Groups demand investigation on ‘summary execution’ of former UP student leader

Activist groups mourn the death of a former University of the Philippines (UP) student activist they said was a “revolutionary serving the people of Mindanao” and condemn the manner of her “summary execution.”

Killed last April 10 by combined elements of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Barangay Butong, Quezon town, Bukidnon, the groups said Kaliska Dominica Peralta was tortured and summarily killed like many other New People’s Army (NPA) fighters captured by state forces.

“We raise concerns, and condemn in no uncertain terms, the manner of her death and call on relevant agencies and institutions to conduct a thorough and impartial probe,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) said in a statement.

 The group said reports emerging from Mindanao show that there was no armed encounter in Bukidnon on the day of Peralta’s death.

Women’s group GABRIELA also said the Peralta’s death may be another violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

“The willful killing of Peralta by the military, who was unarmed at the time of her arrest, is a war crime that can never be justified under any circumstance. This is a blatant violation of (the IHL),” GABRIELA secretary general Clarice Palce said in a separate statement.

Kaliska Dominica Peralta

‘Another IHL violation under Marcos Jr’

Both BAYAN and GABRIELA cited an earlier report from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) saying Peralta was killed last Wednesday, contrary to the military’s claims that an “encounter” occurred on April 11 that resulted in her death.

The LFS said that Peralta’s death certificate confirms she died on April 10 and her remains were not subjected to an autopsy.

The student group added that according to witnesses, Peralta and three of her comrades were already unarmed when captured and that she was later “taken to another part of the community and mercilessly killed.”

“Peralta’s body was unrecognizable and severely desecrated, showing marks of brutal torture and abuse,” GABRIELA added.

BAYAN also added that Peralta’s killing fits the pattern of many other NPA fighters and activists who were captured and summarily executed by the military, including NPA spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant Ericson Acosta and others.

“The violations of (IHL) continue to rise under the Marcos regime. The viciousness of these killings has intensified in light of the terrorist-labeling of revolutionaries by the Philippine government,” BAYAN said.

Peralta was a Film student and served as the chairperson of the LFS-UP Diliman chapter in 2014-2015. She was involved in various student campaigns against education budget cuts, academic calendar shift, and various socialized tuition schemes.

“After several years, she decided to embrace the highest form of struggle to free society from the current prevailing system. She struggled with the Lumad and farmers of Mindanao for their rights to land and ancestral domain that are being taken by landlords and bombed by the military,” LFS said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)