Tag Archives: illegal arrest

[From the web] OPINION: Why no one should buy PNP’s claim of “mistaken identity” in journo arrest -ABS-CBN news

There are many what if’s – most of them dreadful – surrounding the Sunday (June 9) arrest of veteran Mindanao journalist and development worker Fidelina Margarita “Gingging” Avellanosa-Valle.

A brief rundown of the case: Shortly past 11 a.m, journalists got an alert posted from Valle’s son, Rius, the Mindanao spokesperson of the Save Our Schools Network. He said police had nabbed his mother at the Laguindingan Airport as she was about to board a plane back to Davao City, after giving a writing workshop in Pagadian City for the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP).

Rius said Margarita, a writer for community and national news outfits and author of books and research papers since the 1980s, had managed to call a religious sister. She identified the arresting officers as members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Mindanews’ Carolyn Arguillas would later quote Sister Mila Gimeno of the Missionaries of the Assumption (MA) recounting Margarita’s message and hearing the journalist arguing for her rights. From the sounds heard in the background, force was used, the nun said.

Read more @news.abs-cbn.com

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[Statement] Immediately release Maritess and Rosario, hold their torturers accountable so that it may not happen again to anyone -TFDP

Immediately release Maritess and Rosario, hold their torturers accountable so that it may not happen again to anyone

Free Lotero and Marquez copyTask Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) calls on the immediate implementation of the Review Resolution issued by the Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and the immediate release of the two Agta women illegally arrested, detained and psychologically tortured by authorities.

All those involved must be held accountable and this practice that violates human rights must be stopped.

TFDP logo small

TFDP pertains to the case of Marites Dela Cruz Marquez (Sierra Madre in Tumbil, Barangay Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon) and Rosario Marquez Loreto (Mataping, Barangay Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon) who were illegally arrested on September 26, 2014 at Barangay Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal Province.

Marites and Rosario were arrested by combined elements of the 59th and 16th Infantry Battalions and local police of Tanay, headed by 2LT Ronnel Avanzado and Chief Insp. Reynaldo Francisco because they were suspected to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), accused of kidnapping, robbery and murder.

According to the DOJ statement posted on their website, “Pursuant to her power to act directly on any matter involving a probable miscarriage of justice within the jurisdiction of prosecutors, and to review the final judgments and orders of prosecutors, a Review Resolution was issued by the Secretary of Justice in connection with the case of two Dumagats who are allegedly detained at Tanay Philippine National Police, Rizal.”

A “Motion to Withdraw Information” was filed in January 26, 2015 by Senior Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Leonardo T. Gonzales, in compliance with Secretary De Lima’s order.

In view of the findings of DOJ, based on the careful review of the evidence on record, it reveals that a procedural flaw violated the sacred rights of Marites and Rosario. The Justice Secretary emphasized in the Review Resolution that “in an inquest proceeding, it is the duty of the prosecutor to, first and foremost, determine the legality of the arrest made.”

DOJ also stated that the arrests of Marites and Rosario were based merely on hearsay information provided by a certain Mr. Delos Angeles. In reviewing the Resolution, the Justice Secretary cited the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of People vs Doria that “if there is no showing that the person who effected the warrantless arrest had, in his own right,knowledge of facts implicating the person arrested to the perpetration of a criminal offense, the arrest is legally objectionable.”

Thus, the need for this injustice and human rights violation against Marites and Rosario be stopped. Immediately release the two IP women and made those involved in the irresponsible and illegal arrest and torture of the two be held accountable.

Base on TFDP documentation besides being illegally arrested and detained, Marites and Rosario also suffered emotional trauma caused by this unfortunate incident. They were deprived of sleep and rest during their interrogation and have feared for their lives.

Their families, including their children and livelihood have been affected severely since they have been illegally detained for more than five months now.

Psychological torture is a crime under RA 9745 or the Anti-torture Act which states that “Mental/Psychological Torture refers to acts committed by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority which are calculated to affect or confuse the mind and/or undermine a person’s dignity and morale..”

There have been many cases of illegal arrests and torture perpetrated against alleged and accused members of rebel groups violating the right to due process and equal protection under the law, victimizing innocent civilians belonging to the marginalized sectors.

There were cases of mistaken identities and many more human rights violations and there were no perpetrators punished.

Let Marites and Rosario be the last victims of this habitual and irresponsible handling of authorities especially the security sectors to cases involving suspected insurgents. Release them and hold all those involved accountable.

(http://opinion.inquirer.net/79521/to-have-peace-there-must-be-justice)

(http://tfdp.net/campaigns/on-political-prisoners/482-urgent-action-philippines-two-civilian-agta-women-arrested-arbitrarily-and-psychologically-tortured-by-police-and-soldiers-)

(http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/665395/doj-finds-arrest-of-women-tribe-members-illegal-orders-reinvestigation)

(http://www.doj.gov.ph/news.html?title=Reinvestigation%20of%20the%20Kidnapping%20Case%20Against%20Two%20Dumagats%20Detained%20at%20Tanay%20PNP%20Rizal%20Ordered&newsid=341)

TFDP STATEMENT
February 11, 2015

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

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

[In the news] Aquino’s disturbing indifference -INQUIRER.net

Aquino’s disturbing indifference.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 20, 2012

We at the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines in the United Kingdom are deeply concerned with the Philippine government’s seeming lack of interest on reported irregularities and rights abuses in the arrest and continued illegal detention of Filipino artist Ericson Acosta.

Acosta was arrested without warrant on Feb. 13, 2011 in San Jorge, Samar, in an upland militarized village where he was conducting research on the local human rights and environmental situation in the region. In his counter-affidavit, Acosta said he stayed in a military camp for three days where he was interrogated and tortured for 44 hours straight. He was charged with illegal possession of explosives to justify his illegal arrest. He is currently detained at the Calbayog sub-provincial jail, where troopers from the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army has camped out within jail premises, thus keeping up the harassment and intimidation that Acosta, his family and visitors have been subjected to.

Acosta has complained about this and appealed his case directly to visiting local officers of the  Commission on Human Rights (PCHR) in the Eastern Visayas. These PCHR officials saw with their own eyes the highly irregular military deployment inside a civilian detention facility. However, the PCHR has not made any report public, and it has neither publicly condemned these rights abuses.

Read full article @ opinion.inquirer.net

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

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Forwarded Urgent Appeal: AHRC-FUA-002-2012

26 January 2012


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PHILIPPINES: More families left homeless after violent demolition in San Juan

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; Inhuman and degrading treatment; Poverty & adequate standard of living
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding this appeal from the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) about the violent demolition of a community of informal settlers resulting to the illegal arrest of 24 people and wounding of 23 others. After the demolition, the affected settlers are now forced to live in alleys.

For more information, please contact: Office address: Rm 702 Culmat Bldg. 126 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City 1102, Philippines; email: pie.ctuhr@gmail.com; Telefax: +63 2 411 0256.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
——————————————

URGENT APPEAL
19 January 2012

More families left homeless after violent demolition in San Juan

Dear friends and partners,

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

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

At present, the displaced families have stayed in an alley near the demolished community as they continue to refuse the assigned relocation site provided by the local government. The residents complain that the relocation site in Rodriguez Rizal is very far from their workplace and from public services like hospitals and schools.

The right to decent housing that is accessible to livelihood and services is part of the economic, social and cultural rights of every individual. It is also integral to every person’s right to life with dignity. The Philippine Government ratified this UN Convention.

Case Summary
(from SAMANA and Karapatan NCR)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around 100 homes were demolished by the demolitin teams.

Those who were wounded were:

1. Reggie Tambong, 25 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
2. Jericho Estones, 15 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
3. Alvin Rosante, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
4. Junar Pableb, 15 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
5. Hector Bensa, 18 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team;
6. Rodel Vlenzuela, 17 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
7. MC Daniela, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
8. Alane Lumbawa, 19 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
9. Ariel Bacolod, 16 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
10. Alvin Legarte, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team
11. Salvador Garan; wounded, was hit by a rock thrown by members of the demolition team
12. Dino Amaredes, 17 years old; got wounded on his left knee
13. Jerry Pacle, 20 years old; wounded on the head
14. John Rudy, 15 years old; wounded on his left knee
15. Francisco Lina, 21 years old; wounded on the right knee
16. Francis Aresteros, 22 years old; acquired wounds on his hands
17. Victor Areno, 16 years old; wounded on his head
18. Lovely Clerigo, 17 years old; wounded on the right knee
19. Joseph Cabatoy, 43 years old, wounded on the neck
20. Lisa Fariscal; hinimatay, had an asthma attack due to the teargas
21. Ramil Juvilan
22. Maynard, wounded on the left hand
23. Ace, wounded on the left hand

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

Arrested were:
1. Rogelio Rosales, 30, resident
2. Loui Perdraso, 15, resident
3. Salvador Garzain, 55, resident
4. Edwin Crisologo, 22, resident
5. Jesus Duallo, 42, resident
6. Mark Dave Avestroz, 20, resident
7. Senen Buban, Jr., 23, resident
8. Roger Gavino, resident
9. Louiche Meperito, 17, resident
10. Narciso Alberto, 62, resident
11. Rodel Tejolan, 17, relative of a resdient, just helping to transport their belongings
12. Jaime Gregorio, 24, supporter of SAMANA
13. Mark Lui Aquino, 25, supporter of SAMANA
14. Jay-Ar Brillante, 16, supporter of SAMANA
15. Luke Bagangan, 17, supporter of SAMANA
16. Manuel Veloria, 25, resident
17. Abel Bantolo, 15, resident
18. Another resident whose name was not yet taken

More individuals were arrested at 4pm in an indignation rally held by student supporters of SAMANA. They wanted to visit the arrested residents and condemn the illegal arrest and assault on those who were arrested. According to San Juan Police Chief Acallana gave the students five minutes to protest and the studend indeed left on time. However, members of the police ran after the protester and arrested six student leaders namely:
1. Romilo Penaverde, 21, supporter from Mandaluyong
2. RG Tesa, 23, supporter from UP-diliman
3. Alex Vadil, 23, supporter from UP-diliman
4. Rogelio Tubije, 21, supporter from UP-diliman
5. Thoaras Benjamin Roca, 17, supporter from UP-diliman
6. Sander Saputalo

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

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

Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested Action:

Please write letters to the authorities in support of the residents of Corazon de Jesus and their fight for adequate housing. In particular you can write to:

1) Condemn the violent demolition in Corazon de Jesus perpetrated by the city government of San Juan on January 11.

2) Call for the awarding/distribution of the lands of the village to all the current residents of Brgy. Corazon de Jesus!

3) Call for the stoppage on all demolition in San Juan and uphold the people’s right to adequate housing.

Kindly send your letters to:

His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

Mrs. Raquel Rolnik
United Nations Special Rapporteur
on the Right to Adequate Housing
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06
E-mail: urgent-action(at)ohchr.org

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
928-5655, 926-6188
Telefax: 929-0102
chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

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

Thank you very much for your support.

Sincerely,

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights

——————–

Thank you.

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

AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines

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