[Urgent Appeal] Husband and daughter of murdered land rights activists suffer trauma -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

Urgent Appeal Update: AHRC-UAU-003-2015

20 May 2015
[Re: PHILIPPINES: One farmer killed, three others wounded after they were shot for harvesting crops they cultivated on disputed land]
PHILIPPINES: Husband and daughter of murdered land rights activists suffer trauma

ISSUES: Human rights defenders; land rights

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regrets to inform you that the husband and daughter of a murdered land rights activist, Elisa Tulid, are suffering trauma as a result of her death. Elisa’s husband Danny Boy, and daughter, have been observed “staring into space”, “quiet and uncommunicative,” after witnessing the murder of the victim in front of them.

Asian Human Rights Commission

UPDATED INFORMATION: (Based on the documentation by the Medical Action Group (MAG)

Previously, we reported that a female land rights activist was killed in front of her husband and daughter. Her husband, Danny Boy, was able to report the incident at a nearby military camp that led to the arrest of the suspect.

The accused, Rannie Bugnot, was subsequently arrested and is presently detained at Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Gumaca District Jail, Quezon. The case is pending at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 62 in Gumaca, Quezon. For more details, please read: AHRC-FUA-004-2013.

After Elisa Tulid’s death, we have learned that her husband, Danny Boy, was observed staring into a space “tulala”, quiet and uncommunicative. He developed poor sleep, such that his daughter would talk to him at night, to help comfort him. During such talks, she would notice her father crying easily. He has poor appetite, low energy, and expressed hopelessness, as well as fear that the people behind Rannie Bugnot might also kill him.

Danny Boy admitted he suffers from an extremely poor attention span and has problem concentrating. His mind is disturbed or “gulong gulo ang isip”, such that he could not understand what other people are telling him. He developed palpitations and trembling, which occur almost daily, throughout the day. Two or three months after his wife’s death, the symptoms decreased in intensity; however, his thoughts and memories of his wife’s violent death remain easily triggered.

Mr. Tulid claimed he had improved a lot since his wife’s death. At the time of his interview, Mr. Tulid mentioned he still experiences these symptoms about four to five times a week, an improvement from daily in the past. However, he still has difficulty sleeping. Mr. Tulid constantly wonders why such things—the death of his wife—happened to him (“bakit nangyari? Walang kinalaman”)

Mr. Tulid said his daughter helps him recover. Apart from him, his younger daughter Belinda (alias), also suffers trauma, having witnessed her mother being murdered in front of her. Like her father, Belinda has also become uncommunicative and quiet. Mr. Tulid’s oldest daughter, Clarita (alias), decided to drop out of school and get married early after her mother’s death. As head of the family, Tulid was advised by his relatives to be strong for his children, and tries to show that he is in control of his emotions.

The AHRC urges the government to ensure Mr. Tulid and his daughter are afforded adequate treatment for the trauma they are suffering, and that just compensation is given to them.
Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia)

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