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Pagtatakip ng gubyerno sa paglabag ng karapatang pantao, kinondena

Sa pagharap ng ilang representante ng gubyerno, militar at pulis sa isinasagawang public inquiry ng Commission on Human Rights (CHR), nagdaos ng kilos protesta ang mga human rights advocates sa pangunguna ng KARAPATAN National upang pabulaanan ang pagtatakip ng pamahalaan sa maraming paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa bansa. (Arrem Alcaraz/Kodao)

Commission on Human Rights, Quezon City

September 12, 2019

Bloody morning: 3 civilians killed in Negros

Three more civilians were killed in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental in the early hours of Thursday.

Farmer Romeo Alipan was shot several times at home at around 1:40 AM. He was 64 years old.

The victim was chairperson of Guihulngan’s Barangay Buenavista and used to facilitate medical missions on behalf of Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and other allied peasant organizations, Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo announced.

Alipan was the 215th peasant killing under the Duterte regime, and the fourth in a string of murders in Guihulngan in the last three days.

His murder was preceded by that of a school principal and his sister, also a Department of Education official at around 1 AM.

Siblings Arthur and Ardale Bayawa were shot dead inside their home in Barangay Hibaiyo by unidentified assailants.

Anthony Trinidad, a lawyer who had represented political prisoners as well as peasants in the region, was killed by gunmen last Tuesday.

Prior to his murder, the lawyer was accused of being a communist supporter and sent death threats by the anti-communist group Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista.

In response to the killings, San Carlos Bishop Gerard Alminaza called on the local clergy and lay leaders to think of ways to end the bloodshed.

“What’s happening to our Island? When will these killings ever stop?” Alminaza asked.

“I’m asking our priests and lay leaders serving in the area to meet and discern together what collective action to take in response to this worsening situation so we don’t give in to despair, complacency and numbness and put an end to this!” the prelate said.

Alminaza earlier issued a pastoral statement calling for an end to the killings and the resumption of peace talks between the government and communist rebels following Trinidad’s murder.

Activist groups and human rights defenders blamed Duterte’s Memorandum Order 32 of November 2018 ordering additional troops to Negros as well as Bicol and Samar for the increasing number of attacks against civilians. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Lawyer shot dead in Negros Oriental as chief of village where 4 cops killed allegedly commits suicide

By Visayas Today

A lawyer was shot dead while his wife and a pedicab driver were injured when the couple was attacked by two motorcycle-riding killers in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Tuesday afternoon, July 23.

The same day, the chief of the village in Ayungon town where four policemen were killed by communist rebels in a July 18 ambush also died in a hospital, one day after allegedly drinking pesticide, Negros Oriental police director Colonel Raul Tacaca said.

Barangay Mabato chairman Sunny Caldera (Photo from Visayas Today)

A police report said lawyer Anthony Trinidad and his wife Novie Marie, both 53 and residents of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, were in their SUV when they were fired on in the center of Guihulngan.

Their vehicle hit the pedicab driven by Guillermo Magdasal, 52, before hitting a concrete wall.

The three were rushed to the Guihulngan District Hospital where the lawyer was declared dead.

Last year, Trinidad was reportedly among the names in a hit list by an alleged anti-communist group called Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (KAGUBAK), according to Defend Negros #StopTheAttacks Network.

Defend Negros condemned the senseless killing of the lawyer.

Meanwhile, Tacaca said Barangay Mabato chairnan Sunny Caldera, 51, had been found vomiting by the roadside with a pesticide container near him on Monday.

He was brought to Bindoy District Hospital then transferred to the Silliman University Medical Center in Dumaguete City where he expired the next day.

Earlier, police Region 7 chief Brigadier General Debold Sinas said they were looking into Caldera’s possible involvement to the deaths of the four personnel of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion.

Sinas said the village chief, who had reportedly been seen talking to one of the policemen before they were killed, had not warned them that the area was a “mass base” of the rebels.

Tacaca acknowledged they had yet to talk to Caldera’s family.

The Mt. Cansermon Command of the New People’s Army owned responsibility for the ambush on the policemen.

“Based on our intelligence report, the four police operatives were gathering information and surveilling the area for another round of Oplan Sauron or Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations where innocent civilians are killed by uniformed personnel in the guise of counter-insurgency efforts,” the rebels said in a statement released Monday.

“These police officers have been long harassing the residents of the area for allegedly supporting the revolutionary movement,” they claimed. “In fact, the residents were forced to evacuate because of continued intimidation.”

Multiple murder and theft charges have been filed against 20 suspected rebels for the ambush.

Also charged was Victoriano Anadon, a reported contact who the policemen were supposed to meet but who was later found to be allegedly linked to the rebels. #

Ifugao leader killed by military

BAGUIO CITY – Ricardo P. Mayumi, an indigenous people’s leader in Tinoc, Ifugao was killed by suspected state military agents of a hydropower project on March 2, Friday.

Suspected hired goons of the mini hydro project and CAFGUs visited his house several time asking his family the location of Mayumi.

Mayumi was known for being fierce in his stance against destructive energy projects such as the Quadriver and Sta. Clara mini hydropower plants in Tinoc.

He was one with the Kalanguya people of Tinoc in successfully opposing and stalling these projects.

In a statement, the Ifugao Peasant Movement said Mayumi joined several dialogues with the NCIP, DENR, and with Congressman Baguilat, Cotamco, and Umali.

He stood his ground in defending the ancestral land and was repaid with death threats through calls and text messages.

Ten members of the IPM, including Mayumi received death threats using the picture of the gamong, the Ifugao burial blanket suspected to be from the State security forces.

Mayumi attended political prisoners court hearings with William Bugatti, then IPM’s Human Rights Officer. When Bugatti was gunned down after a court hearing, Mayumi was one of the first respondents who stayed with Bugatti’s body while the family was being contacted.

“We call on our kakailian and peace-loving individuals to condemn the killing of Mayumi and join us in seeking justice for Mayumi and all victims of human rights violations. Together let us rise up to fight tyranny and put an end to extrajudicial killings and the culture of impunity that reigns in the country,” said a statement by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. # (Norwin Gonzales/Northern Dispatch)

Witnesses under Church protection, hounded by state agents


Witnesses to the recent killings of minors have sought refuge with church and human rights groups while being hounded by state agents.

Human rights group Rise Up for Life and for Rights (Rise Up) announced Saturday it is providing protective custody to Thomas Bagcal after he asked them for sanctuary.

Bagcal was identified by the Philippine National Police as the taxi driver who was allegedly held up by 17-year old Carl Angelo Arnaiz who ended up dead in Navotas City last August 19.

Bagcal is a potential witness in the death of Arnaiz, Rise Up said.

Arnaiz’s reported companion, 14-year old Reynaldo de Guzman, was found dead with 30 stab wounds in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija last September 5, nearly three weeks after the two boys went missing.

Rise Up said they affirmatively responded to the Bagcal family’s request and has been keeping him since September 4 amid the public’s queries for his whereabouts.

“[We have] provided sanctuary during the period of Mr Bagcal’s serious discernment, soul-searching, and firm decision-making,” the group said.

“We are moved by the family’s trust and confidence in Rise Up in assisting them in these very trying and challenging times,” it added in a statement.

A source told Kodao that Bagcal would soon make a public statement on the issue.

Rise Up is a network of church people and human rights advocates dedicated to working with poor families affected by drug-related extra-judicial killings under the Duterte administration.

The group said they ensure individuals and families of protection from harm and threat as it provides burial assistance, psychosocial therapy and spiritual formation, rehabilitation, documentation and legal assistance as they seek justice.

 ‘Thieves striking in the night’

Meanwhile, the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) slammed the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) for its late night attempt to take custody of a child witness to the killing of 17-year old Kian delos Santos.

The child and his father sought sanctuary with Caloocan Roman Catholic Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.

The Saturday night standoff at Caloocan’s San Roque Cathedral ended with the father staying with his child at the church, MAT said.

“Attempts by the PAO and CIDG to pressure the father and then badmouthing him on media are signs of their bad faith,” MAT in a statement Sunday said.

“These acts put to doubt the CIDG and PAO’s capacity to conduct an impartial and just investigation of Kian’s case. Neither does it foster trust that they can provide respect and protection for witnesses,” the statement added.

The PAO through its chief Persida Acosta had been actively involved in public wrangling for the custody of witnesses to the killing of Delos Santos in Caloocan City last August 16.

“We thank Bishop David for providing sanctuary to the witness and his family at this challenging time,” MAT said.

“We ask the public to be vigilant. The PAO and CIDG tried doing this at the middle of the night and on a weekend –like thieves striking in the dark,” it added.

MAT has called for a big rally against extrajudicial killings on Sept 21, 40th anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, at Rizal Park to demand an end to the killings. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Witnesses under Church protection, hounded by state agents


Witnesses to the recent killings of minors have sought refuge with church and human rights groups while being hounded by state agents.

Human rights group Rise Up for Life and for Rights (Rise Up) announced Saturday it is providing protective custody to Thomas Bagcal after he asked them for sanctuary.

Bagcal was identified by the Philippine National Police as the taxi driver who was allegedly held up by 17-year old Carl Angelo Arnaiz who ended up dead in Navotas City last August 19.

Bagcal is a potential witness in the death of Arnaiz, Rise Up said.

Arnaiz’s reported companion, 14-year old Reynaldo de Guzman, was found dead with 30 stab wounds in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija last September 5, nearly three weeks after the two boys went missing.

Rise Up said they affirmatively responded to the Bagcal family’s request and has been keeping him since September 4 amid the public’s queries for his whereabouts.

“[We have] provided sanctuary during the period of Mr Bagcal’s serious discernment, soul-searching, and firm decision-making,” the group said.

“We are moved by the family’s trust and confidence in Rise Up in assisting them in these very trying and challenging times,” it added in a statement.

A source told Kodao that Bagcal would soon make a public statement on the issue.

Rise Up is a network of church people and human rights advocates dedicated to working with poor families affected by drug-related extra-judicial killings under the Duterte administration.

The group said they ensure individuals and families of protection from harm and threat as it provides burial assistance, psychosocial therapy and spiritual formation, rehabilitation, documentation and legal assistance as they seek justice.

 ‘Thieves striking in the night’

Meanwhile, the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) slammed the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) for its late night attempt to take custody of a child witness to the killing of 17-year old Kian delos Santos.

The child and his father sought sanctuary with Caloocan Roman Catholic Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.

The Saturday night standoff at Caloocan’s San Roque Cathedral ended with the father staying with his child at the church, MAT said.

“Attempts by the PAO and CIDG to pressure the father and then badmouthing him on media are signs of their bad faith,” MAT in a statement Sunday said.

“These acts put to doubt the CIDG and PAO’s capacity to conduct an impartial and just investigation of Kian’s case. Neither does it foster trust that they can provide respect and protection for witnesses,” the statement added.

The PAO through its chief Persida Acosta had been actively involved in public wrangling for the custody of witnesses to the killing of Delos Santos in Caloocan City last August 16.

“We thank Bishop David for providing sanctuary to the witness and his family at this challenging time,” MAT said.

“We ask the public to be vigilant. The PAO and CIDG tried doing this at the middle of the night and on a weekend –like thieves striking in the dark,” it added.

MAT has called for a big rally against extrajudicial killings on Sept 21, 40th anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, at Rizal Park to demand an end to the killings. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

PH fails in international review, rights workers say

THE Philippine government received a failing grade at the recently-concluded United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the Philippines in Geneva, Switzerland, contrary to claims of success by its delegation head, local rights workers said.

“Despite attempts by the Philippine delegation to justify the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and to present a positive picture of its achievements on the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people, most of the attending states still raised serious concerns on a host of human rights issues that remain unaddressed,” Philippine UPR Watch delegation to the Geneva event co-head Atty. Ephraim Cortez said.  Read more