Category Archives: Urgent Action

[Urgent Action] Harassment of a Priest by Barangay Officials in Manila -PAHRA

An alleged incident of harassment was reported yesterday March 19, 2020, against Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD who heads the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center in Barangay 344, Sta. Cruz, Manila. According to reports, barangay officials forced them to stop food distribution to their beneficiaries for alleged violation of the social distancing order of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Barangay officials insisted that Fr. Flavie et al violated the mass gathering and social distancing rules under the enhanced community quarantine policy of the government, aimed at supposedly subduing the proliferation of the coronavirus. The incident happened when barangay officials went to the center at around 10:00am on March 19, 2020. Barangay officials, later on, summoned the police for assistance.

Fr. Villanueva claimed no mass gathering occurred and social distancing was observed. He emphasized that only 12 to 15 people were allowed inside the center and those in line were at least 1.5 meters apart.

“The homeless have no options amid a lockdown where people are asked to stay in their homes”, said Fr. Villanueva. He even told the barangay officials to provide an alternative that resembles what he is currently doing in order for him to stop.
Regrettably, the beneficiaries of the program were forced to disperse due to fear of being arrested.

Feeding programs, like the government’s quarantine program, are also life-saving measures to the homeless and the poor who currently have no means nor the freedom to make a living. There is no law that prohibits feeding programs of civic organizations or of the Catholic Church.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates affirms that the government’s lack of planning, preparation, and organization in responding to the COVID19 pandemic has left vulnerable sectors such as the poor and homeless to fend for themselves. Fr. Flavie Villanueva opened his center, despite a quarantine order, to assist those homeless and underprivileged who have no access to government help.

Actions Requested:
Please write to the Philippine authorities, urging them to:
· Stop the harassment of Fr. Flavie Villanueva and the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center;
· Ensure the free and unhampered operation of the center including its feeding program;
· Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Fr. Flavie Villanueva;
· Ensure that government services reach the homeless and indigent communities especially during the Luzon lockdown;
· Fr. Flavie is a human rights defender. Subject to the limitations and correct interpretation of the COVID19 quarantine policies, the government should comply in all circumstances with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its Articles 1, 6(c) and 12.2; and
· Urge all levels of government to comply with international human rights standards in humanitarian response, in particular in relation to COVID19.

(Reference: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/19/20/authorities-stop-homeless-feeding-care-program-in-manila-amid-luzon-lockdown / Photo Credit: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news)

Please forward this Urgent Action to the following agencies and institutions:

Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Philippine President
Malacañang Complex, J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, 1005 Philippines
Telefax No. +63(2)-87368621
Website: https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/
Email: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph

Ms. Maria Leonor G. Robredo
Philippine Vice President
1112, 100 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippine
Telephone Nos: (63) 905 626 3237; (632) 8534 6451
Email: vp@ovp.gov.ph; lenirobredo.ovp@gmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Office-Of-The-Vice-President/490197837660269

Mr. Eduardo M. Año (Ret.Gen)
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Direct Line No.: 8925-0330; 89250331;Fax No. 8925-0332
Trunkline: 8876-3454 loc. 1001
Email: emano@dilg.gov.ph

Mr. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa
Police General
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1111 Philippines
Trunk Line: (632) 723-0401
Website: http://www.pnp.gov.ph/main/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=67
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/pnp.pio/

Mr. Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson
SAAC Building, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101
Telephone Nos: (632) 8928-56-55; (632) 8926-6188; (632) 8920-9510
Telefax (02) 8929-0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChairChito

Mr. Francisco M. Domagoso
Mayor, City of Manila
C/o Bernardito C. Ang
Telephone No: (632) 5275191
Fax: (632) 5275208
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iskomorenodomagoso/

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Email: urgent-action@ohchr.org

https://www.facebook.com/notes/philippine-alliance-of-human-rights-advocates/urgent-action-harassment-of-a-priest-by-barangay-officials-in-manila/912955405811568/

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Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

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[Urgent Action] Alleged Inhumane Treatment of Arbitrarily Arrested Citizens by Barangay Officials in Sta. Cruz Laguna -PAHRA

Officials of Barangay Gatid in Sta. Cruz Laguna allegedly detained several persons inside a small animal cage. In a photo dated March 20, 2020, by the Facebook page “Santa Cruz Cityhood”, around 6 to 7 persons were imprisoned, who apparently violated the government imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine. The move placed the entire island of Luzon on lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. The post elicited mixed comments from the public, either supporting or condemning the act. Until now, there is no existing law that explicitly states that violation of the ECQ is a crime.

Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9745, also known as the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, Other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is a criminal offense which “refers to a deliberate and aggravated treatment or punishment (not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act), inflicted by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority against another person in custody, which attains a level of severity sufficient to cause suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the latter.” The assessment of the level of severity shall depend on all the circumstances of the case, including the duration of the treatment or punishment, its physical and mental effects and, in some cases, the sex, religion, age, and state of health of the victim. Also under Section 7, “Secret detention places, solitary confinement, incommunicado or other similar forms of detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity are prohibited.”

The Philippines is a state party and has ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, and rights to due process and a fair trial.

The alleged punishment imposed on the victims by officials of Barangay Gatid clearly violates our domestic law and the said international treaty.

(Source: https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzLagunaCityhood/photos/a.686503531732875/1065170940532797/?type=3&theater)

Actions Requested:
● Release all detained persons and end the arbitrary detention of those who will supposedly violate the Enhance Community Quarantine
● Investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and ensure that the suspected perpetrators are prosecuted in a transparent and fair trial
● Allow the unhampered investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the incident
● Suspend all policies and issuances by both national and local government that violates the rights of peoples
Please forward this Urgent Action to the following agencies and institutions:

Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Philippine President
Malacañang Complex, J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, 1005 Philippines
Telefax No. +63(2)-87368621
Website: https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/
Email: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph

Ms. Maria Leonor G. Robredo
Philippine Vice President
1112, 100 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippine
Telephone Nos: (63) 905 626 3237; (632) 8534 6451
Email: vp@ovp.gov.ph; lenirobredo.ovp@gmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Office-Of-The-Vice-President/490197837660269

Mr. Vicente C. Sotto III
Senate President
Senate Office: Rm. 606, 211 & 24 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City, Philippines
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 local nos. 6501 to 6505
Direct Lines: (632) 804-0270 / (632) 552-6813 / (632) 552-6691
Telefax No.: (632) 804-0270
Email Address: os_sotto@yahoo.com
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/teamsottoako

Mr. Alan Peter S. Cayetano
Speaker, House of Representatives
District Representative
Taguig City-Pateros, 1st District
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Rm. RVM-406
Phone: (632) 8931-5001, Local: 7011
Direct: 8951-8891
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alanpetercayetano/

Mr. Eduardo M. Año (Ret.Gen)
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Direct Line No.: 8925-0330; 89250331;Fax No. 8925-0332
Trunkline: 8876-3454 loc. 1001
Email: emano@dilg.gov.ph

Mr. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa
Police General
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1111 Philippines
Trunk Line: (632) 723-0401
Website: http://www.pnp.gov.ph/main/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=67
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/pnp.pio/

Mr. Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson
SAAC Building, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101
Telephone Nos: (632) 8928-56-55; (632) 8926-6188; (632) 8920-9510
Telefax (02) 8929-0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChairChito

Mr. Edgar S. San Luis
Mayor, Sta. Cruz Laguna
Cailles St., Poblacion III, Santa Cruz, Laguna
Telephone: (6349) 501 1008 (6349) 501-3572 / (6349) 501-7328
Email: santacruzlagunaofficial@gmail.com; santacruzmpdo@yahoo.com; pio_stacruz@yahoo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzLagunaOfficial/

Special Rapporteur on Torture
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Email: urgent-action@ohchr.org

https://www.facebook.com/notes/philippine-alliance-of-human-rights-advocates/urgent-action-alleged-inhumane-treatment-of-arbitrarily-arrested-citizens-by-bar/912969372476838/

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[Urgent Action] Urgent action: Hundreds killed under Philippines’ new President -AI

Urgent action: Hundreds killed under Philippines’ new President

amnesty-logoHundreds of criminal suspects allegedly linked to the drug trade have been killed since June 30, the day President Duterte took office in the Philippines. Some of these cases may amount to extrajudicial executions.

Hundreds have been killed by police and vigilantes in the Philippines since June 30, President Duterte’s first day as the President of the Philippines. Amongst those killed, over 120 of the deceased remain unidentified. The alarming increase of unlawful killings, some of which may amount to extrajudicial executions, has been observed since the day President Duterte took office and vowed to crackdown on crime.

In a 5 June speech on national television, during his Presidential campaign, President Duterte appeared to encourage citizens to perform “duties” by killing suspected drug criminals. Since becoming President, Duterte has repeated his promise to stamp out drug crime, calling on law enforcement agencies “to double your efforts…triple them if need be…we will not stop until the last drug lord, last financier and last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish”.

Under international law and standards, the use of force by police is strictly prohibited, except when absolutely necessary and proportionate. Police must apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force, and carry out their duties in a way that ensures full respect for the right to life, liberty and security of all persons, including those suspected of crime. In addition, the State has a duty to protect people from all forms of violence, including an obligation of due diligence to promptly, independently and impartially investigate unlawful killings.

Media reports have highlighted numerous cases as part of President Duterte’s so called “war on crime”. These include: father and son Renato Bertes, 47, and Jaybee Bertes, 28, killed in police custody after being brought into a police station in Metro Manila for drug testing; Julius Rabina, 18, shot dead by unidentified motorcycle gunmen who asked for his father, an apparent drug suspect, outside his house; Jefferson Bunuan, 20, and his cousin Mark Anthony, shot dead by police who raided a house they were in, looking for a suspected drug dealer.

Read full article @www.amnesty.org.ph

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[Urgent Action] Two Civilian Agta Women Arrested Arbitrarily and Psychologically Tortured by Police and Soldiers- TFDP

Vote for this campaign for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ Choice Awards

Urgent Action

December 18, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) Two Civilian Agta Women Arrested Arbitrarily and Psychologically Tortured by Police and Soldiers

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the arrest and detention and psychological torture of Marites Dela Cruz Marquez and Rosario Marquez Loreto, both from General Nakar in Quezon Province, by police and soldiers.

TFDP logo small

If you wish to make any inquiries, please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP at: 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109; Email: tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com and tfdp.1974@gmail.com; or call: +632 4378054.
______________________________________

Case Title: Loreto & Marquez ARD TOR
Case: Arbitrary Arrest and Detention / Torture
Name of Victims: Marites Dela Cruz Marquez (Sierra Madre in Tumbil, Barangay Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon) and Rosario Marquez Loreto (Mataping, Barangay Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon)
Date of Incident: September 26, 2014
Place of Incident: Barangay Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal Province
Alleged Perpetrators: combined elements of the 59th and 16th Infantry Battalions and local police of Tanay, headed by 2LT Ronnel Avanzado and Chief Inspector Reynaldo Francisco
Motive: Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA)

Account of the Incident:

Two (2) women from the Agta indigenous group in Quezon were illegally arrested and charged with the kidnapping of a soldier named Master Sergeant Lino Hernandez.

On September 26, 2014 at 9:00am, while waiting for a ride in Barangay Sta. Ines in Tanay, Rizal, Marites Marquez, 43 and Rosario Loreto, 37, were approached by a group of military personnel and police who were all armed and wearing civilian clothes. The two were ‘invited” for questioning and to validate their identity. The two women were accompanied by the security forces to the barangay hall where they met some barangay officials. Marquez and Loreto were interrogated for two days by the soldiers and the police. They were repeatedly asked the same set of questions to make them admit their participation in the kidnapping of Master Sgt. Hernandez and to being NPA members. The two however denied the accusations. The police and soldiers eventually decided to bring them to the Tanay Police Station. At this point, barangay officials questioned the law enforcers’ decision since there was no proof that Loreto and Marquez committed a crime, therefore, there was no reason to detain them. Eventually, they both agreed to sign a blotter, with the condition that the police and soldiers will release Marquez and Loreto after the interview and crosschecking.

On the following day, September 27, Barangay Councilor Liwayway delos Reyes went to the Tanay Police Station to fetch Marquez and Loreto and bring them back to their families. The police at the station ignored her plea.

On September 28, Barangay Councilor Reyes informed Fr. Pete Montallana about the whereabouts and situation of Marquez and Loreto. Fr. Montallana went to visit the two at the Tanay Police Station.

According to Fr. Montallana, Marquez and Loreto were accused of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and robbery, in relation to the abduction of a soldier named Master Sergeant Lino Hernandez by the New People’s Army (NPA). He added that the military and police linked Marquez and Loreto to the case because the choker necklace (made out of black cloth) they wore around their neck during the arrest was the same type of necklace worn by the Agta NPAs who kidnapped Master Sergeant Hernandez.

Based on Court documents produced, Marquez and Loreto were arrested based on sworn statements submitted by Virginia Villa Filipino, Jonathan Villa delos Angeles, Corporal Louie G. Eresnido, Police Officer 3 Arnel Dimalag Baslan, Police Officer 2 Rolando Candido Opena and Police Officer Jay Ar Baccay Bernabeo.

Marquez and Loreto denied all allegations against them. Before they were arrested, both sold vegetables, did traditional gold panning, and did household chores for a living.

Marquez and Loreto are temporarily detained at the Rizal Police Provincial Office (RPO) lock-up cell at the Taytay Police Station but may soon be transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig with reference to the ‘Order’ dated October 27, 2014, issued by Presiding Judge Sheila Marie Alaan-Ignacio.

The charges with criminal case number 14-12346-M against Marquez and Loreto are filed at Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 80.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write a letter to the following authorities, urging them to initiate inquiries into the said case.

Immediate and unconditional release of Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto, with reference to the set of principles set forth by the International Humanitarian Law, particularly the protection of persons who are not, or are no longer, participating in hostilities;
Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto;
Ensure that all those who participated and were responsible for the illegal arrest and psychological torture of Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto be brought to justice;
Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with 1987 Philippine Constitution, international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines.

Please send your letters to:

1. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Secretary Leila M. De Lima
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Department of Justice
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila 1000
Philippines
Fax: +632 523 9548
Tel: +632 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / lmdelima.doj@gmail.com

4. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5. Ms. Marlea P. Muñez
Executive Director
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
373-95-34 / 575 12 00 Loc. 1012
Email: ncipexecdirector@gmail.com

6. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

7. Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 7907 / +63 2 911 6436

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] The Military Presence and their Unwanted Behavior Sow Fear and Restlessness in the Community of an Indigenous People in Pampanga -TFDP

URGENT ACTION

May 29, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) The Military Presence and their Unwanted Behavior Sow Fear and Restlessness in the Community of an Indigenous People in Pampanga

Issues: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-Determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the problems and day-to-day struggle currently facing the Aeta community from the hands of the Military and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Camias in Porac, Pampanga.

TFDP logo small

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP at: 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109; email: tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com and tfdp.1974@gmail.com; or call: +632 4378054.
______________________________________________________________________________

Case Title: Harassment of Porac Aetas
Case: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence
Name of Victims: (Names withheld for Security Reasons)
Date of Incident: From 2008 up to Present
Place of Incident: Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga
Alleged Perpetrators: members of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU)
Motive: Suspected supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) / Development Aggression
______________________________________________________________________________

Accounts:

The Aeta community in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga is continuously being threatened by the presence of government forces in the area and their unwarranted actions.

The military and paramilitary personnel manning the tribal community are currently deployed within the ancestral domain covering 18,067 hectares of land claimed by the Aetas. The former health center where Aetas seek health related assistance is currently being occupied and utilized by the military allegedly under supervision of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as one of their outposts.

The Aetas are usually confronted and questioned by the military about their activities. Traditional practices of the Aetas are currently under suspicion and being examined by the military and CAFGU. Customary practices of their tribe are no longer observed since the military are barring them from doing so.

A recent incident was when the Aetas were restrained from hunting wild birds and animals because the military cast doubt on their method of hunting. For instance, when the Aetas hunt, they have a distinct way of chasing the wild birds. They blow a whistle so that birds will come down from the trees and are caught by the Aetas. The military suspected that this method was a secret signal to give information rebels groups.

On several occasions, the Aetas are not allowed to go to the municipal proper to buy food supplies, medicines and things needed in their community. Worse, the military confiscate their rice and other food items. They also seize some of their livestock and kitchen utensils. They are accused of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them food.

They instructed minors and forced them to do errands for them particularly to fetch water from a faucet or well. The education of the children is affected. It causes fear to the children and they are apparently traumatized.

The Military and militia personnel also barred the Aetas from gathering in groups. Often times, the government forces fire their guns while they are under the influence of alcohol.

The military and CAFGU started deployment in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga in 2008. Later on, the area was eventually declared as an insurgency free zone.

Around 1,800 families with 3,000 individuals are affected in Barangay Camias alone.

Alleged Reasons for the Military Deployment:

The Aetas alleged that the deployment of government troops has something to do with the infrastructure and development projects funded by private corporation with consent from both the national and local government. They alleged that the military are being mobilized to protect vested interests of investors as well as government officials who benefit from these projects. They added that soldiers might also be utilized to suppress the rights of people to express their sentiments and the right to oppose for they are the ones affected.
According to the tribal group, the Aboitiz Power Corporation is currently in the process of exploring the geothermal power source in some 20,000 hectares of land in Pampanga that cover the Aetas’ ancestral domain and nearby Zambales.

The company is presently conducting exploration in Porac and Floridablanca in Pampanga; and San Marcelino and Botolan in Zambales.

An investment amounting to $300 million is for the planned 100-MW plant in the area largely owned by indigenous tribes based in the two provinces.

The Aetas are fighting to defend their ancestral domain. Until now, the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) or a formal recognition of ownership has not been issued to the Aetas. The CADT or other certification such as the certificate of ancestral land title (CALT) shall be obtained from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-Ancestral Domains Office (ADO), or by securing a certificate of title by virtue of “Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land Registration Act 496.”4.

Another private corporation, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), is also involved in a dispute with the IP communities. The Aetas are accusing the company of land grabbing in establishing a golf course and water park inside the Freeport. Five thousand (5,000 hectares of supposed ancestral land are being occupied by CDC.

The third issue is the copper, gold and silver extraction project by the Shuley Mine Inc. (SMI) within the tribe’s ancestral domain in Barangay Camias. The project covers 1,160 hectares of Aetas’ ancestral land.

According to the tribal leaders, lowlanders would be affected when wastes from the mines drain down to Gumain River toward Lubao and Sasmuan towns and Manila Bay. The sites, they said, are used by Aetas for recreation, hunting, source of materials for weddings (tangan) and medicinal herbs.

Another entity, the developer LLL Holdings Inc. is said to have grabbed 18,000 hectares of the land tilled by the farmers and Aetas.

Suggested Actions:

Please write a letter to concerned government agencies urging them to:

  • Conduct an inquiry and investigation regarding the violations of government troops such as Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence;
  • Recall the presence of the military and paramilitary group since the area has already been declared as ‘insurgency free zone’;
  • To provide immediate protection for the IP group especially their leaders against possible physical and emotional harm;
  • Guarantee the means of the victims to cultivate crops, hunt wild birds and animals and raise their livestock, provide food for their community, and to move freely within their community without any fear of getting threatened and intimidated;
  • Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

Sample letter:

Dear___________,

I am writing to draw your attention regarding the problems and day-to-day struggle currently facing the Aeta community from the hands of the Military and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga. The Aetas are continuously being threatened by the presence of the government forces in the area and their unwarranted actions.

The military and paramilitary personnel manning the tribal community are currently deployed within the ancestral domain claimed by the Aetas covering 18,067 hectares of land. The former health center where Aetas seek health related assistance is currently being occupied and utilized by the military allegedly under supervision of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as one of their outposts.

They are usually confronted and questioned by the military about their activities. Traditional practices of the Aetas are currently under suspicion and being examined by the military and CAFGU. Customary practices of their tribe are no longer observed since the military are barring them from doing so.

A recent incident was when the Aetas were restrained from hunting wild birds and animals because the military cast doubt on their method of hunting. For instance, when the Aetas hunt, they have a distinct way of chasing the wild birds. They blow a whistle so that birds will come down from the trees and are caught by the Aetas. The military suspected that this method was a secret signal to give information rebels groups.

I have also learned that the Aetas are not allowed to go to the municipal proper to buy food supplies, medicines and things needed in their community. Worse, the military confiscate their rice and other food items. They also seize some of their livestock and kitchen utensils. They are accused of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them food

It was also brought to our attention that the military and militia personnel also barred the Aetas from gathering in groups. Often times, the government personnel fire their guns while they are under the influence of alcohol.

Furthermore, they instructed minors and forced them to do errands particularly to fetch water from a faucet or well. The education of the children is affected. It causes fear to the children and they are apparently traumatized.

We now urge you to call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation or inquiry into these events, and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt action is granted favorably to the Aetas.

Lastly, we hope that the government will continue to guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

I look forward to your urgent action in this case.

Yours sincerely,

————————————————

Please send your letters to:

1. Hon. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

2. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Ms. Marlea P. Muñez
Executive Director
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
373-95-34 / 575 12 00 Loc. 1012
Email: ncipexecdirector@gmail.com

4. Mr. Bayani D. Sumaoang
Commissioner
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Region 3
Tel: +63 2 575 12 00 Loc. 1006
Email: commissioner.region3@gmail.com

5. Lt. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 61 93; +63 2 911 04 88
Email: odr.dnd@gmail.com / odr.pdt@dnd.gov.ph

6. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] Philippines: Right to food of 6,212 farmers threatened despite the issuance of land titles -FIAN

Philippines: Right to food of 6,212 farmers threatened despite the issuance of land titles

Beginning of Action: 19 February 2014  End of Action: 17 April 2014

After a decades-long struggle for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the farmworker beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita were finally awarded land titles – the Certificates of Land Ownership Awards by the Department of Agrarian Reform in October 2013. Despite having obtained the land titles, the farmworker beneficiaries are still unable to cultivate the awarded land in order to exercise their right to adequate food. This is in part due to: the slow ground survey by the Department of Agrarian Reform needed to identify boundaries between the lots to be given to each individual farmworker beneficiary; the existing informal contracts with middlemen/middlewomen to whom the farmworkers have rented land to grow sugar cane; and the lack of social protection measures and support services in order to make the awarded land productive after the completion of the land distribution.

FIAN

This case needs your URGENT ACTION, by writing to the Filipino government to demand them to immediately install farmworkers in their land and provide essential support services and social protection measures to the farm beneficiaries and their families to ensure their right to food.

ACTION
Please write to the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, with a copy to the President of the Philippines and the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, requesting them to meet the necessary measures in order to guarantee the right to food of the farm beneficiaries and their families.

Please inform FIAN if you receive a response to your letters.

Pls see sample letter @ www.fian.org

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] A Community Leader was killed after attending a meeting on Socialized Housing for Informal Settlers -TFDP

Urgent Action
February 19, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) A Community Leader was killed after attending a meeting on Socialized Housing for Informal Settlers

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the assassination of a housing rights activist who was killed in broad daylight in a crowded informal settlement in Malabon City.

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP at: 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109; with email: tfdp.1974@gmail.com; Tel.No.: +632 4378054.

TFDP logo small

__________________________________________________
Case Title: Bagasala Killing
Case: Murder
Name of Victims: Sixto V. Bagasala Jr.
Date of Incident: February 15, 2014
Place of Incident: Flea Market located between Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tonsuya, Malabon City
Alleged Perpetrators: Reynaldo Suela, Jasper, Babyface and Allan
Motive: Land Conflict

ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT

A community leader was gunned down after attending a meeting while on his way home in Malabon City.

Sixto V. Bagasala Jr., also known as Ka Jun, President of the Samahan ng Mamamayang Maralita sa Malabon (Local Association of Urban Poor Communities in Malabon) died after suffering from fatal gunshot wounds from his assassins. The incident happened on February 15, 2014 at around 5:15pm in a flea market located in a crowded informal settlement area between Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tonsuya Malabon City.

According to witnesses (who requested anonymity), before the incident happened they noticed two (2) men who they identified as certain Jasper and Babyface roaming around the vicinity apparently waiting for someone. Moments later Jasper and Babyface vanished when Bagasala appeared at the scene. At that time they saw two (2) other persons named, Reynaldo Suela alias ‘Ipot’ and Allan.

Suela and Allan approached Bagasala and at close range they opened fire. Bagasala suffered gunshot wounds on his right leg, shoulder, chest and head.

Before he succumbed from his injuries Bagasala tried to get away from his attackers and warned bystanders, including a 13-year-old girl to take cover. But the assassins pursued and fired more shots. When they stopped, witnesses heard Suela saying, “there will be more after you”.

Bagasala’s colleagues claimed that Jasper, Babyface, Suela and Allan are all henchmen allegedly of a certain JR Tacio who is associated with Ben Galauran, a claimant of a few hectares of land where Bagasala and his members reside.

Bagasala received numerous death threats that are perceived connected with his involvement as a community leader, who fought for the right of informal settlers to a secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing.

Bagasala died on his way home in the adjacent settlement in Phase 5 in Catmon from a meeting held in barangay Tonsuya whose leaders of informal settlers’ associations decided to pursue an on-site housing plan through the formation of a housing cooperative.

Bagasala together with members of local organizations were at the forefront of an effort for the construction of medium-rise buildings to be financed through the High Density Housing (HDH) Program of the Social Housing Finance Corporation. The project is part of the P50 billion shelter fund of the national government for informal settlers living along waterways and other danger zones.

Bagasala believed that the program could disrupt the interests of others who profit from informal settlers and from the anomalous implementation of several socialized housing schemes.

Bagasala organized associations of the informal settlers, facilitated dialogues between the settlers and the government, mediated potentially violent conflicts, and did everything else for realization of settlers’ dream of having decent living.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please write a letter to the following authorities, calling on them to initiate inquiries into the case of the brutal murder of Sixto V. Bagasala Jr. Likewise urge concerned agencies to immediately resolve the land conflict.

SAMPLE LETTER
Dear ____________,
I am writing to draw your attention regarding the killing of a community leader after attending a meeting on socialized housing for informal settlers.

Sixto V. Bagasala Jr., also known as Ka Jun, President of the Samahan ng Mamamayang Maralita sa Malabon (Local Association of Urban Poor Communities in Malabon) died after suffering from fatal gunshot wounds from his assassins. The incident happened on February 15, 2014 at around 5:15pm in a flea market located in a crowded informal settlement between Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tonsuya Malabon City.

I have learned that according to witnesses, before the incident happened, they noticed two (2) men who they identified as certain Jasper and Babyface roaming around the vicinity apparently waiting for someone. Moments later Jasper and Babyface vanished when Bagasala appeared at the scene. At that time they saw two (2) other persons named, Reynaldo Suela alias ‘Ipot’ and Allan.

Suela and Allan approached Bagasala and at close range they opened fire. Bagasala suffered gunshot wounds on his right leg, shoulder, chest and head.

I have also learned that Jasper, Babyface, Suela and Allan are all henchmen allegedly of a certain JR Tacio who is associated with Ben Galauran, a claimant of a few hectares of land where Bagasala and his members reside.

It was also brought to my attention that Bagasala received numerous death threats that can be perceived as connected with his involvement as a community leader, who fought for the right of informal settlers to a secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing.

According to his colleagues, Bagasala was at the forefront of an effort for the construction of medium-rise buildings to be financed through the High Density Housing (HDH) Program of the Social Housing Finance Corporation. The project is part of the P50 billion shelter fund of the national government for informal settlers living along waterways and other danger zones.

Bagasala believed that the program could disrupt the interests of others who profit from informal settlers and from the anomalous implementation of several socialized housing schemes.

Therefore, I humbly urge you to initiate a probe into the brutal murder of Sixto V. Bagasala Jr. and bring those perpetrators to justice. Also please ensure that no such repeat of the incident and that government must provide immediate protection for Bagasala’s family members against possible physical and emotional harm.

Furthermore, kindly look into the possible participation of interest groups including a certain JR Tacio and Ben Galauran.

I look forward to your urgent action is this case.
Respectfully yours,

_________________________

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III

Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005

Philippines

Fax: +63 2 736 1010

Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Vice President Jejomar C. Binay

Chairperson

Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

BDO Plaza, 8737 Paseo De Roxas St, Makati City

Philippines

Fax: +63 2 811 4158

Tel: +63 2 812 8870 / +63 2 811 4168

Email: info@hudcc.gov.ph

3. Atty. Chito M. Cruz

General Manager

National Housing Authority (NHA)

Elliptical Road, Diliman, 1100, Quezon City

Fax: +63 2 921 2530

Tel: +632 921 7828 / +63 2 922 2460

Website: http://www.nha.gov.ph

4. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue

U.P. Complex, Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines

Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188

Fax: +63 2929 0102

Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima

Chief, Philippine National Police

Camp General Rafael Crame

Quezon City, Philippines

Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401

Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763

Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] Harassment Against Resident-Farmers and Aeta IP Group in Porac Pampanga -TFDP

Urgent Action
November 20, 2013

(PHILIPPINES) Harassment Against Resident-Farmers and Aeta IP Group in Porac Pampanga

Issues: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Forced Eviction; Damaged to Property; Denied of Means of Subsistence

TFDP logo small

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the harassment and intimidation against resident-farmers of Hacienda Dolores in Porac, Province of Pampanga who were forcibly evicted by two private firms who claimed ownership of a disputed land.

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP at: 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109; or call: +632 4378054.
____________________________________________________________________________

Case Title: Harassment of Porac Farmers
Case: Harassment/Forced Eviction
Name of Victims: Hector Angeles, etal.
Date of Incident: 2011-2013
Place of Incident: Barangay Hacienda Dolores, Porac, Pampanga
Alleged Perpetrators: employees and security personnel of LLL Holdings Incorporated (LLHI) and FL Properties (FLLH)

Account of the Incident:

Farmers and their families experienced series of harassment from employees and security personnel of LLL Holdings Incorporated (LLHI) and FL Properties (FLLH). Cases of harassment happened inside a 700 hectare contested land by the said companies who claimed as owners.

The squabble started when the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued an order exempting the LLL and FL landholdings from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) coverage in 2005. LLHI claimed about 298 hectares of the land, while FLLH claimed the other 456 hectares.

In September 2013, farmers are prohibited to do farming inside the supposed company property. Their crops were destroyed. Trumped up charge of illegal possession of firearms has been filed against Hector Angeles and 2 Aetas (an Indigenous group). There were also incidents of verbal abuse of the company personnel against farmer residents.

At present, Victor Tolentino, Ruben Salta, Fortunato Salta and several of the farmers are still receiving death threats.

Aside from the latest incident that happened, on June 25, 2013, Antonio Tolentino and Victor Tolentino’s house were demolished by 30 hooded persons when he refused to reconcile and agree with the terms offered by Atty. Carlos, lawyer of LLL Holdings for allegedly staying inside the company’s property. They even stole their livestock (chicken and ducks) and destroyed their crops (papaya, banana, bitter gourd, yam, chilies, eggplants, rambutan, guyabano and avocado)/

The Conflict intensified when the claimant FL Properties (now Terrafirma Holdings, Inc.) and LLL Holdings, Inc., forcibly evicted 8 families from their homes, and started to put up boarders and fences on July 14, 2013.

Houses demolished are those owned by families of Herminio M. Santiago, Boy Angeles, Edgar O. Angeles, Ignacio S. Ignacio, Cesar M. Santiago in Maniknik; and, those of Roger Parungao, Rexsy P. Santiago, and Mario P. Santiago located in Mapita.

On July 28, 2013, , at around 9 AM, a certain Jimmy Alvarado identified with FL and LLL Holdings, encroached Urbano Barcia’s farm land and damaged his fruit bearing plants such as: 30 guyabano trees, 50 guava trees, and crops like yam, mulina trees including fences using a bulldozer and a back hoe.

The farmer residents asserted that they are in actual possession and cultivation of the large tract of land before the contested land was exempted from CARP coverage. The Aniban ng Nakakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN), representing the farmer claimants formally petitioned the DAR on June 7, 2011, to revoke the Exemption Order dated March 15, 2006 on the grounds that: (a) the subject areas are being actively cultivated, planted with various crops by tillers who were born and raised in Hacienda Dolores whose parents and their grandparents passed on to them their land; and, (b) the landholdings covered are mostly plain, while there are hilly portions (18% slope), the same constitute a minor part of the landholding, and are agriculturally productive.

It was revealed that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) had already issued a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title RO3POR-0709 123, covering some 18 hectares, for the Ayta Tribes of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. But some 200 hectares of these areas also claimed by the Aetas are already acquired and titled to FL and LLL Corporations.

The Municipal Council of Porac currently moved to call on both parties to refrain from resorting to violence, while there is yet no final decision on the case. The Provincial Board of Pampanga is planning to make an official statement and discuss the issues raised in an official session.

Suggested Action:

A. Call upon competent authorities to intervene, observe and uphold the rights of resident-farmers and the Aeta (Indigenous group-IP) and recognized their land claims
B. Facilitate a continuous dialogue between the LLL Holdings Incorporated (LLHI) and FL Properties (FLLH) with the resident-farmers and indigenous groups to come up with an acceptable and justifiable resolution of the case;
C. To provide immediate protection for resident-farmers and IP group against possible physical and emotional harm;
D. Guarantee the means for the victims to access their land, rebuild their houses, cultivate crops and raise their livestock without any fear of reprisal
E. Assurance the
E. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

Please send your letters to:

1. Hon. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Secretary Virgilio R. Delos Reyes
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 920 0380
Tel: +63 2 929 3460; 928 7031, Local 401
e-mail: secretary@dar.gov.ph / gildlr2010@gmail.com

3. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

4. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] Killing of an anti-mining advocate in Salcedo, Eastern Samar -The Observatory

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

PHL 003 / 0612 / OBS 062
Intimidation/death threats/assassination
Philippines
June 20, 2012

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in The Philippines.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) of the intimidation of, and threats against, Ms. Carolyn R. Borja and Ms. Nenita Lacasa, respectively President of Carapdapan Movement for Development Association (CAMADA INC.), and staff member.

According to the information received, on June 19, 2012, Ms Lacasa was at home at 2pm on May 6, 2012, when Mr. Teros Lopido, Trustee of the President of the Terrestrial Mining Corporation, got off a pick up and aimed one shot at the upper storey before leaving the scene. Ms. Lacasa also reported that unknown individuals had been monitoring her home on several occasions in May, at times standing guard in a pick up with the same number plate. In addition, on May 23, 2012, individuals riding two motorcycles fired shots at 11 pm on Ms. Borja’s home before fleeing the scene.

These violent acts of intimidation come in the wake of the stabbing to death, on May 1, 2012, of Mr. Franciso P. Canayong, President of Integrated Upland Farmers Association of Salcedo (BIUFAS), and member of Carapdapan Land Owners Association (CLOA), an organisation registered with the department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Mr. Canayong was also a member of CAMADA INC., and of Samar island partnership for peace and development. Mr. Canayong, a community leader, had led the people’s organization in actively supporting and advocating for peace and development issues, and particularly for the protection of the environment. He was active in the local campaign against the mining operation in Salcedo and in other parts of Eastern Samar, in the Eastern Visayas archipelago.

A few weeks before his killing, on March 19, 2012, Mr. Canayong, along with Ms Borja and Mr. Antonio M. Norte, barangay[1] councilor, had filed an affidavit in relation to verbal threats they had overheard on March 17,2012, during a conversation between Mr. Lopido, and some of his colleagues. The affidavit stated that Mr. Lopido had mentioned the names of Mr. Canayong, Mr. Norte and Ms. Borja, and the names of their associations. According to the affidavit, Mr. Lopido had threatened that “if the mining operation [is] stopped, they must leave their home and never show up again” otherwise he would kill them. According to the affidavit, Mr. Lopido had said that he would “enter each of their houses and kill them” if Mr. Canayong and his companions “interfered with their incoming chromite ore shipment.”

Mr. Canayong had consistently opposed mining activities because of its detrimental health and environmental impact on the community. On March 14 and 15, 2011, he had joined a barricade in barangay Carapdapan to stop the illegal transport of chromite ore by Terrestrial Mining Corporation on its way to China. Due to the group’s actions, the mining company had filed a civil case for damages against Mr. Canayong, Ms. Borja and 3 other members of their group at the Regional trial Court (RTC) branch 139 in Makati City, Manila.

In September 2011, Mr. Canayong, along with Ms. Borja and members of their group, had filed complaints with the office of the Ombudsman for the failure of the local government to intervene and stop the illegal mining activities in the area.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Philippines authorities urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Borja, Ms. Lacasa and Mr. Norte, and of all human rights defenders in general in the Philippines;

ii. Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the assassination of Mr. Canayong, and the death threats against Ms. Borja and Mr. Norte, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Provide adequate reparation to Mr. Canayong’s family;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:
– its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,
– its Article 6.a, which states that “everyone has the right individually and in association with others to know, seek, obtain, receive and hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including having access to information as to how those rights and freedoms are given effect in domestic legislative, judicial or administrative systems”,
– Article 12.1, which foresees that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”,
– and its Article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

v. Guarantee the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by the Philippines.

Addresses:

· H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, New Executive Building, Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005, Philippines. Fax: +63 2 736 1010, Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
· Hon. Leila M. De Lima Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ) Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila, 1000 Philippines Fax: +63 2 523 9548 Tel: + 63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com
· Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales, Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue, U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188 Fax: +63 2929 0102 Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com
Police Director Nicanor Bartolome Chief, Philippine National Police Camp General Rafael Crame Quezon City, Philippines Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401 Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763 Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph
· Hon. Emilio Gonzalez Deputy Ombusdman Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military And other Law Enforcement Offices 3rd Flr., Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road, Diliman, 1004 Quezon City Fax: +63 2 926 8747 Tel: +63 2 926 9032
· H.E. Mr. Evan P. Garcia, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva, 47 Avenue Blanc, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 716 19 32, Email: geneva.pm@dfa.gov.ph
· Embassy of the Philippines in Brussels, 297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Tel: +32 2 340 33 77 / 2 340 33 78, Fax: +32 2 345 64 25.

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of the Philippines in your respective countries.

***
Geneva-Paris, June 20, 2012

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· Email: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
· Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] Arrest and torture of three youth (2 minors) in San Andres, Quezon -TFDP

Arrest and torture of three youth (2 minors) in San Andres, Quezon

Urgent Action

Dear Friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), writes to inform you about the arrest and alleged torture of three (3) job hunters suspected of being members of New People’s Army (NPA), in San Andres, Quezon on March 22,2012 at about 5:00 in the afternoon by alleged members of 74th Infantry Battalion of Philippine Air Force.

 

VICTIMs:

1. Elmer Ehorango Desoyo, 20 years old
2. Reynaldo De los Santos, 17 years old
3. Rey Rodrigo, 16 years old
________________________________________________________________________

CASE DETAILS:

According to Elmer Desoyo and Reynaldo Delos Santos, they were looking for a job together with Rey Rodrigo, and were on their way home at Sitio Tagbakan, San Andres, Quezon, when they met two (2) men in civilian clothes with high powered guns (armalite) who arrested them. The victims were blindfolded and their hands tied. They were instructed to lie down and crawl to the ground while they were being kick.

Elmer was hit with an armalite butt twice on his right side. He was also shot near the ear with a long firearm by one of the men. He tried to beg for their release but to no avail.

At around 7 PM, the military brought them to the camp at Sitio Malamig, Quezon. Inside the camp, still in blindfolds and half naked, they were interrogated by the perpetrators. They were asked if they were members of the NPA and if they were asked if they knew members of NPA. They were threatened to be killed if they will not mention any name. Elmer told them that he was even afraid of gun. According to Reynaldo, the military even began to drop names of alleged members of the NPA to them but could no longer recall the names mentioned due to fear.

The next day, the victims were brought to San Andres Police Station. It was only here did their assailants took their blindfolds off. Later, they brought to the fiscal for inquest and were charged with Illegal Possession of Firearms. This is the only time when the military informed their parents that they have been arrested. Elmer’s dad has even went to the camp earlier to look for them but they were not seen.

Elmer and Reynaldo are presently detained at Quezon Provincial Jail in Lucena. During the arrest, Reynaldo was only 17 but he turned 18 years old last May 2, 2012 in detention. Rey Rodrigo, the younger victim was turned over at the National Training Center for the Boys in Tanay, Rizal on April 30, 2012 according to the guards.

Action Requested

Please write to the authorities in the Philippines urging them to:
1. Call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the arrest and alleged torture of the victims Elmer Desoyo, Reynaldo Delos Santos and Rey Rodrigo and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt rehabilitation and assistance is granted to the victim’s family;

2. To strictly observe and comply with the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which recognizes and establishes protection of civilians not belonging to armed forces or armed groups. The military should ensure that civilians under the power of enemy forces must be treated humanely in all circumstances, without any adverse distinction. They must be protected against all forms of violence and degrading treatment;
3. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

Please send your letters to:

1. His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street , San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph /opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila, 1000
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: + 63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com
3. Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense (DND)
Camp Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 982 5640
Tel: +63 2 982 5638
Email webmaster@dnd.gov.ph
4. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

5. Lieutenant General Jessie D Dellosa, AFP
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
DND Building, Camp Gen Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 6001 local 8414
Fax: +63 2 421 3531
Email: bacsecretariat@dnd.gov.ph

Documented by:

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
#45 St. Mary Street, Cubao
Quezon City 1109, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 437 8054
Fax: +63 2 911 3643
Emal: tfdp1974@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.tfdp.net

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Urgent Action] Missing men believed to be in police custody – AIPh

URGENT ACTION: MISSING MEN BELIEVED TO BE IN POLICE CUSTODY
by Amnesty International Philippines

Further information on UA: 13/12 Index: ASA 35/002/2012 Philippines

http://www.amnesty.org.ph/appeals.php?id=17

Date: 30 January 2012

Three men, who have been missing since 3 January, are now believed to be in police custody in an undisclosed location in the Philippines.

According to a credible source, intelligence agents apprehended Najir Ahung, Rasdie Kasaran and Yusup Mohammad at Manila domestic airport terminal on 3 January, after they flew in from Zamboanga City. Before being taken, Yusup Mohammad called his mother on his mobile phone, saying they had arrived in Manila.

Najir Ahung also sent an SMS to a relative. That is the last time that anybody has heard from them.

A reliable source has told Amnesty International that the three men are now being held by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police in an undisclosed location. It is feared that they are being detained incommunicado, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

The three men were in transit in Manila on their way to Sudan to study under the Arabic Language Programme of the International University of Africa. Najir Ahung is the father of ten children, and an Arabic teacher in a local Islamic school in Basilan, south of the country. Rasdie Kasaran is the father of one child and also a teacher at an Islamic school.

While the Philippine military routinely denies involvement in any case of enforced disappearance, in previous years Amnesty International has documented the military’s use of enforced disappearance against activists and suspected fighters and supporters of insurgent groups.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

  • expressing concern for the safety and wellbeing of Najir Ahung, Rasdie Kasaran and Yusup Mohammad, who were apprehended in Manila Airport on 3 January;
  • urging the authorities to immediately establish and reveal where the three men are being held;
  • calling on them to release Najir Ahung, Rasdie Kasaran and Yusup Mohammad immediately and unconditionally, or else charge them with a recognizably criminal offence.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 12 MARCH 2012 TO:

Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Chief

Police Director Samuel Pagdilao, Jr.
CIDG Office, Camp General Crame

Quezon City, Philippines
Fax:
+63 2705 1526 (extension 5412)

Salutation: Dear Police Director

Chief, Philippine National Police

Police Dir. General Nicanor Bartolome
Philippine National Police Headquarters
Camp General Crame
Quezon City, Philippines

Email: via contact form: http://www.pnp.gov.ph/main/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=67

Salutation: Dear Police
Director General

And copies to:

Department of Interior and
Local Government Secretary

Secretary Jesse M. Robredo
A. Francisco Gold
Condominium II,
EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St.,
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Email jmrobredo@dilg.gov.ph

Fax: +63 2925 0332

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name
Address 1
Address 2
Address 3
Fax
Fax number
Email
Email address
Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 13/12. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA35/001/2012/en

Additional Information

Najir Ahung, Rasdie Kasaran and Yusup Mohammad are all residents of Al-Barka municipality, where there is known to be a camp of the insurgent group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Al-Barka municipality, in the remote island province of Basilan, southern Philippines, has seen intermittent fighting between the Philippine military and MILF. Other armed groups including Abu
Sayyaf are also known to be present in the province, adding to general instability there.

Two of the deadliest clashes between the military and the MILF in recent years occurred in
Al-Barka. On 10 July 2007, 23 marines were killed in an encounter there, 14 of them beheaded. On 19 October 2011, another armed encounter resulted in over 45 casualties on both sides and 10,000 civilians displaced. This latest clash has led to a crackdown on residents in Al-Barka, including a complaint-affidavit being filed by the military against 300 unnamed residents.

According to a reliable source, the abduction of the three men comes weeks after the Armed Forces of the Philippines filed 300 “John Doe” complaint affidavits against 300 unspecified residents of Cambug village. In a “John Doe” complaint affidavit or warrant, the authorities do not specify the name of the subject of the complaint or arrest. Because such documents can be used against anyone, they have resulted in arbitrary arrest and detention.

Names: Najir Ahung, Rasdie Kasaran and Yusup Mohammad
Gender m/f: All are male

Further information on UA: 13/12 Index: ASA 35/002/2012 Issue Date: 30 January 2012

[Urgent Action] Fear of Enforced Disappearance of Three Men – AI-Philippines

Urgent Action Against Possible Enforced Disappearance!
by Amnesty International Philippines,January 20, 2012

URGENT ACTION
FEAR OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF THREE MEN

Three men have been missing since 3 January 2012, when they were last seen being taken, reportedly by military intelligence agents, at Manila airport.

After flying in to the Manila domestic airport terminal from Zamboanga City on 3 January, Najir Ahung, Rasbi Kasaran andYusoph Mohammad were apprehended by military intelligence agents, according to a credible local source.  The three men, residents of Al-Barka municipality in the conflict-affected island of Basilan, have not been seen or heard from since. Amnesty International fears that they are being detained incommunicado by the military, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

According to their families, the three men, all farmers, were also teachers at a madrasah (Islamic school).  They were in transit in Manila on their way to Qatar, where they were going to pursue further studies.

Rasbi Kasaran and Yusoph Mohammad, both 18, live in Cambug village in Al-Barka municipality, where there is known to be an MILF camp. On 19 October 2011, their village was the site of a clash between the army special forces and the armed opposition group Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which left 19 soldiers dead and 11 wounded.

While the Philippine military routinely denies involvement in any case of enforced disappearance, in previous years Amnesty International has documented the military’s use of enforced disappearance against activists, suspected fighters and supporters of insurgent groups.

According to a reliable source, the arrest of the three men comes weeks after the Armed Forces of the Philippines filed 300 “John Doe” complaint affidavits against 300 unspecified residents of Cambug village. In a “John Doe” complaint affidavit or warrant, the authorities do not specify the name of the subject of the complaint or arrest.  Because such documents can be used against anyone, they have resulted in arbitrary arrest and detention.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

expressing concern for the safety and wellbeing of Nahir Ahung, Rasbi Kasaran and Yusoph Mohammad, who were apprehended in Manila Airport on 3 January;

urging the authorities to immediately establish where the three men are being held;

calling on them to release Nahir Ahung, Rasbi Kasaran and Yusoph Mohammad immediately and unconditionally, or else charge them with a recognizably criminal offence.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 FEBRUARY 2012 TO:

Armed Forces of the Philippines
Chief of Staff
Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa
Office of the Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines

Salutation: Dear General

Head, Army Human Rights Office
Col. Domingo Tutaan, Jr.
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2911 7754
Email:  afphro@yahoo.com
Salutation: Dear Colonel

And copies to:
Head of Mission, International Monitoring Team in the Philippines
Maj. Gen. Dato Mahdi bin Yusof

IMT Headquarters
Cotabato City, Philippines
Email: imtphilippines@gmail.com

URGENT ACTION

FEAR OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF THREE MEN
Additional Information

Al-Barka municipality, in the remote island province of Basilan, southern Philippines, has seen intermittent fighting between the Philippine military and the insurgent group Moro Islamic Liberation Front., who both have bases in the area. Other armed groups including Abu Sayyaf, are also known to be present in the province, adding to general instability there.

Two of the deadliest clashes between the military and the MILF in recent years occurred in Al-Barka.  On 10 July 2007, 23 marines were killed in an encounter there, 14 of them beheaded.  On 19 October 2011, another armed encounter resulted in over 45 casualties on both sides and 10,000 civilians displaced.  This latest clash has led to a crackdown on residents in Al-Barka, including a complaint-affidavit being filed by the military against 300 unnamed residents.

Names:  Najir Ahung, Rasbi Kasaran and Yusoph Mohammad Gender m/f:  all are male

UA: 13/12 Index: ASA 35/001/2012 Issue Date: 18 January 2012

[Urgent Appeal] More families left homeless after violent demolition in San Juan – CTUHR

URGENT APPEAL
19 January 2012


More families left homeless after violent demolition in San Juan
Dear friends and partners,

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights is writing to you to seek support for the violently displaced residents of Corazon de Jesus, San Juan City Philippines last January 11.

Twenty-three residents were injured and 24 others were illegally arrested in brutal demolition that affected 300 families. Using absolute police force, the local government managed to demolish homes of the residents to give way to the construction of the new city hall.

At present, the displaced families have stayed in an alley near the demolished community as they continue to refuse the assigned relocation site provided by the local government. The residents complain that the relocation site in Rodriguez Rizal is very far from their workplace and from public services like hospitals and schools.
The right to decent housing that is accessible to livelihood and services is part of the economic, social and cultural rights of every individual. It is also integral to every person’s right to life with dignity. The Philippine Government ratified this UN Convention.

Case Summary
(from SAMANA and Karapatan NCR)

On December 5, 2011, San Juan City Architect Romeo Gonzales released a Notice of Eviction giving 30 days for 121 families to leave their homes. The notice however was not distributed to 121 families that were on the list for eviction. Instead, the notice was just left at the Corazon de Jesus Baranggay Hall. On January 6, 2012, the City Hall posted another notice stating that the residents have only 3 days left to leave the community. The notice did not contain names nor specific places to be demolished.

On January 7, a group of police headed by San Juan Police Chief Arcallana arrived in the baranggay and searched the booth of Sandigang Maralitang Nagkakaisa (SAMANA), an association formed by the residents of Corazon de Jesus. The police accused the residents of possessing guns and threatened the residents of launching a clearing operation.

On January 10, some policemen blocked individuals who were entering the baranggay. They also threatened that supporters of SAMANA from different sectors and communities inside and outside of Corazon de Jesus will be arrested. An announcement was also made at the San Juan Municipal High School (a school close to the target demolition site) that there will be no classes the following day. Around 9-930pm, a checkpoint was put up on P. Narciso Street. Two trucks of demolition team were also sighted that night, one in Agora, and another in Arena.

The next day, January 11, at around 7am, members of the demolition team were already sighted together with the police and the Magdiwang group on different areas surrounding the Corazon de Jesus.

Before 8 am, members of the Department of Welfare and Social Development (DSWD) also arrived. At almost the same time, members of the San Juan police and the demolition team were already positioned in three areas: P. Narciso, Artiaga and Pacific.

On P. Narciso, tension between the police, the demolition team, residents and their supporters immediately ensued. It started when the firemen water cannoned P. Narciso from the inside of the Second City Hall. At around 9am, the bulldozer together with the police and demolition tried twice to enter the community. By 10:25, the policemen fired their guns. The weapons used by the SWAT and the policemen were M14, M16 and .45. At the same time, the police threw teargas at the residents. The police however were still not able to get inside P. Narciso.

On Artiaga, the firetruck arrived at around 9:10am. The residents and their supporters assisted the children and evacuated them temoporarily until 9:55am. Around 10am, members of the demolition team threw stones at the residents followed by water cannon. The policemen stepped backed for a moment but they immediately turned and advanced and started throwing teargas at the residents. Around 10:30am, the barricade was dismantled and the police were finally able to enter the community.

By 11am, the policemen started arresting residents and supporters. Those who were taken while being arrested were beaten up by both policemen and members of the demolition team. The police laid their hands on everyone they passed by.

Around 100 homes were demolished by the demolitin teams.

Those who were wounded were:
1. Reggie Tambong, 25 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

2. Jericho Estones, 15 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

3. Alvin Rosante, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

4. Junar Pableb, 15 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

5. Hector Bensa, 18 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team;

6. Rodel Vlenzuela, 17 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

7. MC Daniela, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

8. Alane Lumbawa, 19 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

9. Ariel Bacolod, 16 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

10. Alvin Legarte, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

11. Salvador Garan; wounded, was hit by a rock thrown by members of the demolition team

12. Dino Amaredes, 17 years old; got wounded on his left knee

13. Jerry Pacle, 20 years old; wounded on the head

14. John Rudy, 15 years old; wounded on his left knee

15. Francisco Lina, 21 years old; wounded on the right knee

16. Francis Aresteros, 22 years old; acquired wounds on his hands

17. Victor Areno, 16 years old; wounded on his head

18. Lovely Clerigo, 17 years old; wounded on the right knee

19. Joseph Cabatoy, 43 years old, wounded on the neck

20. Lisa Fariscal; hinimatay, had an asthma attack due to the teargas

21. Ramil Juvilan

22. Maynard, wounded on the left hand

23. Ace, wounded on the left hand

 

Above is a partial list of those wounded as documented during the event. There are many other undocumented injured individuals.

Arrested were:
1. Rogelio Rosales, 30 resident

2. Loui Perdraso, 15 resident

3. Salvador Garzain, 55 resident

4. Edwin Crisologo, 22 resident

5. Jesus Duallo, 42 resident

6. Mark Dave Avestroz, 20 resident

7. Senen Buban, Jr., 23 resident

8. Roger Gavino resident

9. Louiche Meperito, 17 resident

10. Narciso Alberto, 62 resident

11. Rodel Tejolan, 17 relative of a resdient, just helping to transport their belongings

12. Jaime Gregorio, 24 supporter of SAMANA

13. Mark Lui Aquino, 25 supporter of SAMANA

14. Jay-Ar Brillante, 16 supporter of SAMANA

15. Luke Bagangan, 17 supporter of SAMANA

16. Manuel Veloria, 25 resident

17. Abel Bantolo, 15 resident

18. Another resident whose name was not yet taken
More individuals were arrested at 4pm in an indignation rally held by student supporters of SAMANA. They wanted to visit the arrested residents and condemn the illegal arrest and assault on those who were arrested. According to San Juan Police Chief Acallana gave the students five minutes to protest and the studend indeed left on time. However, members of the police ran after the protester and arrested six student leaders namely:
1. Romilo Penaverde, 21 supporter from Mandaluyong

2. RG Tesa, 23 supporter from UP-diliman

3. Alex Vadil, 23 supporter from UP-diliman

4. Rogelio Tubije, 21 supporter from UP-diliman

5. Thoaras Benjamin Roca, 17 supporter from UP-diliman

6. Sander Saputalo
Around 10pm the four students from University of the Philippines, Diliman were released while the two others were left detained. The four UP Diliman students were released under the custody of the lawyers from the UP Law Center.

Six of the detained are minors, one of them is a senior citizen.

Background

Baranggay Corazon de Jesus is mostly public land, meaning government-owned. It is a safe community and is not considered a danger zone. Meanwhile, most of the current residents of the village have long habited the place-ranging from 10 to 60 years. On 1978, through Presidential Decree 1716 by former President Ferdinand Marcos, the public land was placed under the local government of San Juan. Since then, the village became a populous community. From naked grasslands, the land was developed by the residents and roads were built in this place.

During the time of former President Corazon Aquino, the residents of Corazon de Jesus were recognized through Executive Order 164 and the land was awarded to the latter. The same recognition was inscribed in Executive Order 54 of former President Gloria Arroyo. However, the long-reigning political clan in the local government, the Estrada-Ejercito family, prevented the awarding of lands of Corazon de Jesus to the residents. The local government of San Juan refused to acknowledge the contribution of the residents in developing Corazon de Jesus in their half-century of residence in the said village. Instead, the local government, little by little, demolished the residential structures in the village and replaced them with building projects.

In the last two years, (2010-2011) the local government demolished the homes in Corazon de Jesus in order to put up a second city hall or San Juan White House. The Second City Hall is already built but Mayor Guia Gomez and her son, Congressman, JV Ejercito wants to occupy the entire village and totally evict all the residents to give way to the parking lot of Second City Hall and commercial establishments.

On the other hand, the local government of San Juan has no comprehensive – incoherent and unreliable – plan for the residents to be evicted. It persuaded residents to be relocated. There are some who agreed to the relocation and they were brought to Montalban and Lupang Aryenda in Rizal. But since the relocation site is so far from their source of livelihood, some of them went back to Corazon de Jesus. Majority of the residents of Corazon de Jesus refused to be relocated but the Office of the Mayor made it appear otherwise – that majority agreed to the relocation and only a few were left in Corazon de Jesus. In the list made by the local organization, Sandigan ng Maralitang Nagkakaisa (SAMANA), more than a thousand residents stayed in the village. Those were the ones target for demolition beginning January 11, 2012 until the end of January 2012.

SAMANA wrote many times to the City Council and Office of the Mayor. They wanted to have a dialogue with the local government to present their views on the planned demolition but the Office of the Mayor refused to accept the group’s letters.

The residents are demanding that the remaining land of Corazon de Jesus be awarded to them because in their view, the Second City Hall is more than enough. The residents believe that their decades of contribution to developing the land of Corazon de Jesus must be recognized by awarding the land to them instead of alloting it to commercial establishments.

On January 11, 2012, another part of the Corazon de Jesus was demolished where more than 100 houses were dismantled. The city government plans to totally evict all residents by the end of January 2012.

Suggested Action:

Please write letters to the authorities in support of the residents of Corazon de Jesus and their fight for adequate housing. In particular you can write to:
1) Condemn the violent demolition in Corazon de Jesus perpetrated by the city government of San Juan on January 11.
2) Call for the awarding/distribution of the lands of the village to all the current residents of Brgy. Corazon de Jesus!
3) Call for the stoppage on all demolition in San Juan and uphold the people’s right to adequate housing.

Kindly send your letters to:
His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President

Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

 

Mrs. Raquel Rolnik
United Nations Special Rapporteur
on the Right to Adequate Housing
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva

1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06
E-mail: urgent-action(at)ohchr.org
Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson

Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

928-5655, 926-6188
Telefax: 929-0102
chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

Please furnish us a copy of the mails you will be sending to the authorities. Cc it to pie.ctuhr@gmail.com or to our mailing address Rm 702 Culmat Bldg. 126 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City 1102 Philippines. You can also fax it thru +632.411.0256.
Thank you very much for your support.

Sincerely,

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights

[Urgent Appeal] Arrest of a prominent Muslim human rights defender from Jolo, Sulu – TFDP

PHILIPPINES: ARREST OF A PROMINENT MUSLIM HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FROM JOLO, SULU

ISSUES: FABRICATION OF CHARGES AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL

Dear Friends,

 Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), writes to inform you about the updated information regarding the case of Mr. Temogen Sahipa Tulawie. Several appeals were sent before regarding the harassment he was facing as a human rights defender.

On January 13,2012 at about 11:45 in the evening, Mr. Tulawie was arrested at his rented house in Davao City by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG) from Region 9 led by Sgt. Reyes, members of Special Action Force (SAF) led by Supt. Fernando Ortega and members of Police Intelligence (R2).

Mr. Tulawie was already planning to voluntarily give himself and face the charges hurled against him after the Supreme Court already granted the motion he filed for transfer of venue to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City, because he believes that he will not be afforded with impartiality if his case will be tried in Jolo, Sulu.

On June 13,2011, the Supreme Court granted the request for transfer of venue. Dispositive portion reads as “ Acting on the Petition for transfer of Venue, filed by Temogen “cocoy” Tulawie, one of the accused in Criminal nos. (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3 from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Jolo, Sulu, to any court as this Court may deem convenient, and considering that there is an indication of actual and imminent threat to the life of the petitioner and his family, as well as his witnesses, as found by the Court of appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 00002-W/RA-MIN and there is reason to believe that continuing with the trial of the subject criminal cases in the RTC, Jolo, Sulu can lead to a miscarriage of justice”.

Details of his arrest:

Mr. Tulawie was arrested by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG), Region 9 led by Sgt. Reyes, members of Special Action Force (SAF), led by Supt. Fernando Ortega and members of Police Regional Intelligence Group (R2), of Region 11 based in Davao City, on January 13,2012 at about 11:45 in the evening at his rented house in Elenita Heights Subdivision, Catalunan Grande, Davao City.

They were already sleeping together with his two (2) children, when he was awaken by a loud bang from their door. He turn-on the light at their room, then he awaken his children and told them not to panic.

When the authorities came in, he did not resist arrest. He was taken to Talomo Police station for Police blotter and to Davao Regional Hospital for medical check-up. Afterwards, he was taken to Camp Catitipan, Davao City at the office of the Intelligence division for proper documentation.

As of this writing he was temporarily detained at Davao City Police Office in Camp Domingo Leonor, Davao City. On January 16, he will be presented to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City.

Mr. Tulawie was the former Provincial chairperson of Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), a coalition of Bangsamoro civil organizations (CSOs) within the province of Sulu. His work involves; monitoring and documentation of human rights violation cases affecting muslim communities in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, especially in the province of Sulu.

Mr. Tulawie is facing a case of Multiple Frustrated Murder and Attempted Murder, criminal case no. (07-09) 1648-3 and criminal case no. (07-09) 1649-3 at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu, which was filed on July 22,2009. He was implicated in the bombing incident which was happened in the municipality of Patikul, Sulu on May 13,2009, wounding twelve (12) persons including Governor Abdusakur Tan of the Province of Sulu.

BACKGROUND OF HIS STRUGGLE:

As a human rights defender, Mr. Tulawie has also been active in organizing a local organization named “BAWBUG”, which means “Serve, Respect and Protect” in the Tausug language. Bawbug was established to address the defense of the rights of muslim communities affected by military operations in the province of Sulu.

He was also an active member of Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) since 2004-2008 and a council member of Non-Violent Peace Force (NP), in the province of Sulu.

From 2004-2007, he was elected to the post of municipal councilor of the capital town of Jolo, and was one of the organizers of the Concerned citizen’s of Sulu, an organization that works for the democratization of local politics, transparency in governance and upholding of civil rights and liberties of the residents of Sulu.

Mr. Tulawie’s human rights work is long and impressive, but it has also brought him into a collision with powerful local politicians. Some of the human rights campaigns that Mr. Tulawie led are the following:

1. Protest actions against implementation of Sulu Provincial Identification (ID Card System. In January of 2008, Col. Natalio Ecarma, commanding officer of the 3rd Marine Brigade stationed in Sulu, with the support of the provincial government, issued an ID system which supposedly would help military and police authorities in combating terrorism and crimes in the island-province.

However, different civil society groups, human rights organizations and members the Philippine senate, particularly then Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., as well as the Regional Office of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR), said that the mandatory wearing of IDs by Sulu residents is illegal, and would only lead to futher violations of human rights, as residents not wearing the identification cards can be subjected to harassment and possible detention by military troops, on suspicion that they are terrorists and criminals.

The issued IDs were also seen by the residents of Sulu, majority of whom are muslims, as an insult to their culture and religion and is part of the religious profiling that has been on-going in the name of “war against terror”. Sulu residents also raised the concern that the military enforcement of the ID cards likens the province of Sulu to a “garrison state”. The plan was suspended due to the successful public action undertaken under the leadership of Mr. Tulawie.

2. Organizing fact-finding missions regarding militarization and human rights violations.

Ipil massacre, In February 2008, a civilian community in the village (or barangay) of Ipil, Maimbung, Sulu was attacked by military forces of the special Welfare Group of the Philippine Navy and Light Reaction Company of the Philippine Army, in the company of US soldiers. The attacked led to the deaths of eight (8) individuals, including two (2) children and a pregnant woman. Mr. Tulawie contacted the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and an investigation was conducted regarding the event, and helped in the preparation of the prosecution of the erring soldiers.

Tanduh Pugut Bombing. On June 7,2008, as a response to the kidnapping and subsequent release by members of the abu Sayyaf of well-known news reporter Ces Drilon, the military ordered the widespread bombing in the community of Tanduh Pugut, barangay Siunugan, Indanan, Sulu. The military operations led to the injury of several civilian families, destruction of houses, crops, farms and other implements needed for the livelihood of the residents. After the military operations, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan went on national television stating that Tanduh Pugut is an Abu Sayyaf community.

Mr. Tulawie organized a fact-finding mission by civil society organizations, including international organizations Non-Violent Peace Force (NP), the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) headed by Fr. Romeo Villanueva and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR, Region IX). The result of the fact-finding was presented publicly at a meeting with civil society organizations. Governor Tan subsequently backtracked on his earlier pronouncement and instead promised that he will pay for all the damages resulting from the military attacks. However, Gov. Tan never fulfilled his promise.

3. Proclamation of a State of Emergency in Sulu. On March 31,2009, Gov. Tan issued Proclamation no. 1 which placed the entire province of Sulu under the State of Emergency. This came at the heels of the kidnapping of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) personnel, including two (2) foreigners. On that same day, warrantless search and seizure operations were conducted which resulted in the arrests without charges of several innocent civilians.

Alarmed by the widespread violations occurring in relation to the declaration of the state of emergency, Mr. Tulawie asked Gov. Tan about the guidelines for the implementation of the state of emergency and the reason for the mass arrest of the civilians.

In response, Gov. Tan told Mr. Tulawie that those who had been arrested are not innocent civilians, and that the arrests were not without bases. He likewise lamented that human rights organizations are always complaining when people get arrested. In reply, Mr. Tulawie reminded Gov. Tan about the previous instances wherein innocent civilians were massacred and killed due to “legitimate” military operations, which reply apparently irked Gov. Tan. Later, that same day, Gov. Tan called up Vice Mayor Tamrin Tulawie, an uncle of Mr. Tulawie, to asked for a meeting with Mr. Tulawie’s mother and two (2) brothers and told them that he is no longer responsible for whatever might happen to Mr. Tulawie and his family.

Undeterred, Mr. Tulawie continued with his activities, and on April 4,2009,
He and two (2) other companions filed a petition before the Supreme of the Philippines (SC) questioning the legality of Proclamation no. 1. Mr. Tulawie also proceeded with a plan to hold a big protest action in front of the Governor’s office, calling for the release of the arrested civilians. The planned action was eventually cancelled because the Regional State Prosecutor of Region IX issued an order releasing those arrested.

4. Gang rapes in Sulu. Mr. Tulawie also provided support to the women and girls who were victimized in a series of gang rapes in Sulu. He spoke in a rally, calling for the accountability of the local governments in their inability to protect the women, and for allegedly conniving with the perpetrators of these crimes. Some of the perpetrators are the sons of prominent families and members of the Civilian Emergency Forces (CEF), i e, Sulu’s own paramilitary force, and a brainchild of the governor.

These and other human rights campaigns endeared Mr. Tulawie to the citizen’s of Sulu, but increasingly threatening to the local political leaders’ standing in the people’s eyes. In a meeting with the civil society, the Governor expressed that human rights reporting and advocacy are detrimental to the image of Sulu (in reference to the sitio Tanduh Pugut). In another meeting with CSOs, this time regarding the proposed ID system, the governor maintained that as the local chief executive, he alone will make decision on the ID and brushed aside the opposition thereto expressed by the CSO leaders.

FACTS OF THE CASE: (narrative taken from the court documents)

At about noontime of May 13,2009, a bomb exploded as the convoy of Governor Abdusakur Tan was cruising the road from the Provincial capitol on his way home. Inside governor Tan’s vehicle were the governor, his son-in-law, Mayor Hatta Berto and Vice Mayor Tamrin Tulawie. Allegedly, twelve (12) persons were injured during the incident.

On May 26,2009, Mohammad Sulayman Muin and Juhan Alihuddin were arrested and later on forced to admit their culpability and accordingly named as respondent Mr. Temogen Tulawie and Congressman Arbison of the second District of Sulu as the alleged masterminds. The two (2) allegedly signed separate extra-judicial confessions.

In the alleged extra-judicial confession of Sulayman Muin dated May 28,2009, implicating Mr. Tulawie as the mastermind, he said he met the respondent on either the last week of April or first week of May 2009 at the latter’s house. He was with Muammar Askali and Juhan Alihuddin. During the said meeting, Mr. Tulawie allegedly laid out the two plans that he and Congressman Arbison plotted to assassinate complainant governor Tan.

In his another extra-judicial confession dated June 3,2009, he identified the motorcycle with plate number jk 2380 as the same motorcycle allegedly given to him by Mr. Tulawie.

In the alleged extra-judicial confession of Juhan Alihuddin dated May 29,2009, it stated that they met with Mr. Tulawie in the latter’s house and during that meeting, he allegedly presented to them a motorcycle Yamaha Crypton to be laid with bomb to assassinate governor Tan. Although, he was not present during the explosion, he was accordingly given TEN THOUSAND (P 10,000.00) by Sulayman Muin.

On the basis of these extra-judicial confessions, on June 10,2009, governor Tan submitted and filed his affidavit of complaint and that of his witnesses against Mr. Tulawie and congressman Arbison before the office of the Regional State Prosecutor of Region IX.

On June 13,2009, Mr. Tulawie filed a Petition for Writ of Amparo to Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao and on June 23,2009 he was granted Temporary Protection order and eventually provided escorts from the Philippine Marines.

On June 15,2009, the Regional State Prosecutor Regional Order no. 20, designating the City Prosecutor of Zamboanga as Acting Provincial Prosecutor of Sulu for the purpose of conducting the preliminary investigation in the case of Mr. Tulawie and others.

Thereafter, the City Prosecutor of Zamboanga issued a Resolution requiring the CIDG to submit within ten (10) days additional evidence against congressman Arbison, otherwise the same shall be dismiss.

On June 29,2009, Juhan Alihuddin executed a counter-affidavit (Kontra-Salaysay), denying the voluntariness of the earlier confession and categorically denied having known the plans to kill governor Tan and claimed that he was merely forced to sign the confession by the Police and denied that he was represented by counsel during the investigation. He said the counsel was merely provided by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), after he had already signed the prepared confession and that the contents of the said extra-judicial confession were false.

On June 30,2009, Mr. Tulawie filed a Petition for Certiorari at the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City, questioning the jurisdiction of the Regional State Prosecutor of Region IX to accept the said complaint and his power to designate the Zamboanga City Prosecutor as Provincial Prosecutor of Sulu and to conduct the preliminary investigation against the accused. The case is docketed as CA-G.R. no. 03016, entitled “Temogen S. Tulawie vs. City Prosecutor of Zamboanga and the Regional State Prosecutor”,

On July 2,2009, the City Prosecutor issued another resolution dismissing the complaint against congressman Arbison, but issued subpoena against Mr. Tulawie.

Mr. Tulawie with express reservation of the Petition for Certiorari he filed, submitted his counter-affidavit and that of his witnesses which was notarized on July 1,2009. He admitted that he met the said accused sometime in May but it was not their first meeting because he subsequently recalled having met Juhan and Muammar earlier. He said that meeting was his first meeting with Sulayman. He denied having any hand on the explosion and also denied having given the other accused any money, motorcycle, mobile phone or any other considerations for the purpose of killing, assassinating or doing the governor any harm. He denied the meeting on May 19,2009 because he was at Panamao, Sulu and arrived at Jolo after six o’clock in the evening of that day, which is corroborated by several witnesses. And most importantly, he has no intention, motive or desire to do or cause any harm against the governor.

Several affidavits were submitted by Jaga Lupah Sug, another Human Rights Group, signed by residents of Manang, Indanan, Sulu where Muammar Askali lives and they all affirmed the fact that Muammar Askali was at his home from the morning of May 13,2009 until the afternoon and that it was physically impossible for him to have triggered of the bomb as claimed by accused Sulayman at about noon time on May 13,2009 at Patikul, Sulu.

On July 22,2009, Prosecutor Ricardo G. Cabaron, City Prosecutor of Zamboanga City, without calling for a clarificatory hearing on the case, found probable cause against Mr. Tulawie and subsequently issued resolution.

On the same date, two (2) information were filed against Mr. Temogen Tulawie, Muammar Askali, Sulayman Mohammad Muin, Juhan Albani Alihuddin and a certain ABS, criminal case of Multiple Frustrated Murder and Attempted Murder, criminal case no. (07-09) 1648-3 and criminal case no. (-7-09) 1649-3 at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 3 of Jolo, Sulu.

On July 27,2009, Mr. Tulawie filed through his counsel his consolidated Motion to Quash the Information, to hold in abeyance the issuance of the warrant of arrest and to recall the warrants, if one has been issued, and/or to suspend the proceedings pending the Petition for review. The court however, is presently vacant with the recent retirement of presiding Judge Allen Abubakar.

On July 28,2009, a Petition for Review was filed by Mr. Tulawie at the office of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Secretary, Manila, but until this period no resolution was issued.

On October 5,2009, a warrant of arrest was issued against Mr. Tulawie by Judge Leo Jay T. Principe. He issued the warrant without considering that a Petition for Review filed at the Court of Appeals is still pending for resolution.

SUGGESTED ACTION

PLEASE WRITE THE CONCERN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND CALL FOR FAIR, IMPARTIAL AND SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF THE CASE OF MR. TULAWIE.

Thank you.

SAMPLE LETTER:

RE: A HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS AND CHARGED IN COURT, NOTWITHSTANDING PROCEDURAL AND SUBSTANTIVE LAPSES IN THE INVESTIGATION.

Dear_______.

Greetings of peace!

I am writing to express my grave concern regarding the plight of Mr. Temogen S. Tulawie, a human rights defender. I have known that he was arrested on January 13,2012 in Davao City. Prior to his arrest, he was already planning to voluntarily give himself and face the charges hurled against him after the Supreme Court already granted the motion he filed for transfer of venue to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) OF Davao City, because he believes that he will not be afforded with impartiality if his case will be tried in Jolo, Sulu.

Previously, I was informed that Mr. Tulawie is a member of different human rights organizations working on human rights issues in Sulu. His activities as human rights defender includes, public information campaigns, organizing peace rallies and peaceful protests against government policies which is detrimental to human rights.

Earlier, it was known that Juhan Alihuddin another prosecution witness had already executed his counter-affidavit on June 29,2009, denying the voluntariness of his earlier confession. He also denied that he was represented by a counsel during the investigation and that the counsel was merely provided by the investigation personal of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), after he had already signed the prepared confession and that the contains of the said extra-judicial confession were false.

With this vital information, I am calling for the fair, impartial and disposition of his case. Moreover, I am calling all concerned government agencies to guarantee the full respect for human rights of Mr. Tulawie, who is a known human rights defender and as such should be accorded full protection of his rights as stated in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

I trust that you will act favorably. Thank you.

Sincerely,

PLEASE WRITE TO OUR RESPECTIVE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT:

1. His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005
Fax: +63 2 7361010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201/564 1451 to 80

2. Hon. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commissioner
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655/926 6188
Email: mtm_rodulfo@yahoo.com

3. Hon. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004, Manila
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
Email: soj@doj.gov.ph

4. Atty. Jose Midas Marquez
Court Administrator
Supreme Court of the Philippines
3rd Flr., New Supreme Court Bldg.,
Annex, Padre Faura St., Ermita
1000, Manila
Tel: +63 2 522 590 to 94
Telefax: +63 2 526 8129
Email: pio@supremecourt.gov.ph
sc.judiciary.gov.ph

5. Police Director General Raul M. Bacalso
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

6. Hon. Emilio Gonzalez
Deputy Ombusdman
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military
And other Law Enforcement Offices
3rd Flr., Ombudsman Bldg.,
Agham Road, Diliman, 1004 Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 926 8747
Tel: +63 2 926 9032

7. Hon. Juan Ponce Enrile
Senate President
Office of the Senate
Contact:

Office of the Senate Secretary
Hon. Emma L. Reyes
Senate Secretary
Office address: 6th flr., Senate of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Contact numbers: +63 2 552-6601 loc. 6129/23 & 24
+63 2 552-6676
Email address: osec@senate.gov.ph

[URGENT ACTION] Stop the Arrest of Indonesian and Filipino Activists in Bali, Indonesia

URGENT ACTION: Stop the Arrest of Indonesian and Filipino Activists in Bali, Indonesia

Three civil society activists from Indonesia and four from the Philippines were detained by Bali police for more than 12 hours starting Friday November 18 at 3:00 afternoon until 4:15 am November 19.

The incident happened after the local police clamped down on a rally that passed several foreign Consulate offices in Bali including those of the US and Japan on the morning of Friday, 18 November 2011. The rally was organized by Indonesian Civil Society Coalition to coincide with the ASEAN Summit attended by world’s most powerful countries’ leaders including Barack Obama.

The civil society coalition called for ASEAN countries to defend their people’s rights and sovereignty and meet the needs of their people first before servicing rich countries’ drive to plunder and control the remaining natural resources of ASEAN countries.

They further called on the ASEAN country leaders to claim reparations and restitution of ecological debt, including climate debt, owed by industrial countries to the peoples of the South. Acknowledgment of the past and present wrongs by the rich countries and their taking action based on respect for rights and needs of people in the majority world – most of them former colonies – is fundamental to ecological and climate justice.

Schemes being set up as solution to climate change, such as REDD, allow rich nations to go on with business-as-usual, instead of addressing their responsibilities and obligations including tackling the problem in their own backyard first and foremost. Without climate justice, very little progress would be made to solve the dire problem of climate change. And we are running out of time.

The peaceful rally was organized to address these concerns and, ironically, was met by narrow-mindedness of the Indonesian authorities who did not respect the protestors to right to freedom of expression. The authorities clearly were not interested in the state of our common future to prevail.

As of press time, four activists of the Philippines – 3 from Jubilee South- APMDD and 1 from the Freedom from Debt Coalition, are facing possible criminal charges or of deportation. The police have yet to decide the fate of the 3 activists of Walhi (Indonesian Friends of the Earth). Final decision will be made by the police by 8:00 am Bali time.

We urgently ask your solidarity to send messages to the Indonesia and local Bali authority below to get back to their senses and respect the freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Indonesian law.
1. Indonesian Chief of Police: General Timur Pradopo (Mobile number: +628128102123)
2. Bali province Chief of Police: Inspector General Totoy Herawan Indra
3. Bali province Vice Chief of Police: Ketut Untung Yoga (Mobile: +62 811 386 9994)
4. Director of Intelligence of Bali Police: Commissioner General Oman Sunarya (Mobile: +62 811 898 171)
5. CC to Chair of Human Rights Commission of Indonesia IFDHAL KASIM (+62811196579) and Chair of Human Rights Commission of the Philippines LORETTA ANN ROSALES (+639189334356) and Philippine Embassy in Jakarta (+62213100334)

The three activists from WALHI (Friends of the Earth-Indonesia) are:
1. Sri Ranti
2. Teguh Surya
3. Gendo Suardana

The four activists from JSAPMDD & FDC are:
1. Lidy Nacpil (JSAPMDD Regional Coordinator & FDC Vice President)
2. Manjet Lopez (FDC Vice President & SANLAKAS SecGen)
3. Malou Tabios (JSAPMDD Secretariat)
4. Rhoda Viajar (JSAPMDD Secretariat)

Contact Persons:
Ahmad SH (WALHI) +6281337374038
Milo Tanchuling (representative of Filipino activists) Cel Phone +639209018711 email

[Urgent Action] (Philippines) A “Dumagat” tribal member was abducted by unidentified armed persons believed to be affiliated with the military

Urgent Action: (Philippines) A “Dumagat” tribal member was abducted by unidentified armed persons believed to be affiliated with the military

Type of Violation:  Enforced Disappearance
Victim: Rodiemer “Demer” Dela Cruz Morada
Date and Time of Incident: August 23, 2011, 9:00am
Alleged Perpetrators: Unidentified armed persons believed to be members of the military
_____________________________________________________________________

Account of the Incident

Rodiemer “Demer” Dela Cruz Morada, 20, of Barangay Bonifacio, Municipality of Burdeos, Province of Quezon, was abducted on August 23, 2011 at around 9:00am and is still missing until now. According to his mother Gina Morada, four (4) persons, all carrying long firearms went to his house and talked with Demer. They asked him if he could accompany them to the nearby town of P. Gitna. At first Gina was hesitant to allow Demer to go with the unidentified persons since they were armed. But eventually Gina let her son go with the group without knowing that this will be the last time she will see him.

Gina has no knowledge about the identities of the said persons. But based on her recollection, she noticed that all of them were wearing black shirts, military boots and had short hair.

At 12:00 noon, a child spotted Demer who was with the armed group apparently drinking liquor outside the house of a certain “May” in Sitio P. Gitna. Hours later, several locals saw them, but with more or less five (5) additional persons who were also armed. Other witnesses such as Narciso Benedicto and Jimmy Dela Cruz also came across with the armed persons.

Before sunset, Demer’s uncle Samuel Dela Cruz and aunt Geralyn Dela Cruz, residents of P. Gitna, Barangay Rizal, chanced upon the group. They were able to have a short talk with Demer. He told his uncle that his companions are members of the military, and that they are taking him to their destination.

At around 2:00am on August 24, 2011, Samuel saw Demer accompanied by approximately ten (10) armed persons board a motor boat. Samuel did not know the group’s destination.

Before all of these incidents happened, witnesses said that the four (4) unidentified armed persons stayed overnight at the house of a couple known only as Danny and Lanie in Baranggay Bonifacio. Danny and Lanie are neighbors of the Moradas.

Demer was last seen wearing yellow green sleeveless shirt, cream corduroy short pants and blue rubber sandals.

Action Requested

Please write to the authorities in the Philippines urging them to:
1.    Call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the abduction of  Rodiemer “Demer” Dela Cruz Morada, and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt rehabilitation and assistance is granted to the victim’s family;
2.    Immediately organize and conduct a search operation in search of the victim;
3.    To strictly observe and comply with the Republic Act No. 8371 also known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, which is a law to recognize, protect and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities;
4.    To strictly observe and comply with the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which recognizes and establishes protection of civilians not belonging to armed forces or armed groups. The military should ensure that civilians under the power of enemy forces must be treated humanely in all circumstances, without any adverse distinction. They must be protected against all forms of violence and degrading treatment;
5.    Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

Please send your letters to:

1.    His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street , San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph /opnet@ops.gov.ph

2.    Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila, 1000
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: + 63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com

3.     Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense (DND)
Camp Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 982 5640
Tel: +63 2 982 5638
Email webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

4.    Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5.    Atty. Roque N. Agton, Jr.
Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
2nd Floor N. dela Merced Building
Cor. West and Quezon Avenues, Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 373 9787
Fax: +63 2 373 9765
Email: resource@ncip.gov.ph

6.     General Eduardo SL Oban Jr
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
DND Building, Camp Gen Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 6001 local 8414
Fax: +63 2 421 3531
Email: bacsecretariat@dnd.gov.ph

Documented by:

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
#45 St. Mary Street, Cubao
Quezon City 1109, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 437 8054
Fax: +63 2 911 3643
Emal: tfdp1974@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.tfdp.net