Tag Archives: Department of Interior and Local Government

[From the web] Philippines: divided leadership and lacklustre performance -PAHRA

Philippines: divided leadership and lacklustre performance
By Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)[1]

Source: http://renatomabunga.wordpress.com/

I. General Overview

President Benigno Aquino III considered 2012 a year of continued resurgence of the economy bolstered with increased confidence in good governance. He took pride in the dramatic leaps the country has taken in the global competitive index of the World Economic Forum; the unprecedented attainment of investment-grade status from the most respected credit ratings agencies in the world; and the astounding 6.8 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2012.[2]

Boyet small

Amidst this enthusiasm, cases of extra-judicial killings (EJK), enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests as well as other political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights violations increase halfway into the Aquino administration. What becomes alarming “is the growing number of threats and killings of rights defenders” as observed by the UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, and on extrajudicial killings, Christof Heyns.[3]

In 2012 alone, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) reported 43 cases of EJK involving 48 victims; 14 cases of Enforced Disappearance involving 17 victims; and, 39 cases of Torture involving 63 victims. There were 65 documented cases of arrest and detention by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines involving 133 individuals. The spate of arrests came after the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of National Defense (DND) announced its Php467 million bounty for some undisclosed list of 235 communist leaders.[4] This list would definitely be used to harass political activists and leaders of peoples’ organizations with or without legal charges and would constitute another institutionalized utter disregard of the right to due process.[5]

In an October 2012 interview with Radio New Zealand, President Aquino brushed aside criticism of his human rights records as simply “leftist propaganda”. He issued Administrative Order (AO) 35 in November “creating the inter-agency committee on extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons”. He promoted military officers charged with cases of human rights violations.[6] Brig. Gen Eduardo Añowas appointed chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP). He was among those charged in the abduction and disappearance of Jonas Burgos. Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and before him Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia who was assigned to head the Eastern Mindanao Command. Baladad and Segovia were among those charged in the illegal arrest and torture of the Morong 43.[7]

2012 also witnessed positive developments in policy reforms. The President signed into law Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, which is restrained for implementation by the Supreme Court following petitions of unconstitutionality by the Catholic Church; the Compensation for Martial Law Victims Act, early 2013, providing compensation, recognition and acceptance of the historical facts of grave human rights violation during Martial Law; the Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 288 or the ARMM Human Rights Commission Charter of 2012, an independent regional national human rights institution vested with the powers and mandate of the national Commission on Human Rights within the autonomous region; Republic Act (RA) 101361 or the Kasambahay Law in January 2013, an act instituting polices for the protection and welfare of domestic helpers; the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, an act defining and penalizing enforced or involuntary disappearance; and the Ratification of the Rome Statute.

Read full article @renatomabunga.wordpress.com

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[Featured Article] 28 killed in alleged political killings in Escalante under mayor’s term By Merck Maguddayao

28 killed in alleged political killings in Escalante under mayor’s term
By Merck Maguddayao

escalante poster

They always left their gates open.

In this rural village of Libertad in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, the only forbidding entity for village chief Fernando and wife Teresita Damalerio were the neighborhood drunks who, after long drunken stupors would engage in shouting matches, chases, and fistfights. Being the elected peace maker, Fernando would step in to settle the tipsy men, most of the time within the gates of his home.

Other than those occasional fracases, the people of Libertad lived their life slowly by tending their own farm or construct projects in good old bayanihan (collective labor) fashion, unlike the atomized atmosphere of the Metro. That’s why in the peripheries of urbanizing Escalante, it is okay to leave the gates open.

But not until November 8, 2007. Elected a month earlier as barangay captain, Fernando, together with his son Ferjun and kagawad (village councilor) Neptali Narvasa, went to the Commission on Elections branch office in downtown Escalante to file his statement of campaign expenses. At nightfall, as they approached home, violence occurred, but not the type carried out by drunkards.

In an interview, Teresita Demalerio narrated in a mix of Cebuano and Filipino that six armed men emerged from a curve at the corner of their house.

“One person approached our gates, went straight to Fernando who was on his way home, aimed his gun at him while shouting ‘Hapa! Hapa!’ (lie down) My husband raised his two arms and tried to thresh the matter out with the gunman. A second man entered our gate,” Teresita narrated.

Moments later, Teresita witnessed the first gunshot. It felled her son, Ferjun.

April 20 mobilization against killings in Escalante. Photo from Merck Maguddayao

April 20 mobilization against killings in Escalante. Photo from Merck Maguddayao

“Ferjun went out of the gate with his arms raised and uttered ‘Unsa may problema?’ (What’s the problem?) but was unable to finish his question when he was shot on the chest,” she continued.

In a snap, Fernando shoved the gunman who was aiming at him, and ran for cover inside his compound to his house. He was shot on the waist but the wound was miraculously shallow as his belt seemed to have dissipated the impact of the bullet.

Teresita followed her husband and while on her way, she noticed one of the gunmen lying down on the ground, who most probably was accidentally shot by his comrades during their attack, according to her account. She noticed a grenade in the hands of the felled assailant, picked it up, ran inside the house through a backdoor, and handed it to Fernando, who threw the grenade at the three other assailants. They disappeared after the blast.

The couple survived the ordeal, but not their youngest son Ferjun, who was a fresh college graduate with a degree in customs administration. He was felled down by a seemingly emerging gang of vigilantes, who would kill 27 other men in a span of six years leading to the May 2013 elections, which included Teresita’s brother Sergio Villador, who was killed a few months later.

September 21, 2013 Mobilization against killings in Escalante. Photo from Merck Maguddayao

September 21, 2013 Mobilization against killings in Escalante. Photo from Merck Maguddayao

28 felled men in six years, under two consecutive terms of incumbent and newly-elected mayor of Escalante City, Melecio “Beboy” Yap. The common denominator of the killings is that 18 of the felled men, as well as their surviving immediate relatives, were supporters of former mayor Santiago “May-May” Barcelona, whose term expired in 2007 but ran and lost in 2010 and 2013. Ferjun, though not an active supporter of Barcelona—his parents are—was an unfortunate fatality who absorbed a cheap but fatal shot from a trigger-happy gunman. Nine other victims were para-military volunteers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, locally known as Cafgu, who were likewise killed in an organized manner.
Yap has continuously denied responsibility of the killings, repeatedly saying in local news reports that it is mere demolition job against him.

Such bloodbath last occurred in the City last September 20, 1985, when at least 20 farmer-activists were killed allegedly by state agents in a protest rally in commemoration of Martial Law in front of the town hall. It is forever immortalized in history as theEscalante Massacre. However, this seemingly second version of Escalante Massacre did not happen in a single event–the killings were organized and followed a pattern.

Activist Luke Espiritu of the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), who documented the killings and
assisted the victims’ families in filing criminal charges against Yap and his alleged henchmen, explained that this constituted “circumstantial evidence” to charge Yap for murder and frustrated
murder before the prosecutor’s office of Escalante.

“There is a pattern to the killings. Most victims were from the camp of Barcelona,” Espiritu said.

“The victims’ family will first receive a warning from an unknown source: Switch allegiance or death,” he continued. “And indeed, the victims followed this pattern of threat followed by actual execution.”

“You think those who killed my son were common village drunkards? They were armed, and most of them attacked in groups. The killing operations seemed to be organized,” he concluded.

From their end, Espiritu assisted four other families in filing multiple murder charges against Yap, retired Army Major Tupas, Angel Sinadjan, Santiago Rapiz, and several John Does.

As the killings escalated, some families of the murdered men and some survivors brought the issue to then Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Jesse Robredo, who in 2011 created Task Force Escalante, an inter-government effort to investigate the killings and prevent possible killings. During this time, Yap was stripped of his police powers which he strongly opposed, claiming that the DILG’s measure was against his human rights. His allies from the pro-Maoist Bayan Muna even staged a rally in that year in support of Yap, branding Robredo’s order as a violation of Yap’s rights.

Task Force Escalante, though, withered away after Robredo’s untimely death in 2012 as current DILG secretary Mar Roxas seemed to have backpedalled in the investigation of the cases.

“We have sent follow-up letters to Secretary Roxas and even to PNoy (President Benigno Aquino III) but we have not received any action from the national government,” Teresita Damalerio lamented. “It was a far cry from Robredo’s response to our ordeal.”

Hopeless that their appeals for help fell on deaf ears, the victims’ families stumbled upon Bacolod-native Espiritu, who was busy in campaigning for PLM’s electoral bid in Negros Occidental.

“I think we were blessed to meet a man who took us seriously,” Teresita said.

News about the killings infuriated Espiritu as the number was alarming. But what made him angrier was the fact that the DILG and Malacanang seemed to have discontinued Task Force Escalante after the death of its initiator. Worse, he heard a common notion blaming the insurgent New People’s Army as the perpetrators of the killings.

“Many of these killings were dismissed as insurgency-related. Then case closed. This is an excuse not to undertake further investigation,” he lamented.

The new collaboration resulted in the formation of the local human rights formation Save Negros Movement (Save Negros), which held its first rally in front of Escalante City Hall last April 20 attended by at least 8,000 angry citizens of Escalante denouncing the purported atrocities of Yap and his men.

The gathered crowd called for the continuation of the pending investigation of the killings, the quick prosecution of Yap and the other suspects, and placing Escalante under the control of the
Commission on Elections.

“It seemed like People Power,” Espiritu recalled. “The people were angry, they seemed to want to barge in City Hall and take over the city.”

“They want Mayor Yap to answer the allegations, at the very least, air his side. But he didn’t, which made us angrier,” he said.

Despite this seemingly popular discontent against him, Yap won by a comfortable margin on 9,000 votes over Barcelona in the elections a month after the rally.

It seemed to have been a reaffirmation of the Escalante people’s trust to their mayor, but Damalerio begs to differ.

“We believe Barcelona’s machinery was severely weakened by the killings since 2007, so what do you expect? He became politically dead,” Damalerio explained.

Damalerio insists that his family’s support for Barcelona was because the mayor simply addressed their basic demands—agricultural infrastructure, healthcare, school buildings, and scholarship for
their children. This, she believes, was the reason for Barcelona’s erstwhile political success, having served for three terms from 1998 to 2007.

However, she and the victims, she asserts, have gone beyond being supporters of an ex-mayor. Currently the spokesperson of the Save Negros Movement and PLM-Escalante, she believes that the most viable way to end institutionalized violence in Escalante a movement independent from
traditional political rivals in their city.
Thus, she, along with more than a hundred relatives of EJK victims and some survivors, went beyond the human rights alliance Save Negros and joined PLM, as they believed that justice is served not in the courtroom, but through the direct empowerment of the Escalante masses. In a rally to commemorate the 1985 Escalante Massacre last September 21, the now PLM-Escalante chapter mobilized 300 of its members in front of the City Hall, calling for empowerment and direct democracy as the replacement of warlordist rule in the city. Still fearing for their lives, they braved the scorching weather and a possible rain of bullets.

“We still love Mayor May-May, and we are forever indebted to him,” Damalerio said, recalling her days as supporter of the former mayor. “But we victims have to unite as an independent force
in this city. The issue has gone beyond politics for our lives are at stake. The only way for us to move forward is to organize, no longer perceived as simply Barcelona supporters, but as an independent force of the oppressed.”

She still fears for her life and that of her husband and relatives, though.

“Heaven forbid, but when I return to Escalante, I might be a dead woman. Or maybe, one or two more will be killed.”

She concluded her story with these simple words: “Sending Yap to jail is not enough. Real justice is achieved by changing the system. Leave the masses alone to decide on their own fate, to decide on the fate of our beloved city, for we are the builders of this city.”

Six years may have passed since the death of Teresita Damalerio’s son and brother and the death of 27 others, but for the families of the victims of extra-judicial killings in Escalante, the fight has just begun. They continue to knock on the locked gate of justice while literally dodging bullets fired behind them.

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[Press Release] Measly wage hike is demeaning and cruel amid rising prices, pork scam—CTUHR

Measly wage hike is demeaning and cruel amid rising prices, pork scam—CTUHR

CTUHR logo

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights criticized the recent wage adjustment saying the it is “demeaning” and “cruel” to workers especially amid rising prices and the P10- billion-peso scam.

On September 6, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced the wage adjustment integrating P15 of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to basic pay and adding P10 of COLA. The new basic pay is now at P451.00 while the additional COLA will be effective only on January 2014.

Daisy Arago, Executive Director of CTUHR said, “Such measly amount is demeaning and cruel to workers and the poor as rising prices of basic commodities and utilities in the recent months have already depressed the real value of wages.”

The group further explained that the wage adjustment is negligible as wage levels will remain below half of the family living wage estimated at P1,039.

Arago added that the wage adjustment is both very insulting and cunning, “It is the lowest wage adjustment in NCR in the last decade however, the government is trying to present it as good news by saying the it is the first time that the regional wage board made a unanimous decision over wage hikes.”

“We are even more repelled by the Aquino government’s display of insensitivity by giving Filipinos token wage adjustments amid corruption scandals involving billions of pesos from people’s taxes being pocketed by a few,” Arago pointed out.

Arago also berated a recent statement of Malacañang spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda who belittled the 5-million peso controversy thrown at Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, “It is extremely appalling that Malacañang is taking 5 million pesos as non-issue when the government is only giving workers 10 pesos in a time when most Filipinos are worried of the rising prices of rice which is now at P42 per kilo.”

In the end, the group challenged the government to support the workers demand for a substantial and legislated wage hike. The group said that a substantial wage hike will provide immediate relief to many Filipinos and a legislated increase will benefit all workers across the country.

NEWS RELEASE
7 September 2013

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[Press Release] Groups condemn ambush of B’laan leader and member in minerals-rich Davao del Sur -ATM

Groups condemn ambush of B’laan leader and member in minerals-rich Davao del Sur
Demand immediate investigation, pullout of paramilitary groups

atm-logo

Groups, supporting the opposition of indigenous peoples and faith-based organizations to the Tampakan Copper Gold Mining project, condemn the recent report of ambush of B’laans Eking Freay and his brother-in-law Sonnny Boy Planda on June 28.

It was between 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning when the two were on their way home after selling their crops in Brgy. Kimlawis when they were fired at by alleged members of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) under Task Force KITACO (Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio). Planda was fatally wounded and later died while on his way to Davao City for medical treatment, a report said.

Freay, community leader of T’bol of the Bong Mal B’laan Territory, was hit in the right thigh and the back but was able to flee toward Bong Mal.

“We condemn the killings and the attack to indigenous communities who have opposed mining in there area. There is more than enough evidence to show that the presence of paramilitary groups there is detrimental to the communities, especially when we know that Task Force KITACO is paid for by the mining company opposed by the people,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

Freay is one of the sons of Bong Fulong Anting Freay of the Freay-Capion Clan, and publicly expresses his strong opposition on the presence of SMI/Xstrata and of military detachments in Bong Mal.

“The recent attempted murder of Eking Freay and Sonny Boy Planda adds to the series of unsolved killings victimizing the B’laan community opposing the Tampakan Copper Gold Mining project. The incident clearly illustrates that communities affected by large-scale and destructive mining operations consistently serve as magnets of violence, deception and other forms of human rights violations,” said Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, executive director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center.

Simbulan also called on the different government agencies to immediately take action.

“We call upon concerned agencies of the Aquino government specifically the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Justice Department to immediately take action so that justice may be served to victims of the crime. We likewise, urge the Commission on Human Rights to implement measures that will protect the indigenous peoples’ right to life and security.”

Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action—Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) added: “This kind of incident demands immediate action from the State that should protect and uphold the rights of Filipino peoples. Such impunity done towards our indigenous brothers and sisters in Tampakan is unacceptable. Gathering that this is mining-related, if not solely due to mining investments, then the more that mining should not be allowed in the area.”

During a Congressional Hearing of the National Cultural Communities chaired by Rep. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat in February 2013, then Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante confirmed that Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) is providing funds for the CAFGU and military operations in the KITACO area.

“We demand an immediate investigation of government offices concerning this. This is not a random event and most importantly, this is not the first time that anti-mining indigenous peoples are killed in Bong Mal, where there is strong opposition to the Tampakan mining project,” Garganera concluded.

The groups maintained that opposition to mining operations in the country are nearing tense levels, as violence and human rights abuses against anti-mining communities also escalate. The same environmental and human rights groups urge Congress to pass a new mining law to address these conflicts.

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.

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)

Press Release
July 5, 2013
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
Fr. Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary edugariguez@gmail.com
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Event] June 26 UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture Basta! Run Against Torture VII -UATC

June 26 UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Basta! Run Against Torture VII
MAKE PHILIPPINES A TORTURE-FREE ZONE

4 x 8 ft Streamer copy

 

I. Introduction

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is an international human rights instrument that aims to prohibit and prevent torture and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment around the world. The UNCAT came into force on 26 June 1987 after 20 ratifications since its adoption by the UN General assembly on 10 Dec 1984.

This year, 26 years after the UNCAT came into force and with 153 state parties, the world has yet to rid of the continued use and practice of torture and ill-treatment. Over recent years, there has been an assault on various fundamental rights in the context of counter terrorism, protecting national security, stopping the rise of criminality, and maintaining peace and order. The protection against torture, an absolute and non-derogable right, provided by the treaty has been undermined – marked by a growing acceptance of torture or other ill-treatment in the context of intelligence-gathering, resort to illegal modes of detention for those suspected of involvement in terrorism, criminality and subversion, and lack of accountability for those who have authorized or committed torture and other ill-treatment. These are key challenges facing the human rights movement today.

On June 26, the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, key organizations around the will focus on the global reaffirmation of nations and peoples to the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment as set in the UDHR and the UNCAT – reaffirmations that should be felt and experienced in the smallest and farthest of communities.
II. Background

Torture is abhorrent. Torture is illegal. Yet torture is inflicted on men, women and children in the Philippines and well over half the countries around the world. Despite the universal condemnation of torture, it is still being used openly and secretly using national and international security from acts of terror as justifications for such acts. It is used to extract confession, to interrogate, to punish or to intimidate. While governments condemn terrorist acts, it is also evident that acts of terror are happening inside detention centers and prison cells, on city streets and in remote villages. The cruelty of torturers kills, maims, and leave scars on the body and mind that last a lifetime. The victims of torture are not just people in the hands of the torturers. Friends, families and the wider community all suffer. Torture even damages and distorts and the hopes of future generations.

In spite of strong provisions enshrined in the Philippine Constitution prohibiting the use of torture, its criminalization as provided for by Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Lawof 2009, and the Philippines having been a state party to the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) since 1987, the act remains widely used today. The concept of the right to be free from torture eludes the general public and disappointingly, government representatives and state security forces as well. In order to see the decline of the practice in country, it is important that all members of society become informed of this right inherent to all individuals. All places where people are deprived of their liberty, no matter how big or small, near or far, must be placed under the lens of scrutiny to finally stop this inhumane practice.

This coming June 26, the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), spearheaded by Amnesty International Philippines (AIPH), Balay Rehabilitation Center (BALAY), Medical Action Group (MAG), the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), with the support of the Commission on Human Rights and different government agencies tasked to combat torture, will once again join the international community to commemorate the UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture and contribute to the global campaign to prevent and stop the practice of torture in all corners of the world as codified in the UNCAT 26 years ago.

The UATC will focus on addressing the dire need to implement RA 9745 in its fullest extent centering on prevention and accountability as two of the more important aspects of the law that need focus. While it is imperative to ensure accountability of torturers, the group also wants the practice of torture and ill-treatment stopped in every place of detention – whether it is managed by the barangays, the police, the BJMP and other agencies – by allowing unhampered access to monitoring groups.
III. Activity: “Basta! Run Against Torture! VII (BRAT)”

The first ‘Basta! Run Against Torture (BRAT)’ was held in June 25, 2002 and served as the launching pad of the national campaign against torture of the United Against Torture Coalition’s (UATC), a network of anti-torture advocates that was organized in May of 2002.

BRAT was the brainchild Fr. Robert Reyes who eventually headed the 50-strong runners from different organizations within UATC. The well-publicized event (covered by various radio, print and TV programs) started at the Oblation Statue in UP Diliman and ended at the Quezon city Memorial Circle to join the rest of the coalition and the media in an hour-long press conference that formally launched the concerted campaign against torture in the Philippines.

The equally successful and well-publicized event BRAT II in 2008, described as an event ‘rarely seen’ by media practitioners, gathered more than a hundred participants from the CSOs, 50 from the CHR and an unprecedented 200 from the Philippine National Police. The event was also supported by members and secretariat of the Committees on Justice and Human Rights (with fulfilled promises of passing the anti-torture bill in the House of Representatives), and the members of the local government of Quezon City. The run aimed to make public the condemnation of torture in the context of the war against terror and human security, preventing the use of torture through a law and the ratification of the OPCAT (which the government subsequently signed August of 2008) and holding into account perpetrators of then act.

From BRAT III to BRAT VI, the activity included the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Department of Interior and Local government and the Presidential Human Rights Committee in its fold. From a humble beginning of having 5o runners to carry the anti-torture banner, the event gathers almost 700 participants from the afore-mentioned organizations and agencies.

The BRAT has also contributed to milestones in the anti-torture advocacy in the country. RA 9745 was passed in November of 2009 and the Philippines ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) in April of 2012.

This year’s BRAT will focus on the continuous and intensified campaign to make the Philippines a torture-free zoneby ensuring monitoring of all activities and practices in all detention centers – an important step to ensure the effective implementation of the law. Aside from demanding accountability of jail officers and overseers of detention centers in ensuring that torture and ill-treatment is not practiced through formal compliance procedures and education of officers and detainees, the UATC is also proposing a more pro-active positioning in monitoring by all concerned parties with emphasis on government accountability through the community’s participation.
IV. Objectives
1. To provide a platform for civil society organizations, the CHR, key government agencies, the academe and the youth to push for full implementation of the Anti-Torture Law through an awareness activity that:
a. encourages communities, grassroots and local organizations to be involved in the monitoring of all detention centers in their areas
b. encourages government agencies tasked to manage these detention centers to cooperate and recognize and support monitoring activities of the communities and other local organizations.
VI. Messages

Over-Arching Theme:

Basta Run AgainstTortureVII
MAKE PHILIPPINES A TORTURE-FREE ZONE

VII. Activity Design

Organizers
United Against Torture Coalition Steering Committee (AIPh, BALAY, MAG, TFDP and PAHRA)

Partners
Commission on Human rights
Presidential Human Rights Committee
Philippine National Police Human Rights Affairs Office
Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology

Other Attendees (TBC)
Department of Justice
Department of Interior and Local Government
Department of Health
Department of Social Works and Development
Select Schools and Academic Institutions

Conduct
• All participants will assemble at the BantayogngMgaBayani (Quezon Avenue, at the back of Centris) on the 26th of June at around 630 am – 700 am
• The run will start at 700 am sharp
o Most runners will be wearing activity shirts to be provided by the organizers
o All organizations joining the run will only be allowed to carry 1 flag each
o Positioning

  • Pre-Frontline – Sound System
  • Front line – organizational leaders (carrying the activity tarp
  • 2nd liners – organizational flag bearers (colors)
  • 1st Block – UATC
  • 2nd Block –Academe and Students
  • 3rd Block – CHR
  • 4th Block – Government Agencies (DILG, DOJ, PHRC, DOH, DepEd, CHED)
  • 5thBlock – PNP
  • 6th Block – AFP

• Route (right side of the road): BantayogngMgaBayani – (right towards) Eliptical Road – Quezon City Hall – (right towards) PhilCOA – commonwealth – CHR Open Grounds

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[From the web] Inter-Agency Com on ELK & Enforced Disappearance Guidelines for Investigation & Prosecution

Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings and Enforced Disappearance Meet to Adopt Guidelines for Investigation and Prosecution

Source: www.doj.gov.ph

doj

On April 18, 2013, the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons, chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ), held its third regular meeting at the GHQ Conference Room, Camp Aguinaldo. The IAC composed of the DOJ, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Office of the Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs (OPAPA), Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), adopted the Operational Guidelines or the implementing rules and regulations of Administrative Order No. 35 which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last 22 November 2012.

The Operational Guidelines is an important step towards engendering an investigative environment that will benefit greatly from the legal knowledge, experience and leadership of a prosecutor to ensure an airtight investigation and successful prosecution of a greater number of cases. The Guidelines call for the creation of special investigation teams which are composite teams of investigators and prosecutors that will undertake case build-up of human rights violations covered by the administrative order. Their efforts to secure a successful prosecution will be monitored closely by special oversight teams composed of seasoned prosecutors and investigators who are mandated to provide guidance to the investigators and prosecutors on the ground and also submit recommendations to the JAC. Special tracker teams may also be created to secure the apprehension of perpetrators who continue to successfully elude the enforcement of their warrants of arrest.

In an interview, DOJ Secretary Leila M. Dc Lima shared her observations that, “these Guidelines will be the important tools to train the composite teams of investigators and prosecutors all over the country, not only to secure the paradigm shift in our ranks that will encourage our prosecutors to take a more pro-active approach at the investigation level, but indubitably to ensure a higher conviction rate on cases involving grave human rights violations.” De Lima observed, “our main challenge is make sure we have the full support of the PNP, NBI and the National Prosecution Service to see the spirit of A.O. No. 35 through which is to secure the arrests and eventual convictions of perpetrators of these human rights violations and to address, through these institutional mechanisms, the perceived continuing culture of impunity.”

The IAC has also undertaken the inventory of cases of extra-legal killings (ELK), enforced disappearances (ED), torture and other grave human rights violations from lists of all government sources. De Lima confirmed that the Technical Working Group (TWG) assisting the IAC has initially submitted a recommended list of priority ELK and ED cases which will be validated by the IAC members within the week. These cases will thereafter be assigned to the various A.O. No. 35 teams for investigation, prosecution or monitoring, as the case maybe.
Present in the said meeting were Sec. Voltaire Gazmin of DND, Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles of OPAPP, Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Chief of Staff of AFP, Usec. Rafael Santos of DILG, Usec. Luis Martin Gascon, Usec. Pio Lorenzo Batino of DND, Gen. Nestor Fajura of PNP and Atty. Ferdinand Lavin of NBJ. Also present as resource persons and observers, were Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Loretta Ann Morales, CHR Commissioner Ma. Victoria Cardona and Assistant Ombudsman Evelyn Baliton, who signed as witnesses to the Operational Guidelines. The Office of the Ombudsman and the CHR also contributed to the list of A.O. No. 35 cases being processed by the TWG.
The next meeting of the IAC will be on the second week of June.

Enclosed: Operational Guidelines of A.O. No. 35

OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 35

WHEREAS, Article II, Section ii of the 1987 Constitution declares that the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section i of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 12(1) of the 1987 Constitution provides that any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice;

WHEREAS, Article III, Sedtidn 12(2) of the 1987 Constitution provides that no torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against any person, and that secret detention places, solitary incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 14(1) of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 18(1) of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be detained solely by reason of political beliefs and aspirations;

WHEREAS, the Philippines is a state party to key international human rights instruments, among which are: (a) the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and (b) the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

WHEREAS, in becoming a State Party to these international human rights conventions, the Philippines undertook to harmonize and reflect in its laws, policies and practices the provisions of such conventions;

WHEREAS, being such a State Party, the Philippine Government passed Republic Act No. 9745, entitled, “An Act Penalizing Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Presctibing Penalties Therefor” penalizing torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment;

WHEREAS, to further institutionalize the commitment of the Philippines to improve its human rights record, the Philippine Government enacted Republic Act No. 9851, entitled, “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity;

WHEREAS, to fully adhere to the principles and standards of absolute condemnation and prohibition of enforced or involuntary disappearance, the President signed into law Republic Act No. 10353, “An Act Defining and Penalizing Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance,” a first of its kind in Asia and another major legislative milestone on the protection and promotion of human rights;

WHEREAS, commitment to resolve cases of political violence in various forms of human rights violations caused President Aquino to establish an institutional legacy through Administrative Order No. 35, entitled, “Creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons,” a comprehensive government machinery mandated to monitor cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations;

WHEREAS, in order to ensure that political activist and media killings are effectively investigated and successfully prosecuted, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government jointly formulated and issued through a Joint Department Order No. 003-2012, which outlines the Operational Guidelines for Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Investigators in Evidence-Gathering, Investigation and Case Build-Up; Inquest and Preliminary Investigation; and Trial of Cases of Political-Activist and Media Killings;

WHEREAS, there have been reported and validated violations of human rights of the individuals throughout the years, which have served to create an impression of a culture of impunity, wherein State and non state forces have been accused of silencing, through violence and intimidation, legitimate dissent and opposition raised by members of the civil society, cause-oriented groups, political movements, people’s and non-government organizations, and by ordinary citizens;

WHEREAS, most of these violations remain uninvestigated and unsolved, with the perpetrators unidentified or unprosecuted, giving rise to more impunity;

WHEREAS, there is a need to revisit these unsolved cases of grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons, whether committed as part of an apparent government policy in the past or as recurring cases of unsanctioned individual abuse of power and authority by State and non-state forces under the present;

WHEREAS, it is important to establish a respectable and validated databank of all specific allegations of human rights violations in the form of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons in order to ensure the comprehensive, coherent, well-coordinated and quick response of the Philippine Government; and

WHEREAS, the present Administration declares as a matter of paramount policy that there is no room for all these forms of political violence and abuses of power by agents or elements of the State or non- state forces, and towards this end commits to establish an institutional legacy of an efficient, coherent, and comprehensive government machinery dedicated to the resolution of unsolved cases of political violence in the form of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons;

NOW THEREFORE, in order to carry out the implementation of Administrative Order No. 35, the following Operational Guidelines are hereby prescribed and promulgated.

ARTICLE I
DEFINITION OF TERMS

In the implementation of Administrative Order No. 35 (A.O. No. 35) and these Guidelines, the following terms shall mean:

Extra-Legal Killings (ELK) or Extra-Judicial Killings (EJK) – For purposes of operationalization and implementation of A.O. No. 35, the ELK/ElK will refer to killings wherein:

a. The victim was:
i. a member of, or affiliated with an organization, to include political, environmental, agrarian, labor, or similar causes; or

ii. an advocate of above-named causes; or

iii. a media practitioner or

iv. person(s) apparently mistaken or identified to be so.
b. The victim was targeted and killed because of the actual or perceived membership, advocacy, or profession;

c. The person/s responsible for the killing is a state agent or non-state agent;

d. The method and circumstances of attack reveal a deliberate intent to kill;

For purposes of the focused mandate of AO No . 35, killings related to common criminals and/or the perpetration of their crimes shall be addressed by other appropriate, mechanisms within the justice system.

2. State Agent – is a person who, by direct provision of law, popular election or appointment by competent authority, takes part in the performance of public functions in the government, or who performs in the government or in any of its branches, public duties as an employee, agent or subordinate official, of any rank or class1.

Sec 3, Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act.
Any other person who does not fall under the above-definition shall be deemed as a Non-State Agent.

3. Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (EID)—refers to the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty committed by the agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by the refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which places such person outside the protection of the law2.
4. Torture – refers to an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him/her or a third person information or a confession; punishing him/her for an act he/she or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed; or intimidating or coercing him/her or a third person; or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the! consent or acquiescence of a person in authority or agent of a person in authority. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to lawful sanctions3.
5. Other Grave Human Rights Violations – refer to acts that grossly violate an individual’s right to life, liberty and security of persons and/or their physical or mental integrity
and dignity.4
The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) shall identify the different grave human rights violations to be prioritized for investigation and prosecution under these Guidelines and pursuant to A.O. No. 35.

6. AO 35 Cases – refer to cases of extra-legal killings, enforced or involuntary disappearances, torture, and other grave human rights violation cases, involving right to life, liberty and security of peçsons.
7. Special Investigation Teams for New Cases (SITN) – refers to composite teams of prosecutors and investigators designated by the IAC purposely to investigate, prosecute and monitor new cases or incidents that occurred after the effectivity of A.O. No. 35 on 22 November 2012.
8. Special Investigation Teams for Existing/Current Cases (SITEC) – refers to composite teams of prosecutors and investigators designated by the TAC purposely to investigate, prosecute and monitor existing or current cases that are actively being investigated or prosecuted in court and those that have been archived by the court, where such cases or incidents occurred prior to the effectivity of A.O. No. 35 on 22 November 2012.
9. Special Investigation Teams for unsolved Cases (SITU) – refers to composite teams of prosecutors and investigators designated by the IAC tasked to conduct further investigation of unsolved AO 35 cases for the purpose of identifying and arresting the persons responsible for the crime and ensuring the successful prosecution of the cases.

10. Special Oversight Team (SOT) for unsolved cases – is a composite team of investigators and prosecutors created by the TAC tasked to evaluate and oversee the reinvestigation by the SITUs, supervise the management of unsolved AO 35 cases, and to regularly report and submit recommendations to the JAC regarding these cases.

11. Special Oversight Team (SOT) for existing and new cases – is a composite team of investigators and prosecutors created by the IAC tasked to evaluate, to monitor and supervise the investigation and prosecution of new and existing cases, and to regularly report and submit recommendations to the JAC regarding these AO 35 cases.

12. Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) – is a body created under Administrative Order No. 35 dated 22 November 2012 tasked to monitor and ensure the speedy resolution of extra judicial killings, enforced or involuntary disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons.

13. Technical Working Group (TWG) – a body composed of the representatives of the member-agencies and observers/resource persons of the IAC which shall serve as the central support system to the Committee in the monitoring and handling of A035 cases.

14. Observers/Resource Persons —refers to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Ombudsman or any of their authorized representatives.

15. High Profile Cases – are cases identified by the IAC as such because of the presence of any of the following circumstances:
a. High media attention;
b.Highlighted or monitored by international agencies, organizations, or institutions;
c. Given special attention by other stakeholders;
d. The victim or suspect is a public personality; and
e. Other cases as may be declared “high profile” by the JAC.

16. Unsolved Cases – are incidents that were previously investigated by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or the Commission on
Human Rights (CHR) prior to 22 November 2012 that would have been treated as AO 35 cases but where no complaint for preliminary investigation was filed with the National Prosecution Service (NPS) or the Office of the Ombudsman due to lack of sufficient evidence, or unwillingness of eyewitnesses to cooperate in the investigation, or to give information, or for total lack of witnesses.

Unsolved cases may also refer to cold cases.

17. Closed Cases – AO 35 cases which, upon thorough review and final determination of the IAC, are denominated as “closed” because vital witnesses are no longer available or can no longer testify, or have already died, or for total lack of evidence, or where all possible suspects have already died.

18. Cases Under Investigation – are incidents that are presently undergoing investigation by law enforcement offices for the possible filing of cases for preliminary investigation with the NPS or the Ombudsman, or those that have been dismissed by the prosecution due to lack or insufficiency of evidence, or dismissed by the court for lack of probable cause and ordered to be reinvestigated by law enforcement agencies.

19. Cases under Re-Investigation – refer to the following cases:

a. Unsolved cases identified by the SOT to be prioritized for further investigation ‘for the purpose of identifying the person/s responsible for the crime and witnesses and the collection of evidence for possible case build-up;
b. Cases dismissed by the prosecutor for lack or insufficiency of evidence and identified by the SOT to be prioritized for further investigation ‘for the purpose of identifying the person/s responsible for the crime and witnesses and collection of evidence for possible case build-up and;

c. Cases dismissed by the court for lack of probable cause and ordered to be reinvestigated by law enforcement agencies. Such cases must also be identified by the SOT to be prioritized for further investigation for the purpose of identifying the person/s responsible for the crime and witnesses and collection of evidence for possible case build-
up.
20. Cases Under Preliminary Investigation – refer to cases that are undergoing preliminary investigation either by the NPS or the Ombudsman.

21. Cases on Appeal – refers to cases where the resolution of the prosecutor is appealed by way of petition for review before the Office of the Secretary of Justice or to the Ombudsman.

22. New Cases – refer to incidents covered by A.O. 35 that occurred after its effectivity on 22 November 2012.

23. Inquest – is an informal and summary investigation in a criminal case conducted by the prosecutor involving person/s arrested and detained without the benefit of a warrant of arrest for the purpose of determining whether said person/s should remain under custody and correspondingly charged in court.

24. AO 35 Prosecutors – refer to the prosecutors designated by the IAC to lead special investigation teams (SIT) in the investigation and build-up of AO 35 Cases.

25. Investigating Prosecutor – refers to the prosecutor who is tasked to conduct a preliminary investigation in an A035 Case.

26. Trial Prosecutor – refers to the prosecutor who actively handles the trial of an AO 35 case in court.

27. Law Enforcement Agency – refers to the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), or to any of its offices or sub-offices or other law
enforcement agencies of the government ordered by competent authorities to investigate AO 35 cases and/or arrest those responsible therefor.

28. Law Enforcement Investigator/A0 35 Investigator – refers to the investigator from a law enforcement agency as defined in the preceding paragraph designated by the IAC as part of the composite team led by the AO 35 prosecutor in the investigation and build-up of AO 35 cases.

The investigators designated under their respective law enforcement agencies’ normal processes of forming SITG (Special Investigation Task Group) or Task Forces may form part of the various Special Investigation Teams by default.

29. Composite Team Approach – refers to the strategy or scheme adopted by the IAC as mandated by A035, where prosecutors and investigators collaborate, cooperate and
coordinate in the investigation and build-up of AO 35 cases.

30. Case Build-Up – refers to the entire process of investigation and case preparation, including the collection and preservation of evidence, documentation, and identification of suspects to ensure the successful prosecution of the case.

ARTICLE II
SOURCES OF INFORMATION

1. Police, NBI and other law enforcement agencies;

2. Fact-Finding Committees and other ad hoc bodies created by laws, ordinances, department orders, administrative issuances, or judicial orders for purposes of information-gathering, the conduct of investigation, and submission of findings and recommendations relative to AO 35 cases;

3. CHR, being the constitutional body tasked to investigate cases involving human rights violations;

4. AO 35 Member-Agencies which may separately provide information on AO 35 cases which are submitted to the IAC for appropriate action;

5. Other government offices or units;

6. Media and Reports from other private entities, including civilians, human rights organizations, civil society organizations and other groups which report incidents of grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons;

7. Reports from international entities including United Nations Bodies, Committees, Working Groups, Special Representatives, international NGOs and foreign governments, on possible human rights violations identified under AO 35;

ARTICLE III
SYSTEM OF COOPERATION

Unsolved Cases

Section 1. Reinvestigation by Special Investigation Teams (SITU). Unsolved cases identified by the IAC, especially those that transpired between 2001 up to November 22, 2012 shall be re-evaluated and re-investigated by Special Investigation Teams for Unsolved Cases (SITU) that shall be created by the IAC.

Section 2. Duties and Responsibilities of a SITU. As soon as practicable after their creation, a SITU, led by an AO 35 prosecutor, shall convene in order to thoroughly study the records of the case, interview the relatives of the victim, conduct an ocular inspection of the crime scene, interview possible witnesses to the incident, and exert all other efforts which may lead to the identification of the person/s responsible for the crime.

Section 3 . Period of Reinvestigation; Extensions. The SITU shall expeditiously work on the unsolved cases and finish their reinvestigation and case build-up within a period of thirty (30) days from their initial meeting, unless otherwise extended by the SOT for another thirty (30) days upon their prior written request and only on meritorious grounds such as difficulty in obtaining testimonies or cooperation of witnesses.

Section 4. Investigation Report. Upon completion of re- investigation, the SITU shall submit a Final Investigation Report to the IAC Secretariat containing the following:

(a) Summary of the Incident (which shall include name and affiliation of the victim/s and the suspect/s);
(b) Brief narrative on the previous investigative efforts and their results;
(c) Detailed narrative on the SITU’s reinvestigation efforts and their results;
(d) Enumeration and evaluation of evidence;
(e) Findings;
(f) Conclusion;
(g) Recommendation; and
(h) Annexes of pertinent documents.

Section 5. Deliberations and Recommendations of SOT for Unsolved Cases. The Secretariat shall, upon receipt of the Investigation Report from the SITU, calendar the same for discussion by the SOT for unsolved cases which, depending on the result of deliberations and thorough review of the records, may recommend to the IAC any of the following actions:

(a) That the case be immediately filed with the appropriate prosecution office against the respondent;
(b) That the case be further reinvestigated on the basis of some other leads;
(c) That the case be declared closed, especially if vital witnesses to the incident can no longer testify, have already died or can no longer be located, or for total lack of evidence, or where
the suspect(s) have already died; or
(d) That the case be delisted on the ground that the same is not an AO 35 case.
Section 6. IAC Action. Acting on the recommendations of the SOT for unsolved cases based on the result of SITU’s reinvestigation, the IAC may adopt, modify, or otherwise overturn the same, or altogether create another team to reinvestigate the case anew.

The IAC may solicit the assistance of other agencies which may not be a member of the Committee and/or take any other appropriate action.

Section 7. Filing and Indorsement of AO 35 Case. If the IAC adopts the recommendation for filing of a complaint, the SITU shall file the corresponding complaint before the appropriate prosecution office. The complaint shall contain an Indorsement signed by the A035 Investigator who is a member of the SITU, indicating that the investigation was conducted pursuant to AO 35 and these Guidelines.
Section 8. Closed Cases Not To Be Delisted. Whenever the IAC resolves to close an unsolved case reinvestigated by the SITU due to the impossibility of obtaining sufficient evidence to move it forward, the same shall not be delisted from the inventory of alleged AO 35 cases.

However, the person/s implicated in an Unsolved Case that was resolved to be closed, shall forthwith be delisted from the case after due assessment is conducted by the SOT on the said person/s’ purported participation. The SOT shall thereafter recommend to the IAC the approval to delist the aforesaid person/s. The delisting of such name/s shall be without prejudice to their inclusion if the case is revived due to newly-obtained evidence sufficiently showing the person/s participation as the perpetrator/s thereof.

Section 9. Change of SITU Composition. If it appears at any time during the investigation and case build-up that an A035 agency may be somehow involved in the incident subject of the investigation, the IAC Chairperson, upon recommendation of the AO 35 prosecutor or the TWG, may reorganize the SITU.

B. New Cases

Section 10. Initial Assessment and Report. When a killing (which shall be deemed to include an attempted or frustrated killing) or a deprivation of liberty or a suspected case of torture or other suspected AO 35 violations occurs or are reported, the local law enforcement agency, office or unit concerned, shall make an initial assessment within forty-eight (48) hours from deployment, whether or not the incident may be treated as a possible AO 35 case, guided by the following:

(a) For an EJK case, the presence of any two of the elements of Article 1(i) of these Guidelines is present;

(b) For an enforced or involuntary disappearance, when the deprivation of liberty is suspected to have been committed by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons suspected to have acted with the authorization, support or acquiescence of agents of the State; and

(c) For a torture case, when there are signs, reports or allegations of severe pain or suffering suspected to have been inflicted by persons in authority or their agents.

Immediately but not later than six (6) hours after the initial assessment of the incident or information by the local police office or law enforcement agency, office or unit, a report shall be submitted to the Chief of Police, provincial, or regional director as the case maybe. If the initial assessment indicates that the incident is a possible AO 35 Case, the report shall be certified as “Extremely Urgent”. After receipt of the report, the Chief of Police, Provincial or Regional Director, shall immediately but not later than six (6) hours forthwith inform the designated A035 prosecutor in the locality about the same.
Section 11. Designation of AO 35 Prosecutors. There shall be in every city, province or region of the country, a roster of AO 35 prosecutors who shall be available on an on-call basis in order to serve as team leaders in the investigation and case build-up of AO 35 Cases.

Section 12. Convening of the SITN. Immediately within 24 hours upon receipt from the Chief of Police, Provincial Director or Regional Director of the information and the names of investigators that will form part of the SITN, the designated A035 prosecutor shall convene the team to start the case build-up.

If in case the investigation has been started by a local team of investigators, or a Special Investigation Task Group or Task Forces of the PNP or similar teams of the NBI or other law enforcement agencies, the SITN shall oversee, supervise and monitor the investigation to ensure that the case is supported by sufficient and strong evidence, provided however, that the Chairperson of the JAC may, in the exercise of plenary powers, direct the designated SITN to take over the investigation and case build-up from the local investigators, or Special Investigation Task Group or Task Forces of the PNP, or similar teams of the NBI or other law enforcement agencies, or to direct their absorption into the SITN. The investigator(s) thus absorbed shall be deemed as A035 investigator(s).

Section 13. Duties and Responsibilities of the SITN. The SITN shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) To immediately investigate a possible AO 35 case for purposes of filing the appropriate charges with the prosecution office;

(b) To identify witnesses and assist in the preparation of their sworn statements;

(c) To recommend the immediate or provisional coverage of witnesses and/or their immediate families under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOA)

(d) To evaluate the scene of the crime report and other physical or object evidence necessary in the filing of the case with the prosecution office;

(e) To invite the participation of other government agencies as may be deemed necessary or beneficial to the investigation;.

(f) To periodically submit reports about the progress of the investigation to the Secretariat of the JAC;

(g) To ensure the proper preservation and custody of all the evidence collected; and

(h) To perform such other tasks as the IAC, SOT or the TWG may direct them to perform.

Section 14. Change of SITN Composition. If it appears at any time during the investigation and case build-up that an A035 agency may be somehow involved in the incident subject of the investigation, the IAC Chairperson, upon recommendation of the AO 35 prosecutor or the TWG, may reorganize the SITN.

Section 15. Investigation Report. Within thirty (30) days from the time it convenes, the SITN shall submit an Investigation Report to the IAC Secretariat.

The Investigation Report shall contain the following:
(a) Summary of the Incident (which shall include the name and affiliation of the victim and the suspect);
(b) Detailed narrative on the SITN’s investigation efforts and their results;
(c) Enumeration and evaluation of evidence;
(d) Findings;
(e) Conclusion;
(f) Recommendation; and
(g) Annexes of pertinent documents.
In case the STTN recommends the filing of charges, the Investigation Report shall likewise be accompanied by a copy of the corresponding Indorsement to the appropriate prosecution office for preliminary investigation.

Section 16. Extension of Investigation Period. If, on account of difficulty in the identification of the person/s responsible for the crime, or in seeking the cooperation of the victim or the witnesses to the crime, the SITN cannot submit the Investigation Report within a period of thirty (30) days, the SOT for new/existing cases may, upon prior written request from the SITN, extend the investigation period for another thirty (30) days.

Section 17. Deliberations and Action of SOT for New and Existing Cases. The Secretariat shall, upon receipt of the Investigation Report from the SITN, calendar the same for discussion by the SOT for new/existing cases.

The SOT, after conduct of deliberations and thorough review of the records, may direct the SITN to do any of the following actions:

(a) That the case be immediately filed with the appropriate prosecution office;
(b) That the case be further reinvestigated by the SITN; or
(c) Delist the case on the ground that the same is not an AO 35 Case.

If the SITN recommends that the case be declared closed, especially if vital witnesses to the incident can no longer testify, have already died or can no longer be located, or for total lack of evidence, the SOT for new/existing cases, after a thorough evaluation of the report, may either concur or cause the reinvestigation of the case.

If the SOT for new/existing concurs with the recommendation to close the case, the same shall be reported to the IAC for its consideration.

Section 18. IAC Action. Acting on the recommendations of the SOT for new/existing cases to close the case, the IAC may adopt, modify, or otherwise overturn the same, or altogether create another team to reinvestigate the case anew.

The IAC may solicit the assistance of other agencies which may not be a member of the Committee, and/or take any other appropriate action.

Section 19. Filing and Indorsement of AO 35 Case. If the SOT for new/existing cases adopts the recommendation to file a complaint, the SITN shall file a complaint before the appropriate prosecution office.

The complaint shall contain an Indorsement signed by the A035 Investigator who is a member of the SITN, indicating that the investigation was conducted pursuant to AO 35 and these Guidelines.
Section 20. Closed Cases Not To Be Delisted. Whenever the IAC resolves to close a case due to the impossibility of obtaining sufficient evidence to move it forward, the same shall not be delisted from the inventory of alleged AO 35 cases.

Section 21. Continued Monitoring and Reporting. Notwithstanding the referral of the case to the prosecution office, the SITN shall continue to convene for the purpose of evaluating and gathering of additional evidence necessary to further strengthen the case. The SITN shall likewise continue to monitor and periodically report the progress of the preliminary investigation to the IAC Secretariat.

Section 22. Inquest of AO 35 Cases When SITN Has Not Yet Been Convened. In instances of warrantless arrests, the arresting officers shall immediately conduct an initial assessment in order to determine whether the offense for which the person was arrested falls in any of the circumstances enumerated under Section 1 of Article III.B. of these Guidelines. If any of such circumstances is present, the arresting officers shall inform the AO 35 prosecutor, through any expedient means, about the arrest and pending inquest proceedings.

The said arresting officer/s shall also certify before the inquest prosecutor his or her initial assessment that the person/s arrested subject of inquest may have committed an A035 offense.

The A035 prosecutor, upon receipt of the notice from the arresting officer/s, shall convene the SITN pursuant to Sections 3 and 4 of this Article to further enhance case build-up.

Section 23. Inquest of AO 35 Cases When SITN Has Been Convened.

In instances where the SITN I has been convened and the person suspected of committing an AO 35 ‘ case is taken into custody by other law enforcers without a warrant under circumstances allowed by the law/rules, the arresting officer shall immediately inform, by any expedient means, the AO 35 prosecutor of the said SITN of such warrantless arrest.

The arresting officer/s shall then furnish the inquest prosecutor with all documents necessary for the conduct of inquest proceedings and shall indicate that the complaint is a probable AO 35 case.

The SITN shall continue to monitor the case in accordance with Section 12 above.

For purposes of this Section, both the AO 35 investigator and the AO 35 prosecutor are enjoined to take advantage of the innovations or advancements in communications technology in order to facilitate and expedite their coordination efforts.

C. Existing/Current Cases

Section 24. Existing or Current Cases shall refer to cases that are being investigated or re-investigated by law enforcement officers per order of the Court; or undergoing preliminary investigation; or is already pending in Court whether there be an active trial or has been archived by the Court, as of 22 November 2012, where such cases fall under the classification of any of the enumerated human rights violations under the said Administrative Order.

Section 25. Identification of Existing/Current Cases By TWG. The TWG shall identify existing/current cases that may possibly fall within the ambit of A.O. No. 35. The TWG shall thereafter recommend possible interventions or actions involving such identified cases to the IAC for their appropriate instructions.

Section 26. IAC Action. Acting on the recommendations of the TWG, the IAC may order that a SITEC be convened:
(a) To investigate or prosecute certain cases pursuant to Article 111(B);

(b) To oversee, supervise or monitor the investigation or prosecution by other investigative or prosecutorial bodies or office; –

(c) To monitor the handling and management of such cases including the submission of regular reports to the SOT and IAC; or

(d) To solicit the assistance of other agencies which may not be a member of the IAC; or to undertake any appropriate actions pertaining to such A.O. 35 case.

Section 27. Convening of the SITEC. Immediately within twenty four (24) hours upon receipt of the directive from the IAC to convene the special investigation team for existing/ current cases (SITEC), the designated. A035 prosecutor shall convene the team pursuant to Article III (B) hereof.

Section 28. Duties and Responsibilities of the SITEC. Depending on the stage of the case, whether investigation or prosecution, the SITEC shall have the following duties and
responsibilities:

(a) To immediately investigate a possible AO 35 case for purposes of filing the appropriate charges with the prosecution office;

(b) To identify witnesses and assist in the preparation of their sworn statements;

(c) To recommend the immediate or provisional coverage of witnesses and/or their immediate families under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice;

(d) To evaluate the scene of the crime report and other physical or object evidence necessary in the filing of the case with the prosecution office;

(e) To invite the participation of other government agencies as maybe deemed necessary or beneficial to the investigation;

(f) To periodically submit reports about the progress of the investigation to the Secretariat of the IAC;

(g) To ensure the proper preservation and custody of all the evidence collected;

(h) To assess if the case being investigated constitutes an AO 35 case; and

(i) To perform such other tasks as the IAC, SOT or the TWG may direct them to perform.

Section 29. Change of SITEC Composition. If it appears at any time during the investigation and case build-up that an A035 agency may be somehow involved in the incident subject of the investigation, the TAC Chairperson, upon recommendation of the AO 35 prosecutor or the TWG, may reorganize the SITEC.

Section 30. Investigation Report. Within thirty (30) days from the time it convenes, provided that the intervention falls within the investigation phase of the case, the SITEC shall submit an Investigation Report to the IAC Secretariat.

The Investigation Report shall contain the following:

(a) Summary of the Incident (include name and affiliation of victim and suspect);
(b) Detailed narrative on the their results; SITEC’s investigation efforts and
(c) Enumeration and evaluation of evidence;
(d) Findings;
(e) Conclusion;
(f) Recommendation; and
(g) Annexes of pertinent documents.

In case the SITEC recommends the filing of charges, the Investigation Report shall likewise be accompanied by a copy of the corresponding Indorsement to the prosecution office for preliminary investigation.

Section 31. Extension of Investigation Period. If, on account of difficulty in the identification of the person/s responsible for the crime, or in seeking the cooperation of the victim or the witnesses to the crime, the SITEC cannot submit the Investigation Report within a period of thirty (30) days, the SOT for new/existing cases may, upon prior written request from the SITEC, extend the investigation period for another thirty (30) days.

Section 32. Deliberations and Action of SOT for New and Existing Cases. The deliberations and action of the SOT shall be undertaken pursuant to Art III (B) hereof.

Section 33 . Filing and Indorsement of AO 35 Case. The filing and Indorsement of an existing or current case shall be undertaken pursuant to Art III (B) hereof.

Section 34. Closed Cases Not To Be Delisted. Whenever the IAC resolves to close a case due to the impossibility of obtaining sufficient evidence to move it forward, the same shall not be delisted from the inventory of alleged AO 35 cases.

Section 35. Continued Monitoring and Reporting. Notwithstanding the referral of the case to the prosecution office, the SITEC shall continue to convene for the purpose of evaluating and gathering of additional evidence necessary to further strengthen the case.

The SITEC shall likewise continue to monitor and periodically report the progress of the preliminary investigation to the IAC Secretariat.

Section 36. Inquest of AO 35 Cases. Whether or not the SITEC has been convened prior to an inquest, the action of the AO 35 investigator or AO 35 prosecutor shall be made in pursuant to Article III (B) and Article IV hereof.

ARTICLE IV
INQUEST

Section 1. When Commenced. The inquest proceedings shall be considered commenced upon receipt by the inquest prosecutor of the following:

(a) Affidavit of Arrest duly subscribed and sworn to before him by the arresting officers;
(b) Investigation Report;
(c) Sworn Statements of the complainants and their witnesses; and
(d) Other supporting evidence gathered by the law enforcement agency in the course of their investigation of the criminal incident involving the arrested person.

Section 2. Determination of Propriety of Arrest. During the inquest proceedings, the inquest prosecutor shall first determine if the arrest of the detained person was made in accordance with the provisions of Section 5, sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rules) and other applicable jurisprudence.

Should the inquest prosecutor find that the arrest was not made in accordance with the aforesaid Rule, he or she shall do the following, to wit:

(a) Recommend the release of the person arrested or detained;
(b) Prepare a resolution indicating the reason for the action taken; and
(c) Forward the same, together with the records of the case to the Office of the Prosecutor General, or the City/Provincial Prosecutor for appropriate action.

When the recommendation for the release of the arrested person is approved but the evidence on hand warrants the conduct of a regular preliminary investigation, the inquest prosecutor shall:
(a) Serve the Order of release on the law enforcement officer concerned having custody of the arrested person; and
(b) Serve upon the arrested person the subpoena or notice of preliminary investigation, together with the copies of the charge sheet or complaint, sworn statements of witnesses and other supporting evidence.
If, on the other hand, the inquest prosecutor finds that the arrest was done in accordance with the Rules, he or she shall ask the arrested person if the latter desires to avail of a preliminary investigation. If he or she does, the consequences thereof must be explained to him or her in a
language or dialect known to him or her.

Section 3. Additional Duty of Inquest/Investigating Prosecutor When the Person Delivered is a Victim of Enforced Disappearance. Any inquest or investigating prosecutor who learns that the person delivered for inquest or preliminary investigation is a victim or a probable victim of enforced or involuntary disappearance shall have the duty to immediately disclose the probable victim’s whereabouts to his or her immediate family, relatives, lawyer/s or to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or any human rights organization such as but not limited to FIND (Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance) and Desaparecidos (Families of Desaparecidos for Justice), by the most expedient means through any of the following
modalities, including but not limited to:

(a) Telephone;
(b) SMS; or
(c) Electronic mail.

The inquest or investigating prosecutor shall inquire from the person presented for inquest or preliminary investigation whether or not the respondent’s immediate family or relatives, lawyer, the CHR or any human rights organization, have been informed of the respondent’s arrest and/or detention, including his or her whereabouts; and if so, the details or particulars of such communication as regards to name/s of person/s communicated to, their contact details, and the time of communication.

If the respondent is accompanied by his or her family or relatives, lawyer, or other persons other than the arresting officers, the prosecutor shall likewise verify from the said companion/s the time or particulars of the communication with the respondent.

The prosecutor shall include in the minutes of proceedings the facts and details of communication to the respondent’s family, relatives, the CHR and/or other human rights organizations, and require the said respondent, as well as his or her companion and the arresting officers, to sign thereon.

The DOJ shall ensure that a list of updated contact details of concerned CHR Offices, FIND, Desaparecidos, and other human rights organizations shall be available at all times to prosecutors.

Section 4. Waiver of the Provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). The arrested person, with the assistance of counsel of his own choice, shall then be made to execute a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

In the event that the arrested person does not have a counsel to assist him or her, the inquest prosecutor shall coordinate with the Public Attorney’s Offlde in his or her area in order to ensure that the rights of the person arrested are amply protected.

If the arrested person refuses to execute a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the RPC, the inquest prosecutor shall immediate proceed to resolve the case on the basis of the evidence presented by the complainant or law enforcement agency.

If on the other hand, the arrested person executes the waiver, the preliminary investigation shall continue and be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its inception.

Section 5. Counter-Affidavit. The arrested person shall be required to file his or her counter affidavit and the affidavit of his or her witnesses within a period of ten (io) days from receipt of the complaint sheet and its attachments from the inquest prosecutor.

Immediately thereafter, the inquest prosecutor shall proceed to resolve the case. No Reply or Rejoinder shall be allowed and neither shall motions for extension be entertained.

Section 6. Discussion of Nature of Case. In preparing the resolution, the inquest prosecutor shall state that the same is an A035 case and provide the appropriate discussions therefor. The recommendation of the inquest prosecutor shall be submitted to the Prosecutor General, or the City or Provincial Prosecutor within three (3) days from the time it was submitted for resolution. If the inquest prosecutor finds that probable cause exists, he or she shall, in addition to
the preparation of the resolution, shall also prepare the corresponding Information and submit the same to the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor for approval.

ARTICLE V
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

Section 1. Subpoena and Counter-Affidavit Upon receipt of the complaint, the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor shall immediately assign the complaint to an investigating prosecutor, who shall issue subpoena within two (2) days from his/her receipt of the assigned case and require the respondent/s to submit their counter- affidavit within ten (in) days from receipt thereof.

To obviate requests for extension to file counter-affidavit, the investigating prosecutor shall ensure that copies of the complaint and all attachments are attached to the subpoena, and that the same are personally served by the process server or by the law enforcement unit handled the investigation upon the respondent/s.

Section 2. Duration of Preliminary Investigation. The investigating prosecutor shall terminate the preliminary investigation within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the complaint. No Reply or Rejoinder shall be entertained, nor motions for extensions be allowed.

Section 3. Submission of Resolution and Information. The investigating prosecutor shall submit the resolution for the approval of the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor within five (5) days from the time the case is submitted for resolution.

If the resolution contains a finding of probable cause, then the investigating prosecutor shall likewise prepare the corresponding Information and submit the same to the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor for approval.

The Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor shall act on the recommendation of the investigating prosecutor within two (2) days from receipt of the same.

Section 4. Transmittal of Information to Court. Once the resolution finding probable cause is approved by the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor, the transmittal to the appropriate Office of the Clerk of Court shall state that the case involves an extra-legal killing, enforced or involuntary disappearance, torture, or other grave human rights violation as the case maybe.

If the case involves an extra-legal killing, the transmittal should invoke Administrative Order No. 25-2007 of the Supreme Court in order for the case to be raffled to any of the designated special courts.

Section 5. Report to IAC Secretariat. The AO 35 prosecutor shall prepare monthly reports to the IAC Secretariat on the efforts of the SITN and the status, progress and challenges of the case during preliminary investigation.

ARTICLE VI
TRIAL

Section 1. Coordination Among the Trial Prosecutor, the A035 Prosecutor, and AO 35 Investigator. Once a case involving extra-legal killing, enforced or involuntary disappearance, torture or grave human rights violation, is raffled to the proper court, the trial prosecutor shall immediately coordinate with the Special Investigation Team which investigated and built-up the case. He or she shall also submit a report of the fact of raffle to the IAC Secretariat, furnishing
copies thereof to the City or Provincial Prosecutor.

Periodic reports shall also be submitted to the above-mentioned officials informing them of the status and progress of the case.

Section 2. Creation of Panel of Prosecutors. As far as practicable, the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor shall create a special panel of prosecutors composed of the A035 prosecutor, investigating prosecutor and trial prosecutor for the purpose of handling the actual prosecution of the A035 Case.

In such cases, the JAC Secretariat shall be furnished with copies of the Office Orders creating special prosecution panels.

Section 3. Pre-Trial and Trial. In the course of the pre-trial and trial, the panel of prosecutors or the trial prosecutor shall ensure that:

(a) A pre-trial brief containing the following is preferred:
i. Brief summary of facts;
ii. Applicable laws and jurisprudence;
iii. Proposals for stipulation and requests for admission;
iv. List of witnesses and synopsis of their respective testimonies;
v. List of exhibits; and
vi. Proposed schedule for the presentation of prosecution witnesses.

(b) The case conferences are conducted with the AO 35 prosecutor, the A035 investigator, and the prosecution witnesses at least three (3) days before the scheduled trial date; and

(c) At least two (2) prosecution witnesses are available every scheduled hearing date.

Section 4. Plea Bargaining. No plea bargaining shall be allowed without the prior written consent or authority of the IAC.

Section 5. Duration of Trial. The panel of prosecutors should ensure that the presentation of evidence for both the prosecution and the defense shall as far as practicable be terminated within sixty (60) days.

Section 6. Report to IAC Secretariat. The AO 35 prosecutor shall prepare monthly reports to the IAC Secretariat on the efforts of the Special Investigation Team and the status, progress and challenges of the case during trial.

Section 7. Supervision and Reporting by SOT. The SOT shall have the authority to supervise the Special Investigation Teams in the handling and management of all AO 35 cases on trial to include recommendation of trial strategies, review of court pleadings, attendance in court trials, monitoring of case development and conduct of case conferencing.

The SOT shall report to the IAC every month on the status of all cases it is monitoring.

ARTICLE VII
A.O. 35 STRUCTURES

A. Inter-Agency Committee (IAC)

Section 1. Composition: – The IAC shall refer to the high- level policy-making and oversight body tasked to monitor and ensure the speedy resolution of AO 35 cases which shall be headed by the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the Chairperson.

The members of the IAC shall be the following:

(a) Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG);
(b) Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND);
(c) Chairperson of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC);
(d) Presidential Adviser on Peace Processes (PAPP);
(e) Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs (PAPA);
(f) Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP);
(g) Director General of the Philippine National Police (PNP); and
(h) Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The Committee shall invite the Chairperson of the CHR and the Ombudsman as observers and resource persons of the Committee.

The above members of the IAC may designate their representatives to the Committee, who shall have the rank not lower than Assistant Secretary, or General and Chief Superintendent in the case of the AFP and the PNP.

Section 2. Functions – The IAC shall direct the policy – formulation and implementation with regard to the investigation and prosecution of cases involving an A035 case. As such it shall have the following functions:

(a) To develop a mechanism for the unification and inventory of all cases of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of human rights, committed by both State and Non-State Agents from all government as well as non-government sources, to include independent and non-partisan international and national human rights organizations;

(b) To create special oversight teams for unsolved, new and existing cases that will supervise the investigations of AO 35 cases;
(c) To create or revise the composition of special investigation teams for unsolved, new and existing cases that will supervise, monitor and/or coordinate actual investigations of AO 35 cases until its final resolution;

(d) To create, upon the recommendation of any AO 35 structure or JAC member, Special Tracker Teams, or to direct existing tracker teams from law enforcement agencies, or a
combination thereof, to operate under the ambit of AO 35, specifically to locate and effect the arrest of the accused in AO 35 cases in order to undergo trial;

(e) To monitor the development of cases under investigation, preliminary investigation and trial through the duly designated special oversight teams and adopt, modify, or otherwise overturn the recommendations of the same;

(f) To cause, in the exercise of their oversight functions, the administrative investigation of the officers mentioned in Section 1 above for alleged violations or administrative offenses in connection with the implementation of these Guidelines and pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and other pertinent administrative discipline policies of concerned agencies;

(g) To engage and liaise with the Supreme Court (SC), through the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), to raise the Judiciary’s awareness on Administrative Order No. 35 cases
and the efforts of AO 35 structures to ensure the successful prosecution and speedy disposition thereof.
(h) To develop and support programs that will enhance and strengthen relations of the IAC and its member-agencies with domestic and international stakeholders such as, but not limited to, International Organizations, Non- Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations;

(i) To report to the President, every six months, on the inventory of cases, describing the accomplishment and progress made for each case, or the problems and obstacles encountered, highlighting problematic high profile cases; and

(j) To present recommendations for any additional action that may be taken by the President requiring coordination on a common course of action with the CHR, the Ombudsman,
Congress and the Judiciary.

Section 3. Meetings – The IAC shall meet every second Tuesday of the month or as may be requested by the chairperson on matters of policy coordination or cases which may require high-level discussion of principals.

Section 4. Quorum – A majority of the member agencies of the IAC shall constitute a quorum.

B. Special Oversight Team

Section 5. Composition – There shall be an SOT for unsolved cases and an SOT for new/existing cases.

Each SOT shall be composed of five (5) members with a prosecutor and one investigator each from the PNP and the NBI, all of which must have at least ten (10) years of experience. The two (2) remaining members shall be another prosecutor and a PNP investigator, both of whom with at least five (5) years of experience.
The most senior prosecutor shall be the head of the SOT.

Section 6. Functions- The SOT shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) To approve requests for extension of reinvestigation and case build-up;
(b) To recommend to the IAC that a case be filed with the appropriate prosecution office, or that the case be reinvestigated, or that the case he closed; and
(c) To supervise the SIT in the handling and management of all AO 35 cases on trial for new and existing cases pursuant to Section 7 of Article VI.

Section 7. Meetings – Both SOTs shall have separate regular meetings at least once a month. The IAC or the Chairperson of the Committee may, however, convene any of the SOT at any time.

C. Special Tracker Teams (STT)

Section 8. Composition – Special Tracker Team(s) shall be composed of personnel from the PNP, the NBI, the PNP Special Investigation Task Group (SITG)/Task Force/Task Group, or from other law enforcement agencies of the government ordered by competent authorities, or a
combination of any of the foregoing, created to effect the arrest of the accused in AO 35 cases.

Personnel from the AFP or other security forces of the government may be directed to complement the Special Tracker Teams created, especially if the accused to be arrested is from the agency concerned.

Section 9. Functions – Special Tracker Team(s) shall have the following functions:
(a) Submit an Operational Plan to the TWG;
(b) Conduct manhunt operations to locate the accused in AO 35 cases;
(c) Effect the arrest of the accused in AO 35 cases;
(d) Immediately return the Warrant of Arrest to the issuing court; and
{e) Deliver the arrested person/s to a lawful detention facility in accordance with the order of the court.

The tracker teams shall ensure that arrested persons shall be afforded their constitutional or statutory rights under Republic Act No. 7438, Republic Act No. 9745, Republic Act No. 10353 and all other applicable laws during their arrest and detention and also during the conduct of
their physical/psychological examinations.

Section 10. Reporting Functions —Tracker Teams shall submit, by any expeditious means, its report on the progress of its efforts to the SOT at least twice a month.

Section 11. Dissolution— Tracker Teams may be dissolved upon compliance of their functions or upon order of the JAC.
D. Technical Working Group (TWG)

Section 12. Composition – There is hereby created the Technical Working Group (TWG) which shall be composed of representatives from IAC member-agencies.

Section 13. Functions – The TWG shall have the following powers
and functions:
(a) To process unsolved cases for the consideration of the IAC;

(b) To ensure the effective and efficient implementation of A.O. 35 and the continuous and periodic evaluation thereof;

(c) To report and recommend to the JAC the administrative investigation of the officers mentioned in Section 1 above for alleged violations or administrative offenses in connection with the implementation of these Guidelines and pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and other pertinent administrative policies of concerned agencies;

(d) To formulate and monitor plans, projects and activities of A.O. No. 35 structures thereby enabling them to contribute more fruitfully to the objectives of A.O. No. 35;

(e) To undertake and supervise information publication and public relation programs for nationwide dissemination of information regarding the programs/projects of the IAC,
thus drawing more participation in such activities;

(f) To prepare regular reports to the IAC and to the President; and

(g) To recommend policy direction to the IAC.

Section 14. Meetings – The TWG shall hold regular meetings where named members or nominees of JAC member-agencies are enjoined to actively participate.

E. Secretariat

Section 15. Composition – There is hereby the Secretariat which shall be composed of representatives from JAC member-agencies.

Section 16. Functions – The JAG Secretariat shall have the following powers and functions:
(a) To coordinate the business of the JAC, including the preparation of agenda for each meeting, the circulation of papers and the communication and consultation among member-agencies;
(b) To help coordinate the efforts of all other AO 35 structures;
(c) To manage the databank, of AO 35 cases;
(d) To manage the reportorial requirements of all A035 structures, including being the repository and conduit of all reports; and
(e) To provide personnel, legal, budgetary and other services supportive of the functions and activities of the JAC, SOTs and Special Investigation Teams;
Section 17. Meetings – The Secretariat shall hold regular meetings where named members or nominees of JAC member-agencies are enjoined to actively participate.
Section 18. Administration of the IAC Secretariat – The IAC Secretariat shall be headed by a Chairperson who shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the JAC upon recommendation of the majority of the member-agencies. The Chairperson of the Secretariat shall administer and supervise the internal operations of the Secretariat as well as the implementation of the various programs of the IAC.

ARTICLE VIII
ACCOUNTABILITY

Section 1. Duties – All officers involved in the implementation of A.O. No. 35 are enjoined to faithfully, completely and diligently execute their functions and responsibilities as provided by these Guidelines.
Section 2. Oversight Function of IAC – The JAG, in the exercise of its oversight functions, may cause the administrative investigation of the officers mentioned in Section 1 above for alleged
violations or administrative offenses in connection with the implementation of these Guidelines and pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and other pertinent administrative discipline policies of concerned agencies.

The representative of the concerned IAC member-agency may be the complainant in such administrative investigation which may be filed either before the concerned agency or the Ombudsman.

Section 3. Any administrative investigation, as provided for in the next preceding section, shall not preclude the filing of other actions before other appropriate bodies or tribunals.

ARTICLE IX
COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
(IOs), NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs),
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOs) AND OTHER
STAKEHOLDERS

Section 1. Sharing of Information – The IAC, in pursuance of its adopted communication plan, may share information it deems relevant with IOs, NGO5, CSOs and other stakeholders, provided that the rights of the accused will not be violated or that the disclosure would not interfere with the administration of justice.

Section 2. Engagement with IOs, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders – In pursuit of its mandate, the IAC may seek and accept the assistance of the IOs, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders, among others, in obtaining relevant information, promoting grassroots advocacy and strengthening the capacity of the AO 35 structures. The IAC may make suitable arrangements for consultation with the said parties.

ARTICLE X
FINAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Funding. The initial funding requirements for the implementation of A.O. No. 35 shall be charged against current appropriation of the member-agencies. Thereafter, funding for the succeeding years shall be incorporated in the respective regular appropriations.

Section 2. Separability. If any section of these Guidelines or part thereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

Section 3. Effectivity. These Guidelines shall take effect immediately. The Joint Department Order No. 003-2012 (Operational Guidelines for Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Investigators In Evidence-Gathering Investigation and Case Build; Inquest and Preliminary Investigation; and Trial of Cases of Political-Activist and Media Killings) and internal rules of procedure of the PNP, NBI and the NPS shall be supplemental to this Operational Guidelines.

Adopted and signed by the Inter-Agency Committee, this 18th day of April, 2013.
SEC. LEILA M. DE LIMA
Department of Justice
IAC CHAIR
SEC. TERESITA QIJINTOS-
DELES
Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process
Member

SEC. VOLTAIRE T. GAZMIN
Department of National Defense
Member
USEC. RAFAEL ANTONIO
SANTOS
Department of the Interior and
Local Government
Member

USEC. JOSE LUIS MARTIN
GASCON
Office of the presidential Adviser
on Political Affairs (OPAPA)
Member
P/CSUPT. NESTOR M. FAJURA
Philippine National Police
Member
USEC. SEVERO S. CATURA
Presidential Human Rights
Committee
Member
GEN. EMMANUEL T. BAUTISTA
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Member
DIR. NONNATUS CAESAR R.
ROJAS
National Bureau of Investigation
Member
Witnesses:
CHAIRPERSON LORETTA ANN
P. ROSALES
Commission on Human Rights
Observer
ASST. OMBUDSMAN EVELYN A.
BALITON
Office of the Ombudsman
Observer

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.

wk of disappeared copy

[From the web] DND-DILG hit list legitimizes rights violation vs 60-year old peasant organizer -KARAPATAN

DND-DILG hit list legitimizes rights violation vs 60-year old peasant organizer
May 11, 2013

karapatan_logo4

Karapatan deplored the enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention of Estelita T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant organizer and rural health worker in Misamis Oriental, as a “recent case of rights violation legitimized by the Joint Order No. 14-2012 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense.”

The DND-DILG Joint Order No. 14-2012 reportedly contains an updated list of alleged wanted Communist leaders and allocates PhP 466,088,000.00 as reward money for their capture.

Secretary general of Karapatan, Cristina Palabay, said Tacalan was reported missing by its Northern Mindanao chapter since April 27. On May 7 Karapatan and Tacalan’s family received information from an ABS-CBN reporter that confirmed the arrest of Tacalan through Supt. Cholijun Caduyac, Assistant Regional Chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 10. Caduyac reportedly said Tacalan was arrested and detained based on a warrant of arrest for murder and arson charges. The CIDG claimed that Tacalan is among the list of wanted persons of the DND.

Read full article @www.karapatan.org

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[In the news] ‘DENIAL KINGS’ | Rights group scoffs at AFP disavowal of Order of Battle -InterAksyon.com

‘DENIAL KINGS’ | Rights group scoffs at AFP disavowal of Order of Battle
By InterAksyon.com
December 24, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – The denial by the military and the government of the existence of an “Order of Battle” with names of alleged enemies of the state has come under fire from rights groups, who described the denial as a disservice in the wake of the passage of Asia’s first measure outlawing enforced disappearances.

The long series of enforced disappearances precisely stemmed from the existence of such a list, as the “OB” has been taken as license by some men in uniform to seize persons on the list in order to neutralize the insurgency, Karapatan said.

“It seems that acts of denial are usual responses of the Aquino government and the AFP, when confronted with questions on their accountability for human rights violations. Mga denial kings ang mga nasa Malacanang at AFP! The lies that they have sown through their counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan are now being exposed,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general.

Karapatan noted the practice of the Aquino government in “continuing” such policy through the reported Joint Order 14-2012 of the Department of National Defense and the Department of Interior and Local Government, which contains an alleged list of leaders of the communist movement whose bounties for arrests amount to P466million.

“Such order, which was not even made public, is a dangerous and malicious perpetuation of the OB list as it becomes a hit list of personalities/individuals who may be persecuted, filed with trumped-up charges or killed,” commented Palabay.

Read full article @ interaksyon.com

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.

[Press Release] Justice for Jordan Manda is justice to all Lumads, Amnesty International said in commemoration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month

Justice for Jordan Manda is justice to all Lumads, Amnesty International said in commemoration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month

Today, in commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples Month, Amnesty International Philippines stands by indigenous peoples (IP) leaders and community members in their call for justice to the continuing attacks and killings against indigenous peoples specially in pursuit of their struggle for self determination and in defense of their territories against extractive corporations. Amnesty International members in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Pagadian and Zambonga along with IP leaders from Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur and Agusan del Sur held simultaneous press conferences in their respective areas.

“Pursuit for profits in today’s corporate led globalization has led to greater demand for mineral and other natural resources resulting in global land and resource grabs specially in indigenous peoples territories. This situation has led to indigenous peoples communities, specially their leaders, to heightened advocacy and activism in defense of their land, resources, culture, identity and self-determination. It is in this situation of indigenous peoples resistance and activism where IP leaders and human rights defenders get targeted for harassments, unlawful arrests, enforced disappearances and even killings ” said Ritz Lee Santos III, Chairperson of Amnesty International Philippines at the press conference held in Davao City.

Amnesty International is concerned about the enormous impact of extractive corporations on the rights of indigenous peoples and their communities. Amnesty International also emphasized the Philippine Government’s responsibility to protect IP’s ancestral lands from corporate exploitation and fully enforce domestic regulations and mechanisms for redress against the devastating effect mining activities have on the indigenous peoples, their lands and lives.

“Amnesty International recognizes that indigenous peoples rights have been recognized in international and national laws during the recent years however, widespread violations of IP rights still occur due to continued discrimination, conflicting state policies and programs, and the entry of corporations to ancestral domains” explained Rodolfo Francis Marcial, Amnesty International Philippines Board Member in the press conference in Zamboanga City.

In the Philippines, Amnesty International is witness to continuing harassments, extra-judicial killings and forced disappearance perpetrated against IP human rights defenders in their struggle to protect IP territories from plantations, mining, logging and energy projects of companies whether foreign or local.

“As seen in the cases of the disappearance of James Balao in the Cordillera, the ambush of Timuay Lucenio Manda in the Zamboanga Peninsula which resulted in the death of his son Jordan, and the recent news in Misamis Oriental of the killing of IP organization leader Gilbert Paborado – IP leaders and human rights defenders continue to be targeted for attacks. We call on the Aquino government to protect indigenous peoples leaders and rights defenders at grave risk to attacks and violations, and work to provide justice for all victims of violations of indigenous peoples rights.“ reiterated Romel Cardenas De Vera, Amnesty International Philippine Human Rights Officer at the press conference in Cagayan de Oro City.

“Despite this so called“progress” over the last decade on indigenous peoples rights, we continue to live in hardship and danger due to the failure of the government to protect, promote and uphold ourhuman rights,” added Victoria Cajandig, Amnesty International Philippine Board Member and member of the Subanen Tribe, in the press conference held in Pagadian City.

“P-Noy must direct the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate any cases of EJK, forced disappearance and harassment in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. The DILG must work with the Commission on Human Rights Regional Offices to conduct investigations on the reported threats, as well as attempted and actual attacks against IP HR Defenders,” stressed Cajandig.

Amnesty International explains further that indigenous peoples will continue to be uprooted from their lands and territories as a consequence of discriminatory government policies and practices. Social marginalization and legal discrimination place IPs at risk of a wide range of human rights violations.

“It is about time that the Lumad’s struggle for their rights and lands become visible in the eyes of the government and local authorities. The scale and inter-sectional nature of human rights abuses and violations that the IPs experience in the hands of corporations of extractive industries particularly logging and mining companies in Mindanao only further substantiates that in the Philippines, the vulnerable and the marginalized sectors are not prioritized. As the government and the MILF formalize the framework agreement for the Bangsamoro, we, at Amnesty International Philippines, urge that the Lumads’ concerns are included, gearing towards the end to abuses and violations against indigenous peoples land within the Bangsamoro territory,” concluded Santos.

Amnesty International Philippines
Press Release
15 October 2012

http://amnesty.org.ph/news.php?item=news&id=276

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[In the news] Lawyers, bloggers urge takedown of Cybercrime Law -GMANews.com

Lawyers, bloggers urge takedown of Cybercrime Law
SHAIRA PANELA, GMA NEWS
September 26, 2012

With one of the biggest and most active online communities in the world, the Philippines stands much to gain —or lose— from the enactment and implementation of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act (RA 10175), which was signed into law last September 12.

International social media research group Socialbakers ranked the Philippines as the eigth largest country in the world in terms of number of Facebook users, with more than 29 million Pinoys on the social network. The country is also the tenth largest nation on Twitter, with over 9.5 million users.

It is in this context a petition for certiorari and prohibition was filed before the Supreme Court on September 25 by lawyers Jose Jesus “JJ” Disini, Jr., Rowena S. Disini, and Liane Ivy P. Medina; and bloggers Ernesto Sonido Jr. and Janette Toral.

According to the petitioners, the Cybercrime Act violates Constitutional provisions on the “freedom of expression, due process, equal protection, privacy of communications, double jeopardy, and right against unreasonable searches and seizure.”

The respondents included the secretaries of Justice and of the Interior and Local Government; the executive director of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO); the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP); and the director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

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[Press Release] Amnesty International called on PNOy and new DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to investigate the killings of Indigenous Peoples in Zamboanga

Amnesty International called on PNOy and new DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to investigate the killings of Indigenous Peoples in Zamboanga

Amnesty International Philippines called on President Aquino and newly appointed DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to investigate the killing of 11 year old, Jordan Manda, eldest son of Timuay Lucenio Manda, a Subanen tribe chieftain in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, also wounded during an ambush attack by unidentified assailants early today, 4 September 2012.

“The killing of Jordan Manda and wounding of Timuay Lucenio Manda must be rigorously investigated so that the perpetrators of the crime will be brought to justice. The killing of Jordan Manda, groomed to be a next Timuay, is a painful reminder that Indigenous Peoples are not protected. Timuay Manda’s care for the Subanen’s ancestral domain and his position for a moratorium on mining concessions in Bayog might have led to the attack on him and his son. His family has continuously experienced violence even before the assassination of his cousin, Timuay Giovanni Umbang Manda ten years earlier. This is grave proof that the indigenous peoples rights have been left behind not only by the Aquino government but in the previous Arroyo administration. The lumads have been invisible in the eyes of the government and local authorities despite human rights abuses they experience in defense of their lands,” said Dr. Aurora Parong, Director of Amnesty International Philippines.

According to reports, the Subanen leader, also a member Amnesty International Philippines, was ambushed on his way to take his son to school. Unidentified assailants fired at the leader and led to the death of his son.

“Amnesty International supports Timuay Manda in calling for justice for his son and his people. He is highly involved in efforts against the destruction of their ancestral lands by logging and mining and has been working for the cooperation among Subanens in the Central Zamboanga Peninsula to protect their remaining contiguous ancestral domain. Together with other concerned groups, he joined the filing of a petition for the Writ of Kalikasan to protect the Pinukis Range Forest, among the last untouched forest region in the Zamboanga Peninsula which is unfortunately included in the mining claims of several companies. Mt. Pinukis is considered by the Subanen people of Zamboanga Peninsula as among their Sacred Mountains,” added Dr. Parong.

Reports of harassments allegedly by personnel of Toronto Ventures Inc. Resource Development (TVIRD) have been recorded in July. It was reported by the police that Wilbert Catampungan was fatally wounded by gun fires coming from TVIRD blue guards. TVIRD arrived on site in 2006 and has been exploring the area for a project of gold and silver extraction and allegedly resorts to various forms of violence against other small-scale IP miners established in the domain.

“Less than a month after the International day for Indigenous Peoples, a lumad boy is killed. Amnesty International Philippines is deeply concerned on reports that the local police do not act even when the Subanens seek for protection from multiple threats coming from the armed guards of the mining company. The killings in Bayog, and other parts affected by mining conflicts, must stop now! An immediate impartial investigation is urgently needed,” said Dr. Parong.

Amnesty International urges the government, especially the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and more importantly the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Amnesty International calls on DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to lead the DILG including the police forces to stop the culture of impunity – the LGU and local police must address threats on the safety of IPs in mining-affected areas. The DILG must work with the Commission on Human Rights to conduct investigations on the reported extra-judicial killings and harassments. We call on President Benigno Aquino to pay attention to the resolution of the 36 killings of IP human rights defenders in his term as reported by CHR Pagadian. The Indigenous Peoples’ future depend on genuine efforts and concrete actions by the government to fulfill their duties in holding mining corporations accountable for any human rights abuses against the indigenous peoples or anyone. Respect and protect IP right must come first! People before profit!” Dr. Parong concluded.

Maria Edilyd P. Orias
Program Coordinator
Media Communication and Publications
+63 917 885 8634

http://www.amnesty.org.ph/news.php?item=news&id=268

Amnesty International Philippines
Press Release

4 September 2012

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[Press Release] Death of Sec. Robredo a big loss to urban poor cause – Kilos Maralita

Death of Sec. Robredo a big loss to urban poor cause – Kilos Maralita

Urban poor groups will be missing a man who stirred the process of involving grassroots organizations in the formulation of a more humane policy in addressing the housing problems of informal settlers. The death Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary (DILG) Secretary Jessie Robredo, the groups said, is a big loss to the cause of the urban poor.

As DILG Secretary, Robredo also heads the inter-agency Technical Working Group created by President Aquino in 2010 tasked to formulate recommendations on how to address problems of the urban poor sector. With participation of Kilos Maralita and other urban poor groups, the TWG was able to formulate a new housing policy contained in a memorandum submitted to the President on March 15, 2011.

Said memorandum covers proposals for on-site/in-city relocation with people’s participation as a major element in formulating concrete
proposals for socialized housing projects. Unfortunately said memo has not yet been approved by Malacanang.

“Kumpara sa nakaraan, kakaiba ang naging karanasan ng maralita sa pamumuno ni Sec. Robredo. Nasa kanya ang senseridad at matibay na
paninindigan na malutas ang problema sa pabahay ng mga maralita sa mas makatao at maayos na paraan. Kaya naman napakataas ng respeto ng mga maralita sa kanya,” stated Kilos Maralita spokesperson Teody Gacer.

Kilos Maralita joined the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the Caritas of Novaliches and other informal settlers in the 5:00 pm mass offering held at the St. Parish Cathedral in Commonwealth Quezon City.

Kilos Maralita and the Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) opted to engage the TWG when it was formed on the ground that a new housing policy must depart from the previous policy of off-site relocation that denies informal settlers the right to the city.

At the moment and before the flooding and the untimely death of Sec. Robredo, urban poor groups under Kilos Maralita were in the thick of
preparing people’s proposals for in-city relocations of informal settler families living in the danger zones.

“Nakakapanghinayang lang na nawala si Sec. Robredo sa panahong ang proseso sa paglutas sa problema sa pabahay ng maralita ay umaandar na sa tamang direksyon”, added Gacer.

Gacer said urban poor groups do not want to see the TWG–led process stalled with the absence of Robredo. They appealed to the President
to assure the continuity of this process by approving the March 15 TWG recommendations and by assigning a likely-minded official in charge of the urban poor.

PRESS RELEASE
Kilos Maralita
21 August 2012
Contact: Bubuy Magahis
Coordinator, Kilos Maralita
09228877634

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[Event] Basta Run Against Torture! -UATC

WHAT: Basta Run Against Torture (BRAT 6)

WHEN: June 26, 2012 (Tuesday)

Assembly: 5:00 a.m.

Run Starts at 5:30 a.m.

WHERE: Assembly @ DILG

Stops 1. Quezon City Jail

2. Camp Crame

3. Camp Aguinaldo

WHO:  Members of the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), CHRP, PHRC, PNP-HRO, AFP-HRAO, BJMP and many more

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[In the news] Robredo: No more cops at demolitions -PhilStar.com

Robredo: No more cops at demolitions
By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine
April 30, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – After the violent demolition at the Silverio Compound in Paranaque City last week, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Robredo ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to refrain from extending police assistance to any demolition, pending a review of the law on informal settlers.

Robredo admitted that as DILG chief, he cannot stop any court from issuing demolition or eviction orders of informal settlers but he has the power to give orders to personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“For the meantime, I ordered NCRPO chief Director Alan Purisima not to extend any police assistance to plan demolition while a review on policy and law on demolition are being reviewed,” he said.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

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[In the news] Demolisyon ng mga bahay sa Metro Manila, ipinatigil muna ni Robredo -GMA News

Demolisyon ng mga bahay sa Metro Manila, ipinatigil muna ni Robredo.

April 28, 2012

Nagpatupad ng pansamantalang moratorium nitong Biyernes si Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo sa paggiba ng mga bahay ng mga informal settler sa Metro Manila.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ng kalihim na mananatili ang moratorium habang isinasagawa ang pagrebisa sa lahat ng patakaran ng mga kinauukulang ahensiya na may kinalaman sa demolisyon kasama na ang Philippine National Police at local government units (LGUs).

Matapos ang isasagawang pagrepaso, kailangang magkaroon ng a “pre-demolition meeting” ang PNP, LGUs, National Housing Authority, mga may-ari ng gigibaing bahay, at iba pang stakeholders bago ipatupad ang anumang kautusan ng korte.

Ang kautusan ay ipinalabas ni Robredo upang maiwasan umano na maulit ang marahas na demolisyon na naganap sa Silverio compound sa Paranaque City nitong Lunes.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

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[Press Release] Tucuma residents ask Robredo to intervene for expropriation of disputed land

Tucuma residents ask Robredo to intervene for expropriation of disputed land

A delegation of leaders from the Tucuma community in Barangay Merville in Parañaque staged a rally at the DILG head office and sought a dialogue with Secretary Jesse Robredo. A DILG official named Clarion Paz-Tanghal met with the Tucuma leaders and received the letter on behalf of Sec. Robredo. Ramil Asturias, Tucuma Federation president, said that “We asked Sec. Robredo to intervene and persuade Mayor Florencio Bernabe to stay the implementation of the demolition order and refile expropriation proceedings. It is not true that Mayor Bernabe’s hands are tied. The expropriation case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the city hall can refile it once more. All it takes is political will.”

The Tucuma Federation leaders held the protest and then dialogue with Paz-Tanghal at around 10:00 a.m. in Quezon City in order to prevent another bloody eviction similar to the demolition at the Silverio Compound last Monday.

“We explained to the DILG that Mayor Bernabe is not powerless to do anything except demolish our homes. The local government’s expropriation case was dismissed without prejudice by the courts. This means that all Mayor Bernabe has to do is to refile the expropriation case against the Molave Development Corp which is headed by a certain Cynthia Tinitigan,” Asturias explained.

The Tucuma Federation is banking on City Ordinance 0013 s. 2000 which mandates the local government to buy the disputed land measuring some one hectare for the purpose of a socialized housing project for the informal settlers. Meanwhile some 1,000 families in Tucuma are on a 24/7 alert to defend their homes and livelihood against the expected demolition attempt.

Renato Magtubo, chairperson of the Partido ng Manggagawa, declared its support for the Tucuma Federation. He said “Tucuma’s fight is the fight of all. Decent housing is a right not a privilege of all Filipinos. Violent evictions must be prohibited. Land disputes must be resolved through negotiations without the threat of violence, deceit or bribery. Residents must be relocated to better living conditions to ensure that negotiations end peacefully in agreement.

He revealed that one of the demands to be raised in the coming May Day rally of workers is a moratorium on demolitions. A long march or “Lakbayan” of informal settlers and community youth from Calabarzon will start on April 30 and merge with the May Day rally. The Lakbayan will banner the call “Stop demolitions. Housing for all.” ###

——————————————————————————

Mga residente ng Tucuma magsusumbong kay Sec. Robredo sa planong demolisyon ni Mayor Bernabe

Isang delegasyon ng mga lider mula sa komunidad ng Tucuma sa Barangay Merville sa Parañaque ang magtutungo ngayong umaga sa opisina ni DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo upang idulog ang kanilang kahilingang huwag ituloy ang demolisyon sa kanilang mga tahanan. “Kami ay umaapela kay Sec. Robredo na makialam at itulak si Mayor Bernabe na huwag ituloy ang demolisyon at sa halip ay ipatupad ng local government ang expropriation ng lupang tinitirikan ng aming mga bahay,” ani Ramil Asturias, presidente ng Tucuma Federation.

Magrarali ang mga lider ng Tucuma Federation sa pambansang opisina ng DILG mamayang 10:00 n.u. at makikipagdayalogo kay Robredo upang maiwasan ang madugong ebiksyon gaya ng naganap sa Silverio Compound noong Lunes.

“Ipapaliwanag namin kay Sec. Robredo na di totoong walang magagawa si Mayor Bernabe. Ang sinabi ni Mayor na natalong kaso ay dismissal without prejudice ng expropriation case. Ibig sabihin, ang kailangan lang gawin ni Mayor ay muling isampa ang expropriation proceeding,” diin ni Asturias.

Pinanghahawakan ng Tucuma Federation ang City Ordinance 0013 s. 2000 na nagsasaad na bibilhin ng local government ang humigit-kumulang isang ektaryang lupa para maging socialized housing project para sa informal settlers.

Samantala patuloy ang pagbabantay ng isang libong pamilya sa Tucuma sa bantang demolisyon na maaring maganap anumang oras. Nagpahayag sila ng kahandaang ipaglaban ang kanilang paninirahan at hanapbuhay.

Sinusuportahan naman ni Renato Magtubo, tagapangulo ng Partido ng Manggagawa, ang laban ng Tucuma. Aniya “Dapat ipagbawal ang mararahas na demolisyon. Lutasin ang mga usapin sa lupa sa kaparaanan ng negosasyon nang walang karahasan, panunuhol at panloloko. Isa sa hiling namin sa Mayo Uno ay moratorium sa mga demolisyon at pabahay para sa lahat.”

Press Release
April 27, 2011
Tucuma Federation
Contact Ramil Asturias @ 09178092807

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[In the news] Bukidnon, 1st province in PH to comply with mandatory IP representation – NCIP -Bukidnon News

Bukidnon, 1st province in PH to comply with mandatory IP representation – NCIP
By Walter I. Balane, Bukidnon News
March 7, 2012

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/06 March 2012) Bukidnon is becoming the first province in the country to comply with mandatory representation of the indigenous peoples in all levels of local government, a requirement provided by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), Ma. Shirlene Sario, provincial officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) said.

Sario said IP representatives have been selected in all of the province’s 462 barangays, 20 of its 22 towns and cities, and one for the whole province making it the first province to do so in all levels as provided in Section 16 of Republic Act 8371 or the IPRA of 1997.

The NCIP Bukidnon office clarified that the selection of the IP representatives of the municipalities of Kadingilan, Kibawe, and San Fernando “are in progress.”

“It’s our schedule that does not allow us to catch up (with the target),” she added.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has scheduled an oath-taking ceremony of the municipal, city, and provincial level IP representatives Wednesday.

The first mandatory IP representative to the provincial board, Datu Magdaleno Maida Pandian, a Manobo and the municipal tribal chieftain of Maramag town was selected on March 2 during the first assembly of the IP representatives to the municipal and city councils here.

Sario said the selection process was mostly bottoms up, except in two towns where previously their municipal representatives have been selected because their municipal tribal council are active. The NCIP, which assumes a facilitative and documentation role in the selection, has initiated the selection in March 2010.

The national guideline for mandatory representation was issued by NCIP in 2009 but most local government units did not implement it until the Department of Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular 2010-119.

Read full article @ bukidnonews.wordpress.com

[In the news] President Noynoy Aquino names Zamboanga mayor peace council chairman | Sun.Star

President Noynoy Aquino names Zamboanga mayor peace council chairman | Sun.Star.

January 29, 2012

 MAYOR Celso Lobregat was named by President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in Zamboanga Peninsula.

The RPOC is the body that ensures a more comprehensive and effective coordination of government efforts and the active participation of citizenry in the campaign against criminality and insurgency.

Lobregat’s appointment, dated November 28, 2011, was signed by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo by virtue of his authority as the chair of the National Peace and Order Council.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] EDITORIAL – Full disclosure – PhilStar.com

EDITORIAL – Full disclosure
The Philippine Star
January 14, 2012

 Good governance must be felt at the grassroots, so the role of local governments is crucial. When the country is going to the dogs, part of the blame goes to local governments. Through effective governance, local executives can create pockets of prosperity even when other parts of the country are suffering from mismanagement. Local governments play a key role in promoting tourism, business and industrial growth. The competent ones provide decent education and health care to their constituents, and see to it that communities at all income levels are kept clean and relatively safe.

Competent local executives are aware that they are accountable to the people, and have no problem with efforts to promote transparency particularly in their utilization of public funds. The Department of the Interior and Local Government, in an effort to promote transparency, created a so-called Performance Challenge Fund, which is awarded to local government units that perform well. LGUs are also required by law to fully disclose all financial activities to their constituents, with the information posted on websites, displayed on posters in conspicuous spots within the locality, and published in newspapers of general circulation.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news] Probe into Pantukan mayor’s mine ownership pushed – SunStar.com.ph

Probe into Pantukan mayor’s mine ownership pushed
SunStar.com.ph
January 9, 2012

 DAVAO – An independent commission will be created to look into the culpability of Pantukan Mayor Celso Sarenas on the latest landslide in his town and to check if he finances a mine tunnel.

The landslide, which tore through a small-scale gold mining site in Sitio Palo Diat, Barangay Napnapan in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley last January 5, killed more than 30 people and left 44 more missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) advisory said Sunday.

Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy said the commission will be tentatively composed of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Office of Civil Defense, the chairman of the Committee on Environment of the Provincial Board and a non-government organization.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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