resident of Brgy. Alfonso XII, Libacao, Aklan went to his farm in Sitio Marandan,Mali-ao, Tapaz, Capiz. Perez was alone in his farmhouse whensoldiers conducting a military operation in the vicinity openedfire at him with high-poweredautomatic rifles.The soldiers, mostly trainees, were from the 3
rd
 Infantry Division (3
rd
ID)training unit under Capt. Adolfo V. Delizo. They wereon a long-range reconnaissancepatrol within the 33,310-hectaremilitary reservation where CampPeralta is located. When the firing stopped,Perez, his thigh smashed by thegunfire, staggered out of hisfarmhouse. A soldier went to himand shot him on the head, thuskilling him.The Philippine Army through the 3
rd
ID PublicInformation Officer 1Lt. Mark  Andrew Posadas justified thekilling by saying that a firefightoccurred. He said that Perez was “part of the group of illegalloggers under the command of the NPAs”, although not a rebelhimself.The village chief of Mali-ao, Virgilio Santiago, beliedthe Army’s allegations. He saidPerez was a civilian and a bonafide resident of the place.In a separate incident on23 February at around 6:25a.m.,
Ronald Capitanea 
, ahealth worker was riding on hismotorcycle when two men on a white and black DT motorcycle
Table 1Victims of EJK and ED underthe Arroyo Government (by region)
 January 21, 2001 to March 31, 2010
RegionEJK ED
Ilocos7 2Cordillera Autonomous Region(CAR)34 2Cagayan Valley 30 4Central Luzon 154 66National Capital Region (NCR) 41 6Souhern Tagalog (ST) 177 29Bicol 196 10Eastern Visayas 126 27Central Visayas 26 4Western Visayas 30 6Northern Mindanao 32 2Caraga 34 11Socsksargen 26 5Western Mindanao 28 10Southern Mindanao 105 13Autonomous Region of MuslimMindanao (ARMM)144 8
Total1,190205
Organized4706Women15331
 Based on reports gathered by Karapatan
Farmers, including 2 minors, were illegally arrested and accused of being members of the NPA.
 
3
 January - March 2010
shot him at close range from behind. The incident occured while the victim was on the road along Hacienda Mabuhay,Brgy. Gil Montilla, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.Capitenea was the Public Information Officer of Camindangan Small Farmers Association (CASFA) anaffiliate of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)and of the Community Health Workers (CHW), an affiliateof the Negros Health Integrated Program (NHIP).Capitanea managed to escape and survived the attack after spending eight days in the hospital.Prior to the incident, Capitanea received numerousthreats and harassment from the elements of the 61
st
IBPA.
Vili
 fi 
cation and harassment 
Vilification campaign against members of people’s or-ganizations delivering services to the poorest sections of soci-ety and harassment of individuals continue.
Benjie Paldas
, 30, is the head of the health commit-tee of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Sibulan or United Farm-ers of Sibulan (NAMAS), a peasant group in Davao del Surthat aims to empower the community through educationand organizing. Affiliated with Kilusang Magbubukidng Pilipinas (KMP or the Peasant Movement of the Philip-pines), NAMAS also struggles for genuine agrarian reform while providing services for the residents of remote rural ar-eas gravely neglected by the government.Paldas’s involvement in delivering free community ser-vice has earned him the love of the people in their commu-nity. But not of the AFP.On February 18, Paldas, as well as six other peasantleaders of Davao del Sur, were subpoenaed to submit coun-ter-affidavits, in response to a frustrated murder charge filedby Cpl. Bert L. Ulao of the 39
th
IBPA and Antonio T. Omo,a CAFGU member under the 72
nd
IBPA.In their respective affidavits, both Ulao and Omo claimedto have personal knowledge that the seven peasant leaders were members of an NPA team, headed by Commanders“Jagjag,” “Marvin” and “Jasmin,” which ambushed Ulao’smilitary unit on January 31, 2010. Omo claimed to havebeen hit in the leg and back during the incident.NAMAS along with other people’s organization hasbeen included in the list of so-called front organizations of the NPA. Attempts of harassment have turned from desperateto absurd. Such is the case of 
Irma Pamat,
ExecutiveDirector of the Women’s Development Center (WDC), anon-government organization. On January 31, the localnewspaper Bohol Chronicle published an article that camefrom the 2
nd
Special Forces Battalion of the Philippine Army maligning Pamat as a member of the “white area committee”of the CPP-NPA. WDC is a member organization of the government’sBohol Provincial Development Council where a representativeof the Philippine Army also sits. The military representativemeets with Pamat in the council’s regular meetings.The military brazenly admitted to having monitoredthe meeting of the WDC in the afternoon of January 9 atSitio Taytay in Brgy. Montesuerte, Carmen, Bohol. Themeeting was a voter’s education training on the automatedelection system which will be used, for the first time, in thecountry’s forthcoming May 10 elections.
 Death of a civilian employeeinside the barracks of U.S. troops
Gregan V. Cardeño
, a father of three, was so happy tohave landed a job as a Bahasa Indonesia interpreter for theU.S. troops under the BALIKATAN program of the JointSpecial Operations Task Force - Philippines (JSOTFP). Inthe early morning of February 1, he was accompanied by 
Table 2 Victims of Extrajudicial Killing and Enforced Disappearanceunder GMA’s Presidency*(by sectoral and multi-sectoral organizations)
 January 21, 2001 to March 31, 2010 
Organization EJK EDBayan
KMP 132 15KMU 23 3Anakbayan 15 3Pamalakaya 8 2Kadamay 11 0LFS 5 0Courage 4 0PCPR 2 0CPA 0 1Kamp 11 0SCMP 1 0Kalikasan 1 0Piston 1 1Secretariat 8 2
Karapatan
Selda 4 2Kasimbayan 1 0Chapters 24 1
NUPL
1 0
Other organizations
20 5
Partylists
Bayan Muna 142 12Anakpawis 49 7Gabriela Womens Party 2 0Kabataan 2 0Suara Bangsa Moro 2 2Anak ng Bayan 0 1
NDF Consultants/Staff
1 11
Total 470 68
Women 153 11
 Based on reports gathered by Karapatan* Same as 2009 data

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