Tag Archives: Capion

[Statement] Groups condemn dismissal of murder case against Army’s 27th IB -Justice for the Capion massacre DENIED

Groups condemn dismissal of murder case against Army’s 27th IB
Justice for the Capion massacre DENIED

Support groups of anti-mining communities affected by the Tampakan Copper Gold Project condemn the dismissal of the criminal charges against members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines 27th Infantry Battalion.

Juvy Capion

Last year, Oct 18, Juvy Capion and her sons John and Jordan were killed in what the 27th IB admitted as “operational lapses”.

Before the 1st anniversary of the massacre, the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao del Sur dismissed the case as they find that evidences filed are “circumstantial and insufficient to establish probable cause of murder.”

“This is outrageous! This is outright denial of justice not only for the Capions but all victims of killings and human rights violations by military personnel. This tells us that military agents can easily run away from criminal charges,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

According to Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Executive Director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center ”The dismissal of the case against the military is an outright travesty of justice and a clear indication of the kind of justice system that prevails in the country.”

“The victims and their families are crying for justice and for the perpetrators of the killings to be held accountable for their actions. Mining-affected communities particularly of indigenous peoples have consistently experienced various forms of human rights violations committed by groups and individuals who are supposed to protect their rights and interests. . The killing of the Capions is only one case and we should continue to seek justice for them and the other victims,” Dr. Simbulan stressed.

What happened?

The Social Action Center of Marbel Diocese have documented the whole incident and according to the statements signed by the witnesses, the military operation was legitimate and planned to capture Daguil Capion-husband of Juvy and father of the two (2) children who died during the operation.
Additionally, witnesses heard a military say “Tapusin na yan (finish them off!).” The only survivors of the Capion massacre is Vicky (then 4y/o) and Ressa (then 11y/o) who were able to run to the adjacent hut. Vicky was shot in her right ear.

SAC-Marbel Advocacy Officer Rene Pamplona added: “We call on the national agencies, specifically the Department of Justice and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to intervene and not let this case pass.” He added that the documents gathered from the witnesses, Commission on Human Rights Resolutions, Board of Inquiry of the AFP and the ongoing Court Marshall Proceedings gives bearing to the case.

More killings; HRVs

January 29, 2013: Kitari Capion and Diyo Capion were killed during a raid conducted by Task Force KITACO.

June 28, 2013: Eking Freay and his brother-in-law, Sonnny Boy Planda, were ambushed after selling corn and buying goods from Brgy. Kimlawis. Planda was killed on the spot.

August 23, 2013: Anteng Freay and son Victor Freay, were killed near their home in Bulol Kalon allegedly by the members of the Division Reconnaissance Team of the 10th ID, PA, together with the members of the Task Force KITACO detailed in Datal Alyeng detachment.

Garganera concluded: “We call on the Aquino Administration to take this issue seriously—Tampakan is only one of the mine sites infested by military forces and that result in different forms of violations—these should be pertinent actions done to this. It is about time that we focus on human rights over mining investments.”

”We do not know how the provincial prosecutors have come to their resolution but we know that the Capion murder happened and that we will not stop until we give justice to the Capions, Freays, and the militarized communities,” Pamplona further added

Tampakan and nearby communities are militarized to protect the mining investments of Sagittarius Mines Inc, Xstrata and Indophil.

ATM is part of the Tampakan Forum, a coalition of international and local organizations that serves as technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue. ATM is also part of the TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA Campaign.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB. (30)

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net

Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, PhilRights Executive Director nymia.pimentel@gmail.com
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

Press Statement
October 24, 2013

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[Press Release] Kiblawan mayor confirms Sagittarius Mines link to escalating militarization in Tampakan -ATM

Kiblawan mayor confirms Sagittarius Mines link to escalating militarization in Tampakan
Says military receives subsidy for allowance and operations

atm-logoKoronadal City – Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante disclosed that Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) is actually providing funds for the allowance and operations of the military and paramilitary groups within the towns of Kiblawan, Tampacan, Columbio, all covered by the SMI mining permit.

Diamante, in her testimony to the recently-held congressional hearing of the National Cultural Communities Committee, explained that a memorandum of agreement was signed in July 2006 by the local governments of Kiblawan, Tampakan and Colombio with SMI. This MOA was the basis of the deployment of 120 Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) men in the areas, and the creation of the military led Task Force KITACO. Task Force KITACO has been implicated in killings of B’laan leaders and anti-mining activists in the provinces.

The congressional hearing held in the provincial gym of Koronadal City was initiated by the Committee Chair Congressman Teddy Baguilat, Jr, to look into the intensifying militarization in the provinces and the series of killings of indigenous peoples within mining areas, with particular focus on the massacre of Juvy Capion and her two children in October 2012. The family of Capion is known to be leading the struggle for the B’laans ancestral domain, and against SMI.

SMI community-based security plan

The mayor’s report corroborated the testimony of the Col. Norman Marcos Flores, new commander of the 1002nd Brigade, who confirmed that the Philippine Army is providing security to the KITACO growth area and to implement SMI’s community-based security plan in Tampakan and Kiblawan.

The Philippine Army identified 128 incidents of security threat against SMI from 2007-2012, and they find this as a valid reason for their presence in the area to offer protection for the mining company. In exchange for this, SMI provides monthly allocation for the operations, for gasoline, and allowance for CAFGUs directly deployed in Kitaco areas. SMI has doubled the monthly allowance of each CAFGU from the government budget of Php2,700/month to Php5,400.

Government-SMI collaboration against mining-affected communities, indigenous peoples

Rene Pamplona, of Social Action Center (SAC-Marbel) said, “Instead of the military defending the people—it defends and protects foreign investments and kills community members The government is killing its own people because of this mining problem. Depite the killings, and the violence in SMI mining areas, the government still issued the environmental compliance certificate (ECC). ”

SAC-Marbel is helping indigenous peoples in dealing with the killings and other human rights violations due to the militarization of their ancestral lands.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) sites of struggle officer Daniel Arias said: “SMI can no longer deny that these killings are rooted in the presence of its mining project and this was confirmed by the testimony of Mayor Diamante and the military. Truly, the blood of Juvy, and her children, Kitari, and all others who were killed are in their hands!”

“The situation painted by the testimonies of the military, the police, Mayor Diamante and the B’laans is very clear – the military is paid by SMI to protect its investment at all cost, even at the cost of the lives of the B’laans who are fighting for their land. And the Aquino government? It just issued the ECC to SMI. So the bias is clear. And it’s tragic,” Judy A. Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) added.

Philippine Miserior Parnerships Inc Anti Mining Campaign Advocacy Officer Atty. Macki Maderazon who was also present during the said hearing further said: “This deadly deal between the LGUs of Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio and SMI puts the human rights of the mining-affected communities especially those who oppose it at greater risk of being violated further.

“This is not in accord with the duty of the government to protect the human rights of the people against corporate abuses and with the responsibility of corporations to respect human rights under the UN Framework and Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights to which our government is one of the signatories. Policy on greater accountability of mining corporations and affording remedies to victims of corporate abuses should now be considered in Congress. The current mining law and even the new E.O. 79 failed to consider this.”

Meanwhile Rep. Baguilat in his closing message said that it is wrong to identify indigenous peoples who are opposing mining as bandits. He added, as an indigenous person himself that for them land is life and it is their right to defend their ancestral lands.

Baguilat concluded: “Kung anu ang desisyon ng pamayanang katutubo, yun ang dapat sundin at i-respeto.”

Mayor Diamante last year posted a reward of Php300-thousand for the capture of Daguil Capion immediately after the killing of Capion’s wife Juvy and two children. (Read: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/superbalita-davao/balita/2012/10/21/p300000-ganti-sa-makatudlo-sa-gitagoan-ni-daguil-capion-249099) She added in her testimony that she did this so that community members will be motivated to point out where Capion can be found, as he is considered a bandit.

During the public hearing, a survivor (minor, not to be named) and witnesses to the Capion massacre last October 19 were interviewed by Congs. Nancy Catamco, Neri Colmenares, Luz Ilagan, and Manny Pacquiao. Thereafter, the representatives found serious flaws in the way the case was handled by the military and the police.

Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) is the local partner of Swiss Xstrata and Indophil for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project. It has been awarded a mining permit over ancestral domains of the B’laans.

Tampakan Forum is a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue.

For more information:
Atty. Macki Maderazo, PMP-AMC Advocacy Coordinator, pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com, 0922-8501873
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, 0927-7617602
Farah Sevilla, Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, policy@alyansatigilmina.net, 0915-3313361

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[Appeal] Letter of concern regarding the investigations and processes undertaken by PNP and PA in the Capion killings -PAHRA

Chief, Human Rights Affairs Office
Philippine National Police
Chief, Human Rights Office,
Philippine Army

November 5, 2012


Warm greetings.

With due respect to the Kiblawan Philippine National Police (PNP) Progress Spot Reports and the Press Release of the 10th Infantry Division (ID) of the Philippine Army (PA), the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) would like to express its concern regarding the investigations and processes undertaken by both institutions.

PAHRA fears a possible suppression of data and glossing over of possible human rights violations and criminal liabilities by the 10th ID, PA and the Kiblawan PNP on what actually transpired in the Kiblawan Massacre last October 18, 2012 due to either lack of due diligence, thoroughness or transparency in their investigations and institutional procedures.

Comparing the results from the Fact-Finding Mission conducted by civil society and human rights defenders led by the Diocese of Marbel Social Action Center, the Kiblawan PNP Spot Reports and the 10th ID, PA Press Release, PAHRA’s analysis, among others, showed major discrepancies which could be vital to verifying what really happened in that bloody fateful day that killed Jordan and John Mark Capion y Malid and their mother, Juvy Capion y Malid, who was 2-3 months pregnant. These discrepancies were neither addressed in the PNP Progress Spot Reports nor in the Press Release.

A Philippine Army unit led by 1Lt. Dante Jimenez from the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, unaccompanied by any police, was supposed to serve a warrant of arrest against Daquil Capion. Closing in on the Capion family farm hut, which was located in the midst of an open field, four dispatched soldiers were “fired upon by shooters from the direction of the house prompting them to also return fire.”1 According to the Press Release, presumably based on the 6-page report and/or transcript of the PA Board of Inquiry, “there were 43 bullet entry holes on the hut alone but, based on the spot report, only 19 bullets were expended by the troops. However, the result of the investigation did not determine as to whose bullets killed the victims.”2

The above statement on ammunition expended by the troops insinuates that the difference of 23 bullet entry holes are coming from unknown sources firing at the Capion hut. There is no mention, much less an explanation, of these entry holes which exceeded the expended bullets in the Press Release. Were there other armed elements with the unit of 1Lt. Jimenez who fired at the Capion hut but whose weapons have not be accounted for? Why is he and his men not forthcoming about this fact? Is this a preparation of the public mind that, though fire-testing would still be conducted, the bullets that killed Juvy Capion and her two children did not come from his unit’s weapons and thus mitigate, if not absolve, 1Lt. Jimenez and his men?

When the police finally arrived at the scene of the tragedy, there was nothing in the progress spot report released3 by Arnold Bacaling Absin, Kiblawan Chief of Police, about the number of entry holes nor of any collection of 19 empty bullet casings supposedly expended by the army unit within the perimeter covered by the soldiers during the alleged exchange of fire.

In both the PA Press Release and the PNP Progress Spot Reports, there is obviously a lack of extraordinary due diligence and thoroughness in the investigation especially to do justice for the Capion deaths. Nowhere are the positions and movements of the contesting armed parties and that of the unarmed wife and children during the supposedly exchange of fire. There is just an over-all statement that the soldiers were “fired upon by shooters from the direction of the house prompting them to also return fire.

Was there any reason that justified the soldiers for firing into the part of the house or area that killed Juvy and her children? No bullet casings were found in that part of the hut to prove that gunfire was emanating from there to provoke retaliatory fire. Perhaps there were none in the first place. One sure thing was clear when relatives of the Capion family and the police arrived at the hut.

The place where the Capion’s bodies laid was already cleaned by the soldiers. Why?
Is this to pre-empt any possible damaging testimony that a survivor witness child4 could give regarding the supposed firefight?

It is strange that an Army Officer who has taken on himself the police power, perhaps wrongly, to serve a warrant of arrest had not obligated himself in implementing Command Responsibility both as Military and Police in preserving evidence. Rather, evidence, not without an order from and/or acquiescence by 1Lt. Jimenez, was tainted and destroyed by his men. This was not a “lapse of judgment” but a deliberately willed violation of the rule of law.

Instead of enhancing Command Responsibility, what seems to have happened is a Command Conspiracy between 1Lt. Jimenez and his men against the human and legal rights of the Capion family.

Has the Board of Inquiry (BOI) taken these facts into serious consideration in concluding that it was just a “tactical lapse” or “a lapse of judgment” on the part of 1Lt. Jimenez when evidences that could prove contrary to his action have been destroyed? If the latter action was disclosed to the BOI, did 1Lt. Jimenez include the detail that a relative witnessed the soldiers starting to remove the slain bodies and put them on the ground. And that they were strongly advised by the same relative: “ayaw lang ninyo ipababa, kay pamilya lang niya ang maghipos” (don’t put the bodies to the ground just let the families do it). Is this a failed case of internalization of a people-centered orientation of the AFP?

Furthermore, the dead body of Jordan was seen by the same witness lying face down on the ground a few meters away from the house where his mother and younger brother were slain. Details of the scene showed that Jordan was already taking his coffee when he was shot. Was Jordan not seen by the soldiers in their approach to the hut? Did the command and the soldiers care at all even if Jordan was seen at all before the former opened fire at the direction of the hut?

Why have the police not mentioned the foregoing facts in any of their Progress Spot Reports5 and followed up such evidences and diligently obtained the testimonies of witnesses?
Are the omissions deliberately paving the way to a cover-up as to whether there really has been an “encounter” or truth in the statement that soldiers were “fired upon by shooters from the direction of the house prompting them to also return fire.”6?

There is now an opportunity to move forward the paradigm shift of our security forces, particularly the 10th ID, PA, and the Kiblawan Police towards the primacy of human rights.
The Human Rights Officers of the concerned level of PA and PNP command should evaluate and report on the incidence from a human rights perspective. Such action would help in the internalization of human rights and international humanitarian law, and ultimately, the Rules of Engagement. If none of the HR Officers had been present in the sessions of the BOI, they should be invited to the General Court Marshall.

For the sake of transparency and justice, both for the Capion family, and for 1Lt. Dante Jimenez and his men, the Philippine Army should make available to the public the transcript and the 6-page report of the PA Board of Inquiry.

PAHRA suggests that in the coming conduct of a General Court Marshall, the Philippine Army should invite, in this case, the surviving witness and his guardian, counselor and legal counsel, as well as witnesses and their counsels in a converging effort to break impunity.

Thank you very much for your kind and objective consideration of this letter of concern. In no way may this note be construed other than ensuring the convergence of our efforts to realize what the 10th ID has in its website banner: “Sa Sundalo [at sa Pulis] Katungod Protektado?.

Justice and dignity for us all,

Max M. de Mesa
Chairperson, PAHRA

PSupt. Arnold Bacaling Absin
Chief PNP, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur

BGen Yerson E. Depayso
Human Rights Officer, 10th ID

Col. Manuel Felino Ramos
Human Rights Officer, 10th ID, 2 BDE

Maj. Gerald Monfort
Human Rights Officer, 27th IB

Gen. Domingo Tutaan, Jr.
Head, AFP Human Rights Office

Hon. Manuel Roxas, Jr.
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government

Hon. Loreta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

Hon. Manuel Mamauag
CHRP Focal Commissioner for Mindanao

Atty. Jacquelyn Mejia
Executive Secretary, Commission on Human Rights

Atty. Christina Haw-Tay Jovero
Director, CHR Region 12

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[Press Release] Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!” -ATM

Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!”
Mining is root cause of killing of indigenous peoples, envi advocates

Manila—Anti-mining and human rights group led an indignation rally at the Sagittarius Mines Inc.-Xstrata (SMI-Xstrata) Head Office in Makati, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame early today condemning the massacre of Capion Family in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur last October 18.

Tampakan Forum, a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue, blames the massacre to the U$5.2-billion gold-copper mining project—one of the largest mining investments in South-East Asia by SMI-Xstrata.

Facts of the Case

October 18, early morning. The 27th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army under the command of Lt. Dante Jimenez, raided the Capion farmhouse and strafed their nipa hut killing Juvy, 27 mother of four and wife of Daguil Capion, Jordan, 13, and John, 8. John was shot close-range.

Two other children, Ressa Piang and Becky Capion, were targeted when Aileen Capion, a relative of the family, called on the military men to stop shooting.

Aileen Capion recalled calling on the military: “Ayaw ninyo unsaa and mga bata, akoa na ang mga bata (Do nor harm the children. I will take custody of them).” A plea to which the military replied, “Mas maayo nga tiwason ang mga bata para wala’y witness (Better to finish off the children so that there will be no witnesses.)”

The military then claimed that there was an encounter between their group and the New Peoples’ Army, which Daguil Capion is a member. However, witnesses and initial investigations say otherwise.

Emmanuel Amistad, executive director of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, said: “It was not an encounter. The Philippine Army massacred unarmed, innocent civilians. They should not only be relieved; they should be dishonorably dismissed from service and criminal charges filed against them.

“The Capion famly were like meek lambs led to slaughter. They are not collateral damage, they are victims of human rights violations and for this, the military should be held responsible”Amistad concluded.

Atty. Mario E. Maderazo of PMPI said: “President Aquino should order the immediate pull-out of the 27th Infantry Battallion in Tampakan to ensure a thorough and impartial investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).”

He added that his tragic incident and the past unsolved killings and human rights violations are enough reasons not to allow the Tampakan Mining project to proceed.

Mayor of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur calls for the capture of Daguil Capion ‘dead or alive’

Meanwhile, after the incident, Mayor Marivic Diamante of Kiblawan, announced a reward of Php 300, 000 for the captivity of Daguil Capion, dead or alive. She said it is to avoid a pangayaw (tribal instigated war) where the B’laan community might take revenge. (Reported by Inquirer Mindanao, 20 October 2012). ATM denounced this call by Mayor Diamante, accusing her of sowing more fear and tension in the area, instead of calling for sobriety and peaceful resolution of the case.

Reports last October 23 also said that the two children who survived were riding a habal-habal (motorcycle) on the way to Bishop Dinaulaldo Gutierrez house to seek refuge when a certain Josephine Malid, staff of SMI-Xstrata-supported foundation hailed them and asked them to ride a white truck, owned by the mining firm.

It was reported that Mayor Diamante wanted to take the two children to Davao, despite the fact that they were already with their relatives from the area. Atty. Cristina Hawtay of Commission on Human Rights Region XII pacified the tug-of-war between Diamante’s group and Daguil Capion’s mother. The children are now with the Social Action Center of Marbel.

Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator said: “It is very clear that there is connivance by the mining company, the military and the local government units, even. It is very ironic that the mayor of Kiblawan is on the side of the military asking for the head of Capion, when she should lead seeking justice for the killing of the Capion family.

“Contrary to the claim of SMI-Xstrata that they will help the development of communities—THEY CAUSED THE KILLING ANTI-MINING ADVOCATES, AND EVEN CIVILIANS, AND THAT’S BLOOD IN THEIR HANDS. Capion and other tribal leaders are tasked to protect their ancestral domains, and it is for this reason that they have a strong stand against mining that will literally take away their land, but this is not respected by the mining companies—they resort to harassment, militarization, different forms of human rights violations to silence the opposition.”

The SMI-Xstrata Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for the Tampakan Gold-Copper Mining Project covers 23, 571 hectares in four provinces namely, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, and Saranggani. The permit overlaps four ancestral domains including CADT 102, CADT 108, CADT 72 and CADC 74.

# # #

For more information:
Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP Executive Director, tfdp@tfdp.org
Atty. Mario Maderazo, PMPI-AMC Project Coordinator, pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Research&Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.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.

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.