Tag Archives: Philippine National Police

[Statement] HRW reaction to the violation of quarantine rules by Metro Manila police chief

HRW reaction to the violation of quarantine rules by Metro Manila police chief:

Metro Manila’s police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas should be disciplined for his flagrant violation of the Philippines’ strict quarantine and lockdown regulations. His superiors should not allow Sinas to play this double standard game, where he celebrates his birthday with friends all around like there’s no pandemic, but the ordinary people of Metro Manila face tight restrictions enforced by his officers, whose disproportionate strictness has resulted in rights abuses. “Do as I say, not as I do” is not a viable policing strategy in a pandemic. By flouting these regulations, Sinas recklessly endangered his friends and subordinates at the party and damaged the moral authority of the Philippine National Police to act as a leading agency addressing the Covid-19 crisis.
Worse, once Sinas’ irresponsible behavior was revealed, he sought to deny his action and retaliated against the reporter who broke the story about the birthday party. The National Capital Region Police Office’s first action was to remove Rappler reporter Rambo Talabong from the NCRPO’s Viber message group. Such vindictive retaliation violates press freedom and the public’s right to know and should be reversed by reinstating Rappler in the Viber group.

Responding to a public health emergency means all Filipinos should cooperate with officials, but it also imposes a burden on those officials to be exemplars of the conduct they expect from the citizenry. Maj. Gen. Sinas abysmally failed that test and he should be publicly disciplined for his actions.

Phil Robertson
Deputy Asia Director
Human Rights Watch

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[In the news] QC cop who killed ex-soldier ‘followed instruction’ — PNP chief -PhilStar.com

QC cop who killed ex-soldier ‘followed instruction’ — PNP chief

The chief of the national police defended Thursday the actions of a Quezon City cop involved in the killing of a former soldier on Tuesday afternoon, saying he was simply complying with instructions.

Despite the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) saying that the officer in question was facing criminal and administrative charges, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa insisted that the cop was under threat by the suspect, 34-year-old army veteran Winston Ragos, and was prompted to shoot him twice.

Read more @www.philstar.com

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[Action Alert] (Philippines) Mentally-challenged man killed by members of the Philippine National Police during the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Quezon City -TFDP

Action Alert
(Philippines) Mentally-challenged man killed by members of the Philippine National Police during the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Quezon City

April 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal for further investigation regarding the killing of a mentally-challenged man by members of the Philippine National Police during their enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Quezon City.

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ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT:

Winston Ragos, a 34-year old retired member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who was mentally-challenged was shot dead by a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at around 2:30 PM on April 21, 2020, along Maligaya Drive corner Sampaguita St., Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City.

According to the police spot report on the incident, PMSg Daniel Florendo requested police back up to apprehend Ragos, who was alleged by the police to be carrying a handgun in his sling bag.

Florendo, along with four police trainees, namely Dajeles Gaciles, Arnel B. Fontillas, Jr., Joy P. Flaviano, and Dante G. Fronda were said to be initially manning the Quarantine Control Point in Maligaya Drive in front of the 7/11 convenience store when Ragos allegedly asked Fontillas and Flaviano, “Ang sama mo makatingin, ano ba ang problema mo?” (“Why are you looking at me like that, what’s your problem?”)
Based on a video of the incident that appeared online, people in the area tried to tell the police that Ragos was not well. He was allegedly mentally-challenged because of his duty in the AFP. They said that Ragos was “war shocked” from his assignment in the AFP. However, based on the video, the police did not heed the people who were trying to protect Ragos.

Based on another video, Ragos was seen with his back to the police with both his hands held up, when members of the police asked him to drop to his knees. However, according to another post by a certain Fae Macahilig, allegedly a niece of Ragos, Ragos tried to show the police that he did not have a gun in his sling bag. Ragos’ gesture, based on the police spot report, was interpreted by the police as “attempt to pull out his firearm inside his sling bag”. Hence, Florendo shot Ragos twice that resulted in his death.

The police claimed in their report that a .36 Smith and Wesson revolver without a serial number and loaded with four ammunition/cartridges were found in the victim’s possession. However, Macahilig claimed in her post that Ragos did not have a gun.

In the same post, Macahilig claimed that during the incident, people were being prevented to take videos of what was happening; those who were able to take videos were allegedly also harassed into deleting the shots or footage.

Macahilig also lamented the absence of the members of the barangay who could have convinced the police that Ragos was mentally ill. This could have deescalated the situation since the police did not listen to the residents.

Article 4 Section 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the State Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that supposed measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.”

However, Article 4 section 2 also mentioned that there should be no derogation from Article 6. Article 6 states that “every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”

In the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the right to life is protected in Article 3, Section 1, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

As of this writing, homicide charge has been filed against the police officer who shot Ragos. The Philippine Army has also asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the case.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write a letter to the following authorities, for a swift and impartial investigation on the killing of Mr. Winston Ragos and also to urge the PNP to apply maximum tolerance against alleged violators of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and to observe the PNP Manual in the application of necessary and reasonable force.

A. Ensure that all who participated and were responsible for the killing of Winston Ragos be investigated and if need be, brought to justice.
B. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the 1987 Philippine Constitution, international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines, especially in the enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Please send your letters:

1. His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President, Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Building, Malacanang Palace Compound
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +632 87368645; +632 87368603; +632-87368606; +632-87368629; +632-87368621
Telefax: +632 87368621
E-mail: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph

2. Hon. Menardo Guevarra
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila
1000 Philippines
Tel: +632 85218348
Telefax: +632 85262618
Trunkline: +632 85238481 loc 217
Email: osecmig@gmail.com, communications@doj.gov.ph

3. Hon. Eduardo Aňo
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
DILG-NAPOLCOM Center
EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Tel: +632 89250330; +632 89250331
Fax: +632 89250332
Trunkline: +632 88763454 loc 1001
Email: emano@dilg.gov.ph

4. Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +632 89285655; +632 89266188
Telefax: +632 89290102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

5. PNP Chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa
Philippine National Police
PNP National Headquarters
Camp General Crame, EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines 1100
Tel: +632 87230401; +632 87220650 local 3453/3473

6. Mayor Josefina Belmonte
Office of the Mayor
11th Floor, Quezon City Hall, High Rise Building, Quezon City
https://web.facebook.com/MayorJoyBelmonte

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[Press Release] New Police Chief Should Tackle Abuses Action Needed on Torture, Extrajudicial Killings -HRW

Philippines: New Police Chief Should Tackle Abuses
Action Needed on Torture, Extrajudicial Killings

(Manila, Sept. 2, 2015) – The Philippine National Police should hold to account all police officers responsible for human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the police chief, Director General Ricardo Marquez. President Benigno Aquino III appointed Marquez to the position on July 14, 2015.

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“Police chief Marquez has the opportunity to turn the Philippine National Police into a rights-respecting, professional organization,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “He has the duty and the responsibility to make sure that the national police meets its domestic and international human rights obligations.”

Marquez should ensure prompt, transparent, and impartial investigations of alleged police abuses, and take appropriate action against those responsible, regardless of rank, Human Rights Watch said. National police personnel have long been implicated in numerous human rights violations includingtorture and extrajudicial killings.

Task Force Usig, created by the Philippine National Police in 2006 to investigate the extrajudicial killings of activists and journalists, has only secured 9 convictions out of the 181 cases it has documented since 2001. Marquez should direct the task force to improve its investigation and documentation of cases of alleged extrajudicial killings, Human Rights Watch said.  The task force should submit a regular – preferably monthly – progress report on the status of these cases.

Marquez should address the country’s epidemic of extrajudicial killings by acting on the recommendations of the May 2014 Human Rights Watch report on summary killings in Tagum City in Mindanao. Specific police officers assigned to the Tagum City police were identified as complicit in the operation and control of the so-called “Tagum Death Squad.” Marquez should reform the national police’s Human Rights Affairs Office, which has failed in its role as a monitor for police human rights violations.

“Marquez urgently needs to tackle the problem of rampant human rights abuses by the Philippine National Police,” Kine said. “It’s in his hands whether the police can transform itself from predator to protector of the people.”

For Immediate Release
http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/09/01/philippines-new-police-chief-should-tackle-abuses

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[Statement] MAMAPASANO UNNECESSARY CARNAGE: Amidst Intense Grief and Sorrow, Conduct A Determined Pursuit of Truth and Justice -PAHRA

MAMAPASANO UNNECESSARY CARNAGE: Amidst Intense Grief and Sorrow, Conduct A Determined Pursuit of Truth and Justice

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the
equal and inalienable rights of all members of the
human family is the foundation of freedom, justice
and peace in the world” …. UDHR 1948

Muling ipinapahatid ng Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) ang kolektibong pakikiramay at pakikiisa sa matinding dalamhati ng mga pamilya, asawa, anak at iba pang mga mahal sa buhay ng mga napaslang na apatnapu’t apat na kasapi ng elite Special Action Forces (SAF) sa Mamapasano, Maguindanao.

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Kinikilala sila na kabahagi ng mga katangi-tanging sandatahang pwersa ng bansa na may katungkulan na ipagtanggol, at ibuwis ang mga sariling buhay kung kinakailangan, ang mga karapatan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino na mabuhay na may dangal at kaligtasan.

Tama lamang na bigyan sila ng mga medalya ng kagitingan at tanghaling mga bayani ng bayan.

In the midst of intense grief and sorrow, we enjoin all human rights defenders and peace advocates, drawing from the courage and sacrifice of all those who fought and fell, to conduct a determined pursuit of truth and justice to obtain a just and lasting peace. The Commands of involved Parties – the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and executive task forces such as the Anti-Terrorism Task Force must thoroughly probe into the aspects of due diligence in intelligence and operations, command responsibility and the law of international humanitarian law (IHL) as integral components in this our common search.

We demand accountability for the supposedly, among others, exposing the SAF forces in a “killing zone”, the lack of coordination and inappropriate chain of command, violations of the rules of engagement and other provisions of the IHL. We vehemently condemn all forms of deliberate mutilations, for whatever reason, of the wounded and/or slain combatants. We demand appropriate administrative and criminal liability for those responsible for this tragedy.

Truth and justice is highly dependent on the State’s judicious implementation of its obligation of transparency. The people must also take courage to inform and assert their right to be informed about the data and the actors involved. Impartial and independent investigative bodies are welcomed initial steps. But, in no way should any one, State or non-State actor, invoke secrecy to perpetuate impunity. In no way is this a path to justice and peace.

We commit with the families and loved ones of the fallen SAF Forty-four, those wounded and/or maimed, all human rights defenders and peace advocates and all people of goodwill, to determinedly pursuit and obtain truth, justice and peace.

January 30, 2015

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[People] Secret Torture Chambers Exposed by Fr. Shay Cullen

Secret Torture Chambers Exposed
Fr. Shay Cullen

Who would ever imagine that a secret torture squad attached to the
Philippine National Police would use a crudely made “wheel of fortune”
to select the torture technique they would use on their victims? Torture
is outlawed by international convention and the Philippine Penal Code
yet in 2009 a special law Republic Act 9745 was passed to totally ban.
However, it is still common practice. The recently launched
investigative report by Amnesty International stated that police torture
“is commonplace in the Philippines and impunity for it is the norm . .
.” Titled “Above the Law: Police Torture in the Philippines,” the
Amnesty International researchers with local human rights defenders
uncovered secret detention centers and the notorious “Wheel of Fortune”
in a torture chamber in Laguna, South of Manila.

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The shocking discovery indicated that this trained squad used torture
for a sordid and sick kind of entertainment. While the suspects screamed
through their gags from the excruciating pain of electric shock the
torturers laughed.

The US senate report on torture and disappearances of suspects details
shocking torture and abuse and many of the torture techniques detailed
in the report are similar to what the Philippine Police use also. The
Philippine Police trained in Fort Bragg and elsewhere in the USA may
have learned their torture techniques from their US trainers. We
sincerely hope not.

As many as forty three prisoner survivors, some rescued by Filipino
human rights campaigners who risk their lives to help the victims, said
they suffered grave torture. Twenty three of them were courageous and
defiant enough to file criminal charges against the police.

There is not much hope either among them that justice will ever be seen.
The police enjoy a high level of impunity. Death squads also murder
suspects. They are set up by military and local mayors, governors and
other powerful politicians to protect their interests, eliminate
political rivals or protect their secret criminal enterprise from
take-over by a rival. They also sow terror among the people and ensure
the reelection of the politician.

In May 2014 this year Human Rights Watch published a 71-page report
titled “One Shot to the Head: Death Squad Killings in Tagum City,
Philippines.” It documented interviews with the killers who said they
received text messages from the former mayor whom and when to kill
someone .They got paid as little as a hundred dollars. This week on
December 11 we honor Rogelio Butalid, a broadcast commentator, shot at
point blank range outside his radio station in Tagum City, Mindanao,
just one of many journalist murders over the past ten years by death squads.

No one has been held responsible or accountable for the many deaths.
Human rights advocates are calling for a law to hold the local mayors
responsible and blame-worthy. They will be penalized by being removed
from office for gross incompetency and dereliction of duty for torture
and death squad killings in their town or city.

The Amnesty International report on torture is no less horrific. It
reports that with the help of local human rights defenders and advocates
they interviewed as many as 55 torture victim-survivors, 21 of them were
children when abused and tortured. Two victims of torture were then shot
and left for dead but miraculously survived.

As many as 36 cases were referred to the Office of the Ombudsman but
unsurprisingly none were indicted. The investigating officers were
likely to have been threatened with a “shot to the head.”

The survivors of torture reported having been beaten, kicked, punched,
water-boarded (a near drowning torture technique), nearly suffocated
with plastic bags over their heads, given electric shocks, deprived of
sleep and forced to take stressful physical squatting. In one videotape,
one old man was seen naked with wire tied around his genitalia being
pulled by a police officer. The victim was later found beheaded.

Children too have been tortured, starved and killed in jails and prisons
that are renamed “Juvenile Homes” where the children are neglected,
abused, mistreated and jailed behind bars and metal screens.

A shocking and horrible photo of abused children was taken in the Manila
Reception Action Center (RAC), a place described as a Auschwitz-like
concentration camp in the heart of Manila five minutes from the office
of Mayor Estrada. The photo is that of a boy we named Francisco. His
naked, emaciated skeletal body was left thrown on the ground, allegedly
left to die without medical help. He was found with facial bruises when
rescued by charity workers.

The excuse of the staff is that they had no money to help him, that is a
lie and fabrication. Its the story line to get more money which is
disappearing in mysterious ways and too little going to feed, clothe and
support the children. The boy Francisco only had to be given a t-shirt
and shorts and taken to the hospital with other children in a similar
half-starved condition . The truth is that the money is allegedly
misappropriated and the Commission on Audit (COA) need to audit the
facility. Also they need a clean, well managed facility in the
countryside under the supervision of the trusted office of Secretary
Corazon Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Manila is so rich it could build and maintain two such centers.

Other children too were left in similar conditions. The report documents
21 children who were tortured. All this is difficult to read and
comprehend how humans can inflict such terrible cruel torture on
children and adults. The psychological torture of threats and fear is
equally abhorrent. One thing is clear, we cannot remain inactive,
silent, non-supportive and indifferent to these grim realities exposed
by children’s rights and human rights defenders working with Amnesty
International.

The truth is there for all to see and read .We have to act as best we
can to save more victims and put an end to these evil practices. We can
help by speaking out, joining campaigns for human rights, join a rally,
by taking a stand with victims of illegal detention and children in
jails. We can inspire others by showing respect for the rights of
others. That’s what Jesus did and taught. That’s why we have Christmas.
shaycullen@preda.org

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[From the web] PHILIPPINES: ‘Torture wheels’ is tip of the iceberg — Asian Human Rights Commission

Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: ‘Torture wheels’ is tip of the iceberg — Asian Human Rights Commission.

Photo by CHRP

Photo by CHRP

The discovery of a ‘torture wheel’ “inside a private subdivision in Laguna,” which is under the control of intelligence officers in Biñan, Laguna, where detainees arrested for illegal drugs are tortured and held, drew outrage as to how the police conduct its investigation into crimes.

Asian Human Rights Commission

The “torture wheel” was discovered by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) after conducting onsite inspections of the detention facility. The facility, however, was not included in the list of official detention centres; and, in fact, its operation reportedly surprised the Philippine National Police (PNP). The facility is “never included in the regular status reports of all police custodial and detention centers.”

With the discovery and exposure of this practice, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expresses its appreciation to the CHR for investigating and conducting the onsite inspection. On this occasion the CHR went out of its way by investigating promptly and effectively into the complaints of torture.

The CHR’s investigation was in response to complaints received by the public attorney attached to the Public Attorney Office (PAO) in Laguna. The PAO lawyers filed the complaint with the CHR based on the allegations of torture by victims detained by the intelligence officers and policemen.

Read full article @www.humanrights.asia

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[Statement] TDC hails ARMM colleagues for refusal to serve polls

TDC hails ARMM colleagues for refusal to serve polls

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) hails the Comelec approval of the request from some 1000 teachers from Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) not to require them to sit as members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET) and facilitate the elections in their respective localities for Barangay polls on Monday, October 28. The teachers cited security reasons for their refusal to serve. The Comelec instead deployed personnel from Philippine National Police to man the elections in lieu of the teachers.

TDC

We are happy with this decision and we consider this a breakthrough because we are not talking here of 1 or 10 or even 100 teachers, they are more than 900, almost a thousand. The Comelec just confirmed that they cannot ensure the safety of our teachers. We salute our colleagues from Mindanao for their courageous refusal and we view this as a precedent for future elections, should the optional election duty for public school teachers proposal will not make it again in the 16th Congress.

This is a good sign that the teachers may soon not be compelled to work in elections and the task be assigned to somebody else. The government which cannot protect their teachers who are doing duties apart from teaching does not have the right to compel them for such work.

Once again, we would like to reiterate our three major demands for the October 28, elections:
1. Ensure the protection of teachers from harassment, intimidation and physical attack;
2. Provide legal assistance for teachers who will be facing election-charges; and
3. Raise the honorarium from P2, 000 to P4, 000

If the state can easily grant extremely large amount of money for discretionary funds of public officials and the bonuses and honoraria of SSS, GSIS and other state-run companies, it is but proper to give the public school teachers the compensation and protection we just deserve. The treatment of public school teachers during elections is a manifestation of how this government values its teachers and the teaching profession- the noblest of all.

Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson 0920-5740241/ 3853437

PRESS STATEMENT
October 26, 2013

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[Featured Site] MD4HR.net

MD4HR.net

MD4HR

MAG

The http://www.MD4HR.net is an online database of public health doctors like the City and Municipal Health Officers (C/MHO), Rural Health Physicians (RHP), Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB), Medical Officers, Medico-Legal Officers, Emergency Physicians and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Forensic doctors and Philippine National Police (PNP) doctors trained through the initiative of the Medical Action Group, Inc. (MAG) as part of its campaign against torture in the Philippines.

The purpose of http://www.MD4HR.net is to increase public awareness and access to the doctors trained on various human rights concepts, medical and psychological examination of torture victims, sexually-abused and survivors through an online interactive map.

Another aim of http://www.MD4HR.net is to offer a venue for reporting of human rights violation cases like torture and sexual assault as well as the list of the Department of Health (DOH) Retained Hospitals and Women and Children Protection Units in the Philippines.

Visit MD4HR.net @www.md4hr.net

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[From the web] PNP sued by peasant activists -hrdefenders.wordpress.com

PNP sued by peasant activists
hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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Not just the chief, but practically the entire police force in Carmen, Cebu, was sued by peasant activists yesterday (12 August 2013) afternoon “for fabricating evidence, perjury and other corrupt practices that state security forces employ habitually against political dissenters.”

Hauled before the Office of the Ombudsman were station commander C/Insp. Jason Mangaron, and troops SP03 Renerio Masacol, Jr., SP01 Rolen Pescalia, P03 Roger Delan, P02 Arnel Manos, and P01 Cristito Aresco.

They were charged for planting evidence against Erlinda Into, Chairperson of KMP-Cebu, and her husband Leonides, member of Cantipay Farmers’ Association, in the aftermath of an illegal raid on their home last year. They were also responsible for violently manhandling the victims during the abduction and subsequent detention of victims.

Read full article @hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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[Statement] Re-militarization of the PNP–NO WAY! Uphold civilian supremacy. Promote rights-based policing! -PAHRA

Re-militarization of the PNP–NO WAY! Uphold civilian supremacy. Promote rights-based policing!

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The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and the undersigned stand firmly with the 1987 Philippine Constitution stating in Section 6, Article XVI (General Provision) that “The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character to be administered and controlled by a national police commission….” (emphasis supplied)

Civilianizing the police force was a major step by President Corazon Aquino to break the military domination designed by Marcos in establishing the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC-INP) during Martial Law. This was done when President Cory signed Republic Act No. 6975 creating in 1991 the Philippine National Police (PNP).

It must be noted though that the numerous gross human rights violations perpetrated with impunity during Martial Law, including those done by members of the PC-INP, until now have not yet been fully accounted for, much less were the perpetrators and those with command responsibility brought to justice.

Despite the legal and technical separation as well as distinction of the civilian character of the police from the military nature of the armed forces, there has been no actual complete severance. According to the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), “it is common knowledge that the [Philippine National Police] PNP, for far too long, has been under the leadership of PMA graduates with military orientation.” Thus, amidst the fact that the PNP top brass and their successors are mostly graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), what has prevailed in education and training amongst the officers and personnel of the PNP are strongly a military-mindset and behaviour.

We are alarmed that even while the last batch of military graduates from the PMA, Tanglaw-Diwa Class of 1992, are still to retire by 2026 at the mandatory retirement age of 56, there are already moves to perpetuate further the military hold on the police institution which not so subtly subverts the spirit and intent of 1987 Constitution for civilian supremacy over the military.

We firmly oppose the re-entry of PMA graduates into the PNP as per the proposal made by the PMA Alumni Association as well as the intention to maintain and embed the military hold of the PMAyers when lateral entry has been completed into the PNP as stated in a provision contained in the proposed Executive Order to be presented to the President: “Upon approval of [PMA graduates’] lateral entry to the PNP and the PCG, they shall resign their commission in the Regular Force and be commissioned subsequently in the Reserve Force of the AFP pursuant to the National Defense Act.” (Section 1,c)

When activated, will there not be a conflict on the chain of command to the detriment of the PNP?

Furthermore, such action may also put into question the consistency and sincerity of the AFP’s resolve to uphold civilian supremacy and the rule of law in the implementation of its Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) or “Bayanihan”.

We call on all to uphold the Philippine Constitutional provision and work together for one strong, professional police force that is truly civilian in character, educated and trained with human rights as preferred values in institutional work and in field operations.

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)

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[Urgent Appeal] Violent Dispersal of Protest Action of Civil Society Organizations during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III -TFDP

URGENT APPEAL

July 24, 2013

(PHILIPPINES) Violent Dispersal of Protest Action of Civil Society Organizations during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III

Issues: Violent Dispersal; Harassment and Intimidation; Arbitrary Arrest and Detention; Human Rights Defenders; Freedom of Expression and Right to Organize; Physical Injuries; Command Responsibility

TFDP logo small

________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the violent dispersal of demonstrators perpetrated by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Southbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines during the protest against the SONA of President Aquino on July 22, 2013 and is seeking your help to end violations against the Freedom of Assembly.

Around twenty (20) persons were hurt during the dispersal and one (1) person was arbitrarily arrested during the incident.

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

________________________________________________________________________________

FACTS OF THE CASE

Around 20 demonstrators were hurt and 1 person arbitrarily arrested in a violent dispersal during a protest action in Commonwealth Avenue Quezon Cityon July 22, 2013 at around 3 PM. The protest was in line with the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

The group of around 2,000 protesters led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) were shifting towards the southbound lane of the avenue when around 250 members of the PNP immediately blocked them and instructed them to leave.

Leaders of FDC tried to initiate a dialogue and negotiate with the police to allow them to continue their protests. However, Police Ground Commander Senior Superintendent Norberto Mabagay allegedly instructed the members of the PNP to push the demonstrators back to the northbound lane of the avenue. They also started grabbing the streamers and flags of the protesters.

Further violence erupted when members of the PNP cornered and attempted to pull out FDC leaders from the group. Some protesters at the frontline fell to the ground as the PNP continued pushing them. After a while, some of the PNP started shoving their truncheons and wooden sticks against the protesters.

Some of the demonstrators claimed that they were punched and kicked by members of the PNP who were wearing combat boots. They also noted that many of the PNP were not wearing their name tags.

The scuffle stopped when the demonstrators pleaded to the police to stop since there were already a number of persons injured. Among the casualties were Rasti Delizo, Aaron Pedrosa, Sammy Gamboa, Rapha-el Olegario and Alex Castro, who all obtained bruises and abrasions during the dispersal.

The police also claimed that they were also hurt during the dispersal and arrested Vincent Coronacion, 19 year old son of a member of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) who came to the rally to accompany his mother. The police alleged that Vincent threw the rock that hit one of the police and were recommending that he be charged with multiple cases; resistance and disobedience upon an agent of a Person in Authority, Malicious Mischief, Direct Assault, Physical Injuries and Violation of BP 880. He was only released on July 23, 2013.

 

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO:

a) Investigate officers and members of the PNP deployed in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City during the SONA for their violent dispersal and if they are found to have committed grave abuse of authority for their excessive use of force against the Civil Society demonstrators and be held accountable for their actions.

b) Assurance from the PNP will use Maximum tolerance during protest activities and no similar violent action will be taken against protesters.

c) Guarantee the means for demonstrators to express and act freely in conformity with the bill of rights and freedoms as stated in the Philippine Constitution;

d) Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear _________________,

RE: Violent Dispersal of Civil Society Group

I am writing you to draw your attention regarding the violent dispersal of a protest rally during the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

I have learned that around 250 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) tried to disperse 2,000 demonstrators affiliated with the Freedom from Debt Coalition FDC) by using excessive means that elicited violence, that caused the injury of around 20 protesters.

It was also brought to my attention that after the incident, a young man from the group, Vincent Coronacion was arbitrarily arrested by the Police and recommended to be charged with multiple cases and was only freed a day after his arrest.

I am asking the concerned government agencies to investigate the actions taken by the PNP, as well as appropriate sanctions to be given if they have used excessive force.

I am also asking for the assurance of the concerned government agencies that no such repeat of this violence be done to protesters.

Finally, in view of the above mentioned information, I urge you to act quickly to correct this situation and ask that you inform us of the outcome of your investigation.

Respectfully yours,

____________________

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Benigno Simeon Aquino III

PRESIDENT

Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel

Manila 1005

PHILIPPINES

Fax: +63 2 7361010

Tel: +63 2 7356201/5641451 to 80

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

 

2. Mr. Mar Roxas

Secretary

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

A. Francisco Gold Condominium II

EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines 1100

Fax: +63 2 9250332

Tel: +63 2 9250330/9250331

Email: mar@marroxas.com/maia@marroxas.com/mbunico@dilg.gov.ph

 

3. Mr Herber Bautista

Mayor, Quezon City

3rd Floor, High-Rise Building

Elliptical Road, Brgy. Central

Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines 1100

Fax: +632 9216750

Tel: + 632 9884242 local 8300 to 8307/ 9243592

Email: mayor@quezoncity.gov.ph/ http://www.quezoncity,gov.ph

 

4. Police Director Alan LM. Purisima

Chief

Philippine National Police

Camp General Rafael Crame

Quezon City

Philippines

Fax: + 632 7248763/7230401

Tel: + 63 2 7264361/4366/8763

Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

 

5. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

SAAC Bldg. Commonwealth Avenue

U.P. Complex, Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines

Tel: +632 9285655/9266188

Fax: +632 9290102

Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

________________________________________________________________________________

Kindly inform or copy-furnish tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com of urgent appeals sent to above government officials for monitoring purpose. Thanking you in advance for your time on this important and urgent matter.

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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.

[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

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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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[Petition] Justice for Slain Indigenous Youth Leader, Justice for Dexter Condez!

Justice for Slain Indigenous Youth Leader, Justice for Dexter Condez!

End Impunity Now!

AvaazIn the Philippines, On February 22, 2013, at about 9.50 pm, Dexter Condez, 26 year old leader and spokesperson of the Ati tribe in Boracay, was gunned down by an unidentified man wearing a jacket and cap as he was headed home with two other companions. They had just come from a meeting with the nuns of the Holy Rosary Parish Ati Mission (HRPAM). Investigators found at least six bullet casings of a still unknown gun caliber near the crime scene.

Dexter Condez belongs to the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization (BATO), whose members have been fighting for a land of their own on the 1,032-hectare Boracay Island, a globally popular tourist destination, which they consider their ancestral domain. The Ati tribe members and its supporters including the influential Catholic Church, linked the killing of Dexter, “Dex” to many of his friends and comrades, to the dispute over the 2.1 hectares of land being occupied by the Ati and covered by a certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) granted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on January 21, 2011.

Dexter deserves justice, the Ati demands justice!

Join us as we cry JUSTICE for Dexter and the Ati. Please sign on the online petition urging the Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to call for an immediate and thorough investigation to identify the perpetrator and masterminds.

Background:
Famous for its powdery, white sand beaches and must-experience night life, the island of Boracay lies at the western tip of Panay island, in Central Philippines, with a total land area of 1,038.82 hectares. It is inhabited by approximately 16,000 local people spread in three villages (villages of Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle portion, and Manoc-manoc in the south).

Boracay Island is currently carrying about 8,000 room accommodations, about 300 resorts ranging from hostel-type to 5-star luxury accommodations, some 500 restaurants, and a hundred different establishments ranging from retail, transport and communication services, educational institutions, medical facilities, retail stores, supermarkets, repair shops, construction and property development companies, catering to tourists, locals, and expats.

However, before tourism came to Boracay, the Ati (Negritos) have long been living in the island. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and anthropological studies have supported claims that the Ati were the earliest settlers on the island but were displaced and driven away, especially starting in the 1970s when tourists and investors started to descend on the island.

The creation of Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA) in 1997, which protects the Ati from the threat of eviction, unfortunately, does not give them a sense of security because powerful people have laid claims to the land where they settled and with continued construction of permanent buildings since the 1970s.

After years of struggles to reclaim their ancestral lands, rights and dignity, in August 2010, the NCIP finally issued the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) to the Boracay Ati through their organization, Boracay Ati Tribe Organization. At 2.1 hectares of land, this could very well be the smallest ancestral lands awarded to any indigenous group in the Philippines. But almost two years later, most of the 200 Ati have still not been able to settle on their land for fear of harassment and eviction from three other claimants to their lands.

On April 17, 2012, at around 5:00 in the morning, hundreds of Ati tribe members peacefully and successfully occupied the 2.1 hectare of land promised to them by the NCIP. The Ati fenced the surrounding vicinity of the land and placed markings on it indicating that the area is their ancestral lands.

On November 2012, at least 20 security guards employed by J. King and Sons Co. Inc armed with shotguns and hand guns, were sent to the occupied land of the Ati community to destroy parts of a perimeter fence put up by the tribe. No one was hurt but the incident left the Ati terrified. Dexter Condez, the youth leader and spokesperson of the Ati tribe community, was among the tribal leaders who were involved in a confrontation with the security guards.

The J. King and Sons Co. Inc. is one of the three claimants of the Ati’s lands. It operates three hotels on the 1,038-hectare Boracay Island, including the Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center.

For the Ati tribe, the killing of Dexter Condez was a clear and shameful act of intimidation and violence against them. They are strongly condemning this brutal killing.

They are urging President Benigno Aquino III to call for an immediate and thorough investigation to identify the perpetrator and masterminds. Specifically, the Ati tribe and their supporters, also demand the Philippine National Police to effect an arrest.

Click here to find out more and sign: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Justice_for_Slain_Indigenous_Youth_Leader_Justice_for_Dexter_Condez_End_Impunity_Now/?kJoVHab

Thanks so much!

Dexter deserves justice, the Ati demands justice!End intimidation, End impunity now!

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[Statement] B’laan tribe members killed in alleged military ops -ATM

B’laan tribe members killed in alleged military ops
SMI-Xstrata Mines-affected communities call for court martial, high-level investigation

atm-logoTribal communities affected by the SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project and their support groups are calling for a high level investigation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Commission on Human Rights on the escalating tension and violence in the area, military presence and unstable peace and order situation in the mining-affected communities in South Cotabato.

Only three months after the massacre of the B’laan family composed of Juvy Capion, 27 and two of her sons Jordan, 13 and John, 8 last October 18, another alleged encounter was reported killing B’laan clan members, Kitari and Diyo Capion.

January 29, 30 encounter

According to reports gathered by the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Marbel (SAC-Marbel), on January 29, Kitari was going to Sitio Bong Mal when he saw military men identified as members of Task Force Kitaco. Fearing for the safety of his family, he ran back to his home in Nakultana and told his wife and children to leave and stay at their relatives’ place. Thereafter, an encounter took place. Kitari was shot twice.

He was brought to the Allah Valley Hospital in Koronadal City where he underwent operations from the sustained gunshot wounds, but after two hours was declared dead. The family together with SAC-Marbel immediately claimed his body.

January 31, Kitari’s remains were to be buried in Nakultana when another shoot-out between armed men took place in Bong Mal. A relative of Capions was wounded in that encounter and brought to Kiblawan for medication.

Juvy, Kitari and Diyo are related to Daguil Capion, a tribal defense warrior opposing the entry of mining companies in their ancestral domains. After the killing of his wife Juvy and their children, Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante announced a reward for his captivity—dead or alive. (Reported by Inquirer Mindanao, 20 October 2012)

Peace situation and militarization in Tampakan

Communities and their support groups fear that the increasing presence of militias as investment defense forces is due to the entry of SMI-Xstrata in pursuit of the Tampakan mining project.

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

A pre-requisite before actual operations is the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities who will be affected by the development project. In this case, B’laans and other tribes have not issued their approval/FPIC for the project that will take their ancestral lands from them. It is believed that the presence of the military has increased tensions in the area since the indigenous communities are preventing the mining company from conducting any activity, due to this lack of FPIC.

People, Church and IP Rep call for immediate action

A postponed high-level investigation by the Commission on Human Rights and the Philippine Army is still awaited by the communities and support groups there.

Fr. Joy Peliño, SAC-Marbel Coordinator said: “We condemn this tragic incident even the killings on both sides of indigenous peoples and militaries. This is too much already for the communities that is why we are calling on the President to command the government agencies to investigate and resolve this situation.

We need the intervention of the Commission on Human Rights, together with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in the Region, to investigate the situation in the mountains. We are aware that there is increasing deployment of military forces and the area, but we believe that there is no concrete reason for them being there other than looking after the mine area thereby threatening the rights of indigenous communities there.”

During a dialogue in the presence of Bp. Gutierrez, Gen. Bernardo, Col. Flores and Lt. Col. Imperial, and the representative from the Bong Mal communities last February 3 the military assured the communities that they can go back to their place safely. Military officials also promised that more restrictions would be ordered against Col. Bravo and that a court martial will proceed in two weeks time.

Another agreement was that space would be granted to the Fulong in Bong Mal to discuss and decide what is best for their communities given the current realities, and to know more who Daguil Capion is and so as not to be labeled simply as a bandit but someone who defends their ancestral land.

“I believe this threat alerts the communities and pushes them to fight against the military for fear of their life and to defend their ancestral land,” Peliño added.

Meanwhile, Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, chairman of the committee on national cultural communities has scheduled a Congressional Hearing to be held in General Santos to hear from the community leaders themselves their problems concerning human rights and extra judicial killings.

Baguilat said: “I condemn the killing of my IP brothers and sisters and the continued threat of violations against them. In our planned Congressional Inquiry this coming Feb 21, my colleagues in Congress and I will study the different cases and put forward concrete actions to the government offices.”

Peliño concluded: “We look forward to the Congressional Inquiry this February but we also want immediate actions. We strongly call on PNoy to carefully examine whose interest is promoted and protected here but with a clear bias to the least—especially of the IP communities, not just the foreign investment and to command the pull out of military deployment in the area or at the minimum order the cessation of all military activities and violence in areas affected by the Tampakan mining project. Thus allowing the spaces for the Fulong and Bong Fulong. We rather their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution for self-determination and right to defend their ancestral land.”

Task Force Kitaco is a special task force created under the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade assigned to oversee the secure areas where SMI-Xstrata’s mining project operates.


For more information:
Fr. Joy Peliño, SAC-Marbel Coordinator, sacmarbel@yahoo.com
Atty. Mario Maderazo, PMPI-AMC Project Coordinator, pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Research&Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

Press Statement
February 5, 2013

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[Press Release] Joint investigators and prosecutors training for the first time to fight torture -MAG

Joint investigators and prosecutors training for the first time to fight torture

MAGThe Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are working together with non-governmental organization, the Medical Action Group (MAG) in a UK-funded project to strengthen present efforts to fight torture in the country.

The British Embassy Manila through its Human Rights and Democracy Programme is providing funding for the project “Enhancing the Capacity of the Prosecutors and Investigators for Effective Investigation and Increased Prosecution of Torture Cases Using Medical Evidence.”

Investigators from the PNP and prosecutors from the DOJ will undergo training that will boost their capacity to preserve and process physical and medical evidences that should have probative value in court.

“This is to emphasize the close collaboration between the legal and police professions. However, investigators and prosecutors must often have limited knowledge and understanding of and insight into each other’s work and may even view each other with scepticism. This first joint training of investigators and prosecutors on investigation and documentation of torture cases is crucial process in providing them common ground and framework to work on the application of international standards for effective investigation and successful prosecution of torture cases in the country.” Erlinda Senturias, M.D., Chairperson of MAG explained.

“This project supports efforts to strengthen human rights and the rule of law in the Philippines. This training programme is unique in that it will not only provide investigators and prosecutors with the tools to improve how they process and present medical evidence, but will also strengthen collaboration between the PNP, the DOJ and civil society. This is an example of the openness and ongoing improvement that necessary for delivering positive results,” added Steph Lysaght, First Secretary and Head of the Political Section of the British Embassy Manila.

“This training will galvanize efforts to address the unbearable crimes of torture that tragically remains to be present, albeit in diminished scale, in our society. Quiet efficiency, integrity and honesty will be your guideposts in the use of tools and skills which hopefully will ensure a perfect conviction rate for Complaints and Information filed involving torture. The same aspiration applies to our partner law enforcement agents from the PNP and the NBI,” DOJ Secretary Leila M. de Lima said.

“The PNP must promote and protect human rights because this task lies at the very core of maintaining peace and order, ensuring public safety and upholding the rule of law in this country,” PCSuperintendent Nestor M. Fajura, Head, PNP Human Rights Affairs Office.

The training begins on 23 January 2013 for the first batch of forty-five (45) investigators mostly from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and from the DOJ prosecutors. Selected graduates of the training will further be trained as trainors for investigators and prosecutors in other parts of the country.

Since 2004, the MAG has been increasingly engaged in capacity development among health and legal professionals on the investigation and documentation of torture cases according to the international standards set by “the Istanbul Protocol,” which provides medical and legal professions with tools for investigating, assessing and reporting allegations of torture.-end-

Note to editors:

The UN Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“the Istanbul Protocol”), is the international standard that provides medical and legal professions with tools for investigating, assessing and reporting allegations of torture.

The DOJ, PNP and MAG have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the implementation of said project on November 15, 2012. Justice Secretary Leila M. de Lima; Mr. Steph Lysaght, Political Section Head of the British Embassy Manila; Police Chief Superintendent Nestor M. Fajura of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office and Dr. Senturias of MAG signed the MOA, while Atty. Milabel A. Cristobal of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) witnessed the MOA signing.

On November 22, 2012, Administrative Order No. 35 http://www.gov.ph/2012/11/22/administrative-order-no-35-s-2012 created a body, “Inter-agency committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.”

MEDICAL ACTION GROUP, INC.
Health and Human Rights for All

Press release
January 23, 2013

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[From the web] DOJ Secretary Leila M. de Lima’s Speech On the Occasion of the Ceremonial Signing of MOA Between the DOJ, PNP and MAG -www.magph.com

DOJ Secretary Leila M. de Lima‘s Speech
On the Occasion of the Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement Between
the Department of Justice, Philippine National Police and the Medical Action Group

November 15, 2012
Department of Justice
Padre Faura, Manila

English: Cropped from this original upload.

English: Cropped from this original upload. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Excellency, Stephen Lillie, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Philippines; Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales of the Commission on Human Rights; Police Superintendent Nicanor A. Bartolome of the Philippine National Police; Dr. Petronilo Lenin M. Pascual, Chairperson of the Medical Action Group, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Legal scholars steep in the study of egregious human rights violations contend that there are four essential tasks of post-authoritarian governments concerned in the healing and reconciliation

of a nation. These are truth, justice, reparation and the exercise of memory!. For the partners in today’s important event, we are assiduously focused on contributing to the establishment of truth and, most importantly, the attainment of justice for the victims of torture and their families.

In the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement, the three (3) collaborating institutions of the Department of Justice, Medical Action Group and the Philippine National Police and its partner agencies will galvanize present efforts to address the unbearable crimes of torture that tragically remains to be present, albeit in diminished scale, in our society.

In the establishment of truth, the MOA will help capacitate our investigators and prosecutors in how to assess, collate, preserve and process physical and medical evidence that should be able to

withstand judicial scrutiny in any jurisdiction. Equipped with the necessary framework, skills, discipline and valuable network of like-minded individuals and institutions, our field officers will be able to package an airtight case that will ensure the dispensation of justice for the victims.

For the prosecutors of the Department of Justice, I give you the directive to actively participate in the creation of a composite, specialized and professionalized team of investigators and prosecutors dealing with all cases of reported torture. Quiet efficiency, integrity and honesty will

be your guideposts in the use of tools and skills that will emanate from the implementation of this Agreement which hopefully will ensure a perfect conviction rate for Complaints and Information filed involving torture. The same aspiration applies to our partner law enforcement agents from the PNP and the NBI. In the area of training and capacity-building, we cannot hope for better trainers than the expert doctors and health professionals of the Medical Action Group (MAG).

We credit MAG for this partnership thank them for their initiative.

I cannot over-emphasize enough our appreciation for the support of the British Embassy and the United Kingdom which has been a veritable light for the civilized world that seems to percolate between rallying indignation and tepid, non-committal response despite the glaring evidence that torturous acts continue to shred every bit of humanity not just of the tortured, but of the torturer. Indeed, the United Kingdom’s anti-torture law has been described “as providing the most comprehensive treatments of the crime of torture.

The Philippine Government is steadily rising to the demand and challenge of its people with a sure-footedness and determination that underscore the present administration’s sincere and honest commitment to promote and fulfill human rights. In fact, the Department is confident that the President will soon sign the proposed Administrative Order creating a high-level, inter-agency committee that will converge strategic partners to oversee and monitor the proper investigation and prosecution of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave human rights violations.

Through this A.O., stakeholders, some of whom are with us today, will be further convinced, if they are not already, that the campaign against grave human rights violations has the personal and direct imprimatur of the President.

The MOA, however important it may be, will not dissipate the great challenges that lie before us. Ultimately, to sustain the fight against torture, we must all have the strength of character to see this through the long haul. In plodding along this difficult and arduous road, I leave you with a quote from one of my most favorite, irrepressible figure of history.

Winston Churchill once said: Success is not final, failure the courage to continue that counts.

Ladies and gentlemen, maraming salamat, pagpala-in tayo ng Panginoon.

Source: http://magph.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120:doj-secretary-leila-m-de-lima-speech&catid=1:news&Itemid=6

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[In the news] There’s the rubout -INQUIRER.net

There’s the rubout.
By Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 14, 2013

But of course it was a rubout.

inquirerAt the very least, there’s common sense to suggest it. According to those who lived to tell the tale, who were those who made sure their victims did not, their victims started the gunfight. They flagged them down, but instead of stopping the victims tried to ram the barrier with their SUVs while sending a burst of gunfire at them. They fired back, and in the furious exchange killed them all.

Can anything be more idiotic? A group of 13 heavily armed men fires first at those manning a checkpoint and doesn’t get to put down even one of them? And instead ends up being riddled by bullets down to the last man? That happens only in action movies where the villains are duling.

At the very most, there’s evidence to prove it. The victims appeared to have been shot at close range, some right between their eyes. Some of them weren’t even armed, yet were blasted to death just the same. More than that, witnesses saw one of the victims get out of the car, hands raised up, and ask the people manning the checkpoint what the problem was. And got shot when he went back to the SUV for his pains.

No, it was a rubout pure and simple.

Read full article @opinion.inquirer.net

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