Tag Archives: Jordan

[People] May she rest in peace by Judy Pasimio

May she rest in peace

By Judy A. Pasimio / LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Judy Pasimio photo from lilakToday, Sheryll Ananayo-Puguon was laid to rest. At least that’s what we say when we bury our dead. But I wonder if Sheryll is indeed at rest today. If my lola (grandmother) is to be believed, one’s spirit or soul, hovers around for days after one’s death, especially if the death was unexpected, and sudden. The spirit will be moving around, still not knowing that it has left its body, and then spend some more time, coming to terms with the truth that it already has. If so, then Sheryll could not be at rest today. As a mother, I imagine, Sheryll would be wondering how come her John Ezekiel is no longer breastfeeding on her. Then she would be seeing Samantha, her 4-year old daughter, pestering her grandmother, asking when her mother would wake up. Then Sheryll would see her own mother, crying, her eyes puffed and tired.

Then it might all come back to her – it was a bright afternoon, on the 7th of December, they were on their way home to Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. She was sitting in front, with 3-month old John Ezekiel in her arms. Her cousin-in-law Randy Domingo was driving. Samantha, with her 4-year old cousin, sitting at the back of the van, were probably chatting away. And as they made a turn, there at Sitio Waterfalls, Sheryll saw, or heard first, it would all be a blur now – two men in a motorbike blocking their way, and shots were fired. Instinctively, she would have held John Ezekiel closer to her body, probably bending over to cover him, felt the pang of pain in her body, heard the shouts of Samantha, and the silence that came after. She was probably willing herself not to give in to the pain of the several gunshot wounds on her body to protect John and Samantha. She probably knew right away that Randy has been killed. She was probably praying to her Ifugao gods and goddesses, as she felt hands helping her out of the van, to please make her alright and survive this, thinking of her tiny John. And as she felt herself fading away, she was probably asking – why? What has happened? Why it has happened?

Today, Sheryll was laid to rest. But rest will not be with Sheryll, not when there is still no answer as to why she was brutally taken away from her children, and in their presence too. It was not a robbery, as the gunmen did not take any material thing from the van. No motive could be identified by the police. Sheryll was leading a relatively quiet life, different from that of her mother – Carmen Ananayo, or Manang Carmen to us. Manang Carmen is one of the active, vocal and committed leaders of DESAMA (Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association), who have maintained her opposition against the gold mining operations in Didipio. It is Manang Carmen who has been receiving threats against her life. It is by the house of Manang Carmen where vehicles would be seen parked at odd times, especially during meetings with those who continue to oppose the mining operations.

Randy, on the other hand, was a small-scale mining operator in Didipio, who was believed to be having disputes with the large scale mining company.

As Sheryll is laid to rest, I wonder, will her spirit ever be at rest, knowing how Samantha has witnessed her violent death? And wondering what she has done to deserve this? I know for sure that Manang Carmen won’t be, until the real motive for killing has been known, the perpetrators have been identified and justice has been served.

The killing of Sheryll Ananayo-Puguon and Randy Domingo is now added to the growing list of atrocities and acts of violence in areas where there are mining operations. Their killings are added to the growing long list of cases of impunity under the Aquino administration.

If my lola is to be believed about the spirits of the dead who could not come to terms with the truth of their deaths, then the spirits of Sheryll, Randy as well as Juvy, Jordan, John, and younger Jordan, and other indigenous peoples who are victims of unsolved killings, are still hovering amidst us.

Rest there will not be, until justice is served to them.

Rest there will not be, until the killings are stopped. Not for the spirits, not for us.

judy.lilak@gmail.com / 63-9175268341


LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilak-Purple-Action-for-Indigenous-Womens-Rights/446251688730248

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.

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

GEN. NESTOR FAJURA
Chief, Human Rights Affairs Office
Philippine National Police
COL. ERICK PARAYNO
Chief, Human Rights Office,
Philippine Army

November 5, 2012

Sir,

Warm greetings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justice and dignity for us all,

Max M. de Mesa
Chairperson, PAHRA

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

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

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

Maj. Gerald Monfort
Human Rights Officer, 27th IB

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

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

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

Hon. Manuel Mamauag
CHRP Focal Commissioner for Mindanao

Atty. Jacquelyn Mejia
Executive Secretary, Commission on Human Rights

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

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] Collateral damage -INQUIRER.com

Collateral damage.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 1st, 2012

SOME TWO weeks after an Army unit killed the wife and two sons of a B’laan tribal leader in Davao del Sur, the Armed Forces announced that the 13 soldiers involved—one lieutenant and 12 enlisted men—would be tried before a military court. We welcome the news, and the unprecedented dispatch with which the decision to begin court-martial proceedings was reached. But at the same time, we realize that the court-martial is only the beginning. The road to justice for the pregnant Juvy Capion and her sons Jordan, 13, and Jan-Jan, 8, remains long and tortuous.

All of the accounts that relate the events of Oct. 18, even the statements attributed to military spokesmen, agree that the three victims were—to use the noncommittal language of bureaucracy—collateral damage. They were killed when a unit of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion, in pursuit of Juvy’s husband, the tribal leader Dagil Capion, fired upon them.

According to a relative and neighbor of Juvy’s, Rita Capion Dialang, she heard a short burst of gunfire at around six in the morning of Oct. 18 in the direction of the Capion family’s hut. When she and others reached the place, they saw the victims, with the soldiers standing around. “It was a massacre. They were unarmed and sleeping. Dagil was not around and nobody from our family’s side could have started the fire fight,”  Dialang said.

Right from the start, the Army had insisted that Dagil fired on the soldiers. But even the initial statements of the battalion commander showed that he knew the accidental nature of the killings. “We did not know there were unarmed civilians inside,” Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo said.

Read full article @ opinion.inquirer.net

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.

[People] AN ENCOUNTER by Judy A. Pasimio

AN ENCOUNTER

by Judy A. Pasimio
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Juvy Capion in the middle with arms crossed, and her son John on her right. Photo by LRC-KSK.

Imagine this.

It was past 6:00 in the morning. The sun has risen, and nature was already awake. And so were Daguil and Jordan Capion. They were having coffee just outside their small hut of a farmhouse in Sitio Fayahlob, Barangay Datal Alion, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. It would have been a good Nescafe commercial scene – father and son, having a moment with their cups of hot coffee in a crisp, October morning. What would they be talking about – plans for the farm, or plans for the 13-year old son? Daguil could have been telling Jordan that as the eldest son, he should be responsible enough to take care of his pregnant mother, and his two younger siblings. Or, Daguil was probably just sipping his coffee in silence with Jordan. Inside, Juvy and her children were still fast asleep.

And then the silence, the father-son bonding, the talk over coffee, the sleep of the mother and children – all of these – were broken by a burst of gun fire spraying through the nipa hut. These gunshots were heard from the house of Aileen Capion, a relative, who immediately ran, along with another woman, to check what was happening. On a normal day, her house would have been a good 30-minute walk from Daguil’s. That day was far from normal. In the fact sheet drawn up by the Task Force Detainees, based on Aileen’s account, when she reached the area of the farmhouse, she saw that Daguil’s daughter Vicky, and Ressa, a relative, were able to run to a neighbor’s house. Ressa, 11-years old, was covering Vicky, from the military men who were poking guns at them. Vicky, 4 years old, was bleeding as her right ear was shot. Aileen shouted at the military “ayaw ninyo unsaa ang mga bata, akoa na ng mga bata” (Don’t harm the children, I will take custody of the children), but the soldiers replied “mas maayo nga tiwason ang mga bata para wala’y witness” (Better to finish off the children, so that there will be no witnesses).

Aileen heard Juvy shouting “tama na ayaw namo sige ug pabuto kay naigo nako” (Please stop firing your guns because I’m already wounded). To which, the military responded with another round of strafing of the house. Then there was silence. A few moments after, Aileen saw Juvy, with a gunshot wound on her chest, her left leg broken by gunshots. John, 8 years old, who was sleeping at the right side of his mother, had a gunshot wound at the right side of his head, which exploded at his right ear.

A few meters away from the house, Jordan was lying on the ground face down. Blood was coming out of the gunshot wound at the back of his head.

Daguil was nowhere to be found. He knew he could not stay long with his family, but undoubtedly, he did not know he would leave his family in that horrible state. Daguil was being hunted down by the military for his militant stand against the Tampakan Project of the SMI mining in their ancestral domain for more than a year now.

Juvy, 27 years old, was a member of Kalgad, a Lumad organization opposed to large-scale mining in their ancestral domain. When the military started branding Daguil as bandit and went after him, it was Juvy who stepped up and continued the campaign against SMI, and the defense of their domain.

This is what Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, the unit that has jurisdiction over Kiblawan and Tampakan, called a “legitimate encounter”.

Imagine that.

Aileen further recounted that when she first arrived in the scene, there were 13 soldiers near the house, and she saw the nameplate of the team leader of the group, named 1LT. Dante Jimenez. Jimenez is the Commanding Officer of Bravo Company under the command of the Lt. Colonel Noel Alexis Bravo, 27th Battalion Commander. As per the news report (PDI, 10-19-12), Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo said law enforcers went to Barangay Kimlawis after receiving a tip that Daguil Capion was in the area. He said that his men were first fired upon. And that “the lawmen returned fire.”

The farmhouse was washed and cleaned, with the clothes of the family thrown outside, when Aileen came back with the police investigators. The bodies of Juvy, Jordan and John were kept in military custody for hours, before they were brought home in Datal Biao at 2:00 pm.

According to Paniza, 9 soldiers were relieved, including Lt. Jimenez because of “operational lapses” – a military term for the massacre of the Capion family – Juvy, Jordan and John. A military probe on the incident is ongoing.

Imagine this – Daguil, wounded, in hiding. He may not have been killed, but he must be dying inside, knowing his pregnant wife and his sons have been brutally killed. As a father, he must be dead worried about Vicky, and who would be taking care of her. As a leader, he must be terribly concerned about the volatile situation of his B’laan community.

As a response to what happened in her municipality, and her constituents, Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante announced that the hunt for Daguil “has been intensified.” She further said that a bounty on his head is being offered at P300,000. No statement from Mayor Diamante on the “operational lapses” of the military; no expression of concern for the condition of Vicky. Instead, she raises the tension further by warning of “pangayaw”, a declaration of tribal war that she predicts would ensue after the killings. “We are now preparing for this,” Diamante said.

Imagine that.

What is unimaginable is this – that Col. Bravo, Jimenez and Paniza, supposedly under a new Commander-in-chief, can still have the gall to spin this obvious deadly web of lies and expect that people will still believe, and accept, that children can be dismissed as collateral damage; that a massacre of a family can be mere operational lapses; that the hunting down of women and men leaders of communities defending their territories against mining are military operations against rebels. This was supposed to be part of the terrible history under the past administrations, not under the Aquino administration, which prides itself of crafting a new peace agenda, particularly in Mindanao.

Still unimaginable is that in just a month, three indigenous children have already been killed, in the name of their fathers – in Sept. 4, Jordan Manda, 11 years old have been killed in an ambush, along with Subanen Timuay Lucenio Manda, a staunch defender of their ancestral domains, in mine-infested Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

Robina Poblador, a Blaan woman active in the campaign against SMI mining, said that what happened was unacceptable. As a mother, she grieves, for the death of Jordan and John. As a B’laan, she grieves for Juvy, who was an active defender of their rights. Robina calls for the withdrawal of SMI mining company from their province, which presence has caused the escalation of violence among the B’laan communities. “SMI has caused deaths among the B’laans. It has to leave. Now.”

Of course, Mayor Diamante has a different, perverse reading of the situation, “I appeal to the people to please cooperate with us in capturing (Daguil) so we could bring back peace and order to this town.” (PDI/10.21.12)

Unimaginable.

10.23.12
judy.lilak@gmail.com


LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilak-Purple-Action-for-Indigenous-Womens-Rights/446251688730248

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.

[Appeal/Petition] An urgent call for an immediate investigation on the ambush of TIMUAY LUCENIO and JORDAN MANDA

Chair Loreta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

Chair Brigida Zenaida Hamada
National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP)

Undesercretary Severo Catura
Presidential Human Rights Committee

AN URGENT CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION ON THE AMBUSH OF TIMUAY LUCENIO AND JORDAN MANDA

Last September 5, at 7:20 am, Timuay Lucenio Manda, a Subanen leader, was riding his motorbike with his 11-year old son, Jordan, to bring him to school, when a group of masked men fired at them. Jordan was hit at the back, killing him instantly. Timuay Lucenio survived the ambush wounded, both physically and emotionally. Jordan was his eldest son, actively involved in their Subanen community in the Municipality of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. He was being groomed to follow the leadership of his father.

The ambush happened on the road between Barangays Conacon and Bubuan of the Municipality of Bayog. Timuay Manda is the Barangay Chair of Barangay Conacon. The ambush site was 5 kilometers away from their residence in Conacon.

Timuay Manda is a strong defender of Subanen rights to their land and right to self-determination.

Timuay Manda has been leading his tribe in claiming and protecting their ancestral domain in the last 10 years after his cousin Timuay Giovanni Umbang was assassinated in 2002. Both Timuay Giovanni and Timuay Manda questioned the entry of logging and mining in their ancestral domain without their Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as required under national and international laws. Timuay Manda has been receiving threats of his life in the last three years.
Early in August, Timuay Manda led a group of Timuays from Bayog and neighboring ancestral domains in calling for a moratorium of all forms of mining in their ancestral domains until they could have their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) of their domains. Such effort was supported by the local office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Timuay Manda is also leading an effort to strengthen and unify the efforts of the Subanens in the Central Zamboanga Peninsula to claim and protect their remaining contiguous ancestral domain. He, along with Catholic Bishops and concerned groups, is one of the petitioners for the Writ of Kalikasan in protection of 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. The Pinukis Range Forest serves as watershed of three major rice-growing regions in the Peninsula that produces about 30 percent of the rice in the region.
Jason Manda was in Grade 6, a candidate for valedictorian in his batch. As his father is busy with his responsibilities as Timuay, Jordan was the main help of his mother, Delma, in tending to their animals and rice farm, for food.

The killing of Jordan is such a big loss to the family, and to the community.

The killing of Jordan is a mindless, senseless act of violence.

The attempt to kill Timuay Manda is an attempt to silence a staunch defender of ancestral domain against the encroachment of logging and mining operations.

We urge the government to seriously look into this act of violence against Jordan Manda and Timuay Manda. Specifically we urge the Commission on Human Rights, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Presidential Human Rights Committee to conduct an immediate, serious, and thorough investigation on this; and to exert serious effort in ensuring that the perpetrators are put to justice.

Sept. 7, 2012
PETITIONERS:

Judy a. pasimio (LILAK/Purple Action for Indigenous Women Rights)
Deniza Ismael (LILAK/Purple Action for Indigenous Women Rights)
Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Chiangmai, Thailand
Tony Abuso (ECIP- National Secretariat)

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] Subanen leaders call on PNoy to rid Zambo Peninsula of paramilitary, private armies -MindaNews

MindaNews » Subanen leaders call on PNoy to rid Zambo Peninsula of paramilitary, private armies.

By Violeta M. Gloria
September 7, 2012

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 7 Sept) – Leaders of the Subanen tribe, timuays and baes all, from the Zamboanga Peninsula are calling on President Benigsno Simeon Aquino III to help them rid their communities of paramilitary personnel and private armies of mining companies following the ambush attempt on a tribal leader actively opposing mining and logging activities.

While Timuay Lucenio Manda survived the ambush in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur last Tuesday with only minor injuries, his 11-year-old son Jordan, who was being groomed to succeed him, died.

“Our hearts are burning for justice. Thus, we ask President PNoy and other authorities to take all proper measures in identifying and apprehending perpetrators of this terrible crime,” said Bae Marjorie Paulin, who heads an association of Subanen women, as she read a statement from the Subanen and Higaonon tribes.

“We raise our voices together, knowing that if we do not, this situation will be ignored and forgotten,” said Paulin.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.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.

[People] In the Name of the Father: The death of Jordan Manda by Judy Pasimio

In the Name of the Father
The death of Jordan Manda

by Judy A. Pasimio
LILAK (Purple Action for IP women’s Rights)

Photos courtesy of Vicky Cajandig of PDSI

Tuesday, September 4, 12. Jordan was on his way to school. Like any other mornings, he was riding at the back of his father’s motorbike. It was 7:20 am, and in minutes, he would have reached the school, and attend his Grade 6 classes. But this was not like any other mornings.

Their ride to school was violently stopped. Jordan was shot at the back, the wound so fatal, it killed him then and there. His father survived the shooting with minor gunshot wounds.

Why would anyone want to harm, let alone kill the 11-year old Jordan?

The bullet was not for him. It was meant for his father, Lucenio Manda, a Timuay, a Subanen leader and head claimant of Bayog Ancestral Domain in Zamboanga del Sur. A strong defender of Subanen rights to their land and right to self-determination. Timuay Manda is also known to strongly oppose large-scale mining and logging within their domain. Timuay Manda has been very vocal in his criticism and questioning as to why mining has been allowed in Bayog without their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), as provided for by the law. There are currently 3 approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), 1 approved Exploration Permit, and 8 mining permit applications. Timuay Manda has been receiving death threats.

Could this be the reason behind the killing of Jordan? And the frustrated murder of Timuay Manda?

We do not know that yet. What we know are these –

Jordan is the eldest of 3 boys of Timuay Manda. Young as he may be, he is being groomed as the next Timuay of the community. He would be attending community meetings, and educational activities. Jordan had serious interest in his Subanen culture, and their people’s history.

As his father is busy with his responsibilities as Timuay, Jordan was the main help of his mother, Delma, in tending to their animals and rice farm, for food.

The killing of Jordan is such a big loss to the family, and to the community.

The killing of Jordan is a mindless, senseless act of violence.

And while the killers remain unknown, we know for a fact that they are sloppy targets, probably low-paid mercenaries. For how else can one explain the mindlessness of killing an 11-year old child?

While we call for an immediate, serious and thorough investigation of the murder, these we already know – Timuay Manda is feeling the loss of his son; and this loss, he says, is what strengthens his resolve to struggle on for the protection of their rights, and their ancestral domain. His son’s life has been sacrificed, he says. “. . and I thirst for justice. I vow to continue my struggle in order not to make my son’s death in vain.” Delma is inconsolable. She has been fainting for several times throughout the day. She understands the responsibilities and risks of marrying into a Timuay family, but she could not understand why his son had to suffer this fate so young.

Jordan will be laid to rest in peace on Monday, Sept. 10, at 10 am. But there will never be rest for Timuay Manda, Delma and the Subanen people of Bayog until the killers are known, and put to justice. And there will never be peace until the true reason for the killing is known, and the masterminds are exposed and be made accountable. Only then will Jordan’s death will be put to rest.

Or not.

Sept. 4, 2012
Judy.pasimio@gmail.com

Photos courtesy of Vicky Cajandig of PDSI

Information from Rock-rock Antequisa of CAFOD

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.