Tag Archives: Police

[In the news] PNP reports on drug war show similar, cut-and-paste angles –FLAG -GMA news

Free Legal Assistance Group lawyers on Thursday said the small fraction of police reports on the war on drugs they have reviewed bore a “strikingly” similar and almost “cut-and-paste” style of accounts of the killings.

Incomplete records, lapses in police procedure, and unidentified assailants also marked FLAG’s findings from reports on 29 cases related to their pending petition at the Supreme Court against the anti-illegal drugs campaign, human rights lawyers Theodore Te and Chel Diokno said at a press conference.

These records that Diokno said support the anecdotal evidence they have gathered, do not yet include the documents the High Court just last Tuesday ordered the Office of the Solicitor General to provide them copies of.

Until they see them, Diokno, a senatorial candidate, said it is “hard to say” if they would spot similar observations in the remaining papers.

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[In the news] Police intel on hunt for members of Alliance of Concerned Teachers -ABS-CBN news

Police intel on hunt for members of Alliance of Concerned Teachers

Philippine National Police (PNP) intelligence operatives have been visiting schools nationwide, asking for “an inventory” of members or allies of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT),” officials of the 180,000-member association told ABS-CBN News.

In an interview, ACT secretary-general Raymond Basilio said reports have poured in from Tarlac, Bulacan, Cebu, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Zambales, Manila, Navotas, Malabon and Agusan del Sur since the start of 2019.

“Some areas, like Manila and Zambales, even have memo from the division offices of the Department of Education,” Basilio said.

“In other cities, there is no memo, but requests come in via SMS or messages to mobile phones of via Facebook messenger and some orders are verbal.”

Read full article @news.abs-cbn.com

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[From the web] Philippine Police Probe Violent Protest Dispersal. Lack of Accountability Fuels Impunity -HRW

Philippine Police Probe Violent Protest Dispersal
Lack of Accountability Fuels Impunity
By Carlos H. Conde
Researcher, Asia Division
@condeHRW
October 21, 2016

200px-Hrw_logo.svgThe Philippine National Police have suspended nine officers involved in the violent dispersal of protesters – some of whom were bearing batons and throwing stones – demonstrating in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “independent foreign policy” in front of the United States Embassy in Manila on Wednesday. They include the driver of a police vehicle who, based on video and still images, drove through the center of the crowd, injuring at least 10 protesters, including women and elderly people. The police chief, Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, pledged to “swiftly and decisively” investigate the conduct of those officers. During the ensuing melee, pushing, shoving, and rock throwing by angry protesters injured at least 30 police officers. The police also arrested 26 protesters.

The images from outside the US Embassy on Wednesday were painful reminders of past police brutality, including the “Mendiola Massacre” in 1987, and the deadly dispersal of protesters in Kidapawan City in April 2016. A Human Rights Watch investigation in Kidapawan found that police used unnecessary lethal force when they fired into a crowd of protesters, killing two and injuring dozens of others.

The national police have long been responsible for serious human rights violations with officers frequently implicated in the excessive use of force and torture of criminal suspects. The police are spearheading President Duterte’s homicidal “war on drugs,” killing an estimated 1,645 suspected drug users and dealers between July 1 and October 15. That dwarfs the 68 killings of suspects police recorded during “anti-drug operations” between January 1 and June 15. Police have attributed the killings to suspects who “resisted arrest and shot at police officers” but dela Rosa has defied calls for an impartial investigation into those deaths.

Dela Rosa said today that images of the police violence on Wednesday “saddened and angered me. I saw people that got hurt. I really don’t want any Filipino getting hurt.” He can take meaningful measures to help prevent unlawful injuries or deaths by police by initiating thorough and impartial investigations of all such incidents and ensuring that officers implicated in such abuses face prosecution. Failure to do so will only guarantee that the culture of impunity for unlawful police violence continues.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/20/philippine-police-probe-violent-protest-dispersal

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[From the web] The Philippines’ Pay-Per-Hit Police – HRW.org

Dispatches: The Philippines’ Pay-Per-Hit Police
By Phelim Kine

200px-Hrw_logo.svgThe newly elected mayor of Cebu City has an innovative approach to crime control in this central Philippine city: A 50,000 peso (US$1,080) bounty for each “criminal” killed by his police force.

Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña announced on May 16 that he would pay that sum to any police officer who “legally” kills a “drug lord, robber, or any criminal” in the line of duty. Osmeña didn’t specify how police would determine the legality of such killings or the identity of the suspects. He justified the bounty as an “extra source of livelihood” for Cebu City police.

Osmeña’s comments may only be post-election bombast. But he has a troubling history of exhorting summary killings of criminal suspects. During a previous tenure as Cebu City mayor in 2005, Osmeña told police: “Go ahead, pull the trigger. As mayor, my warning to anybody doing a crime is I will see to it that you’ll be dead on the spot. If we catch you, you will be so sorry – you won’t be around.”

Such comments constitute de facto official support for extrajudicial execution as a solution to the serious problem of violent crime in the Philippines. It’s an issue that’s not limited to Cebu. A 2009 Human Rights Watch report investigated several dozen of the hundreds of reported killings of people – some as young as 14 – by so-called death squads in Davao City in the south and other urban areas.

The Davao City model of targeted killings as a crime-fighting strategy appears to have spread to other cities in the Philippines including Toledo, Carcar, and Tagum City. Human Rights Watch research revealed in 2013 that Rey Uy, mayor of Tagum City from 1998 to 2013, created his own death squad to purge the city’s streets of hundreds of perceived criminals and those he referred to as the “weeds” of the city – drug dealers, petty criminals, and street children.

Osmeña is not alone in advocating violent and unlawful approaches to crime control. Rodrigo Duterte, who was elected president on May 9, made promises of extrajudicial killings of “criminals” a key plank in his political platform. That rhetoric lends a dangerous credence to a widely held view in the Philippines that only tough-guy, “Dirty Harry” approaches can remedy the country’s crime problem. But providing financial incentives for police to kill criminal suspects is merely a repugnant attempt to legitimize the secretive death squads. Filipinos, who over the years have made great sacrifices for accountability and the rule of law, should resist these moves by their politicians.

Source: http://www.hrw.org

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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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[Press Release] End Police Torture, Killings! Aquino Should Act Decisively to Punish Perpetrators -HRW

Philippines: End Police Torture, Killings
Aquino Should Act Decisively to Punish Perpetrators

(Manila, January 31, 2015) – The Philippine government of President Benigno Aquino III should take decisive action against torture and extrajudicial killings by the police and other state security forces, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.

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The Aquino administration took some important steps in 2014 to improve rule of law, but the government’s overall record in addressing serious human rights violations remained poor. A November Justice Department report implicated police officers in the torture and ill-treatment – including near suffocation and stapling of nipples and genitals – of suspects following the September 2013 attack by Islamist militants on the southern city of Zamboanga.

“The Aquino administration needs to ensure that police responsible for serious abuses are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Ending the culture of impunity for police torture should be a top priority for Aquino in his final two years in office.”

In the 656-page world report, its 25th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth urges governments to recognize that human rights offer an effective moral guide in turbulent times, and that violating rights can spark or aggravate serious security challenges. The short-term gains of undermining core values of freedom and non-discrimination are rarely worth the long-term price.

Positive measures by the administration included the creation of “justice zones” where criminal cases, warrants, and subpoenas are filed electronically as a means to accelerate court proceedings that have stranded thousands of suspects in prolonged pretrial detention. The government also achieved a success against impunity with its August 2014 arrest of retired army General Jovito Palparan, who is implicated in the alleged enforced disappearances of activists in 2006.

Progress in the justice system was overshadowed by failures to address other longstanding problems, Human Rights Watch said. Despite the passage of the Anti-Torture Act in 2009, the courts have yet to convict anyone of torturing suspects in custody.

Police officers and public officials have been involved in a “death squad” in Tagum City in the southern Philippines, as Human Rights Watch reported in May 2014. The death squad targeted suspected petty criminals, among them children, and also functioned as a guns-for-hire operation. To date the Philippines government has not yet prosecuted any government or police official implicated in the Tagum killings.

With less than two years left in his term, President Aquino continues to send mixed signals about his commitment to tackling longstanding human rights problems in the Philippines. While the number of cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances by state security forces have declined since the previous administration, their regular occurrence is no basis for complacency, Human Rights Watch said.

“The crucial missing ingredient in addressing the Philippines’ human rights problems is a lack of political will,” Kine said. “The Aquino administration needs to bring security force personnel implicated in rights violations to justice to send the message that official tolerance for such abuses is at an end.”

To read Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2015 chapter on the Philippines, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/philippines

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/asia/-philippines

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[Blog] The Barbarism and Inhumanity of the Indonesian police’s “virginity tests” by Jose Mario De Vega

The Barbarism and Inhumanity of the Indonesian police’s “virginity tests”
by Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to RT Question More, “Indonesia still performs ‘virginity tests’ on female police job applicants – HRW”, November 18th.

This is with regard to the barbaric practice still being committed by the police authorities in Indonesia subjecting prospective female applicants to a so-called “virginity tests”.

Mario De Vega

The whole damned thing is absolutely barbaric and said practice is undeniably inhumane to the very core!

I overwhelmingly concur with to the stern and firm contention of the Human Rights Watch that “Indonesia’s practice of subjecting would-be female police officers to ‘virginity tests’ is “discriminatory and a form of gender-based violence,” that has to be stopped.”

The associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, Nisha Varia, in a statement said that:

“Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it…”

According to the report:

“The watchdog interviewed female police officers in six Indonesian cities to find out if women applying for a job in law enforcement still have to undergo virginity tests, despite previous promises by police officials to abolish the practice.

“The video with the interviews is now posted on the Human Rights Watchdog official YouTube feed. The women, hiding their faces from cameras and concealing their names, say they had to go through the pain and humiliation of the ‘two-finger test’, which HRW describes as an archaic and discredited practice.”

Commentaries:

I condemn on behalf of humanity the Indonesian police for their barbarism and backwardness in instituting and implementing this utterly ridiculous, outrageous and super idiotic practice.

I am also equally condemning the Indonesian government for allowing their stupid and mediaeval police authorities to carry out this farce of abuse and inhumanity.

This rubbish derogatory act is an act of degrading and dehumanizing women!

The so-called “virginity tests” is nothing but a vulgar display of power of an utterly parochial and primitive “authority”. Its aim is nothing more than to remind women that society is control by men, that it is patriarchal and that they are merely at the mercy and whim of men.

Ultimately, the aim of the said barbaric practice is nothing more but to exploit, discipline and place women to their “proper place” in society!

This is all rubbish, a farce and a complete nonsense!

It is my firm view and so held that besides exploiting women, the said heinous act is also a sexual violence against women!

Consider the testimony given by a 19-year old victim as recorded by the HRW:

“I don’t want to remember those bad experiences. It was humiliating. Why should we take off our clothes in front of strangers? Yes, [the virginity testers] were women, but they were total strangers. It was discriminatory. It is not necessary. I think it should be stopped.”

The so-called “virginity tests” includes the pain and humiliation of the so-called “two-finger test”.

In short, in order for the Indonesian women to become a member of the police force, she must first be fingered.

What the fuck!

This is sickening to the out most!

Let us consider the idiotic “logic” used by the sick and bastard police authorities in justifying this barbarism and dehumanization.

According to the national police’s official website, it is posted there that undergoing the said test is a requirement.

Further, “in addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen [sic] must also undergo virginity tests… So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”

Commentaries:

I am wondering, what the hell does the said test got to do with the position or job of being a policewoman?

Are the Indonesian police implying that if a women is not fingered or no longer a virgin, she will not be a good police woman?

This is totally absurd and completely stupid!

It is my contention that the hymen of a woman has nothing to do on how she will discharge the burden of her function.

I am wondering does it occur to those bastards that there is a big chance and great probability that the very act that they are committing may lead to the shattering of those women’s hymen?

Are they aware that their very act may lead to the devirginification of those women that they wanted to be virgin?

The Associate Press quoted the Indonesian police spokesman Maj. Gen. Ronny Sompie who “urged people not “respond negatively” to the tests, explaining that they are done to ensure the applicants do not have sexually-transmitted diseases…”

As this idiot stated:

“All of this is done in a professional manner and did not harm the applicants…”

Comment:

This bastard does not know what the hell he is talking about.

I am wondering, if he’s daughter wanted to be a policewoman, will he allow his own daughter to subject herself to the so-called “virginity test”?

Will he allow her to take off her clothes, in front of strangers, who shall perform or administer the said test?

Will he allow her to undergo the so-called “two-finger test”?

I wonder what would be the answer of this idiot!

August 25th, last year, I had already condemned the education official of Sumatra with regard to their bastard proposal of virginity tests for teenage schoolgirls.

I am inviting the public to read my article, “Virginity and Morals”, published by the Human Rights Online Philippines.

Said barbaric proposal caused an uproar and country-wide protest, now I am wondering, how come Indonesia instead of learning from the said episode has become even worst. Then, it was the school children, now it is the prospective police woman! I am wondering who would be their next target — come the new year?

This is a shame!

As I’ve stated then:

“What does virginity got to do with education? Whether or not, a woman is virgin or not is immaterial, her right to education must not be denied!

“The law, whether local or international did not stipulate that education are exclusive for the pure and the innocent! The law does not distinguished; hence that idiotic so-called head of education district has no right to make a distinction!

“Education is a basic human and universal right and it is available to all regardless of their station and background in life!

“A woman may be chaste or already deflowered, but it is my firm view that her morality and sense of decency cannot be reduced solely by her hymen.

“Morality and ethics are not mere physical features, they are in truth and in fact, internal attributes; their source are from the individual’s inner character!”

I call upon the government of Indonesia, specifically to their newly sworn president, Mr. Joko Widodo to intervene and tell that bastard and idiotic national police director to cease and desist from instituting, implementing and carrying out that so-called “virginity tests”.

Mr. President as you yourself said during your Inaugural Address:

“We want to be present among other independent nations with dignity, with pride. We want to build our own civilization, we want to become a creative nation, a nation that contributes nobility to the world’s civilization.”

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
Unibersidad de Manila

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[Press Release] Steel workers face renewed harassment from police, management -CTUHR

Steel workers face renewed harassment from police, management

Picketing workers of Pentagon Steel Corporation face harassment from police forces and management anew as the latter tried to take out equipment from the factory site in Kaingin Road, Balintawak Quezon City on February 11.

CTUHR logo

Six patrol vehicles with around 40 uniformed and non-uniformed policemen were deployed in the site at 8 AM to ensure that representatives of Pentagon management and the creditor bank, Banco de Oro (BD)), can enter the factory and conduct an inventory of machines owned by the steel company.

The steel company has payables worth P91 million to BDO based on an order released by Makati RTC Branch 133.

Picketing workers were surrounded by the officers of the Police Community Precinct 1 (PCP 1) of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD). Upon orders by Maj. De Vera, the police commander, uniformed policemen armed with truncheons and shield took their position around the gate of the factory. Another group of non-uniformed men armed with short firearms were also scattered around the picket line.

Workers were thus forced to stay on the sidelines and were unable to stop the company and creditor from taking an inventory of the company properties which the workers have also been claiming as payment for their illegal dismissal.

On April last year, 129 workers of the said company filed a complaint of illegal dismissal at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) after company Personnel Manager Pablito Alcover and company owner Mariano Chan effected a mass dismissal following persistent workers’ demand for safe working conditions in their collective bargaining agreement.

In defiance to the company’s illegal lock-out, the 129 workers put up a picket protest which the company in collusion with local police and with the use of private goons tried to disperse through relentless harassment. More than 20 workers have been imprisoned and charged with different crimes and complaints. A security guard was also killed and three others were severely wounded when a truck on its way out of the factory premises attempted to run over the picketing workers on July 13 last year.

Meanwhile, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) underlined that it is a right of the worker to be paid first of their just claims before the employer may be allowed to dispose his properties in favor of the creditors. “The government should protect the interest of the workers in this situation because those properties are the only assurance that their due claim may be given. This is what the workers have been invoking to the police and the employer during the inventory but they never listened,” CTUHR documentation head, Arman Hernando said.

“The case of Pentagon exposes the kind of industrial peace the Aquino government is trying to achieve. Workers wait all their lives only to get a decision from the labor courts. Worse, workers are kept mum and violently dealt with when they start to fight for what is due them,” Hernando added.

For reference; Arman Hernando, CTUHR Documentation, +632.411.0256.

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[Urgent Appeals] Overt surveillance on a peasant leader in Bataan -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: Overt surveillance on a peasant leader in Bataan
ISSUES: Threats and intimidation; human rights defenders
3 September 2013

Asian Human Rights Commission

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that renewed surveillance is being carried out on peasant leader in Bataan. The victim has actively participated in campaigns and human rights activities. A series of surveillance operations had been recognize by his family at their residence.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (KARAPATAN))

On 2 August 2013 at 11am Rodolfo “Ka Rudy” Sambajon, Secretary General of Makabayan Coalition-Central Luzon, a local chapter of the Patriotic Coalition (Makabayan) and the National Chairperson Emeritus of the National Federation of the Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines (Pamalakaya), noticed a man riding a Kawasaki motorcycle passing by when he arrived at his home in Orani, Bataan. One reason he noticed this particular motorcycle was because it had an improvised “lost plate” licence plate of vehicle registration number.

According to Ka Rudy, the man riding in the motorcycle had a military haircut and was about 5’7” tall. Ka Rudy’s son also reported that he had seen the same man coming out of an alley near their house and looking around.

On 4 August, Ka Rudy’s wife sent him a text message warning him not to go home. She noticed unfamiliar men going around their place and especially hawkers whom she suspected to be government intelligence agents.

The incident happened almost three weeks after Ka Rudy joined a Quick Response Team (QRT) on 14 July 2013 to look into the case of the reported abduction of farmers in Bataan by soldiers of the 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA). Also in July, the National Office of Karapatan received a report that Ka Rudy has been targeted for assassination by the 72nd Military Intelligence Company, a unit of Sgt. Antonio Hilario. Antonio Hilario is the brother of M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, a co-accused of Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan for the enforced disappearance of the two University of the Philippine students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

In 2002, Ka Rudy, then the National Chairperson of National Federation of the Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines (Pamalakaya), was in a protest action against the demolition of houses in Brgy. Ambulong, Tanauan City, Batangas. The demolition was part of the plan to put up a “development project” and a beach resort at the foot of the Taal Lake which will destroy the livelihood of more than 20 families.

On 14 March 2002, an estimated 400 elements from the Batangas, Laguna, and Manila Philippine National Police backed up some 150 members of a demolition team arrived. The residents and their supporters barricaded the area but the police and demolition team attacked the barricade. While Ka Rudy, with the community leaders of farmers and fisher folk, tried to negotiate with the police and the court’s sheriff, one of the police men got angry and pulled out his gun and threatened to shoot Ka Rudy. A farmer, Roberto Dumampo, saw this and struck the police’s hand. The gun fired and the bullet nearly hit the head of Dumampo. This led to gunfire by the police during which seven people injured due to the violent dispersal of the police and 22 families were dislocated due to the demolition.

On December 2006, Ka Rudy was harassed after he joined a fact-finding mission on the cases of extrajudicial killings and frustrated extrajudicial killings in Orani, Bataan.
The barangay captain and a number of neighbours reported to Ka Rudy that some men were asking people about a man named “Ka Rudy Sambajon.” For his own safety, Ka Rudy decided to leave his home and stayed in peasant communities where he is organizing or helping out farmers on land disputes.

For more than four years, Ka Rudy was unable to go home for fear that his family might experience the same harassment from suspected military agents.

In 2010, Ka Rudy learned from his colleagues that motorcycle-riding men wearing ski masks were looking for him at the house he was staying in Bataan. These men came to the said house a couple of times. (See 2010 Karapatan Year-End Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines)
On 11 September 2010, in Brgy. Gen. Lim, Orion, Bataan, Ka Rudy was in a meeting of the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka at Mamamayan ng Bangad (SMMB) or the Association of Farmers and Residents of Bangad. During the meeting, the members noticed that three unidentified men arrived on two motorcycles without plate numbers. The SMMB members saw the three men observing them.

After the meeting, Ka Rudy left and waited for a bus at a street corner about 100 meters away from their meeting place. Two men on motorcycles approached him and asked for his name and what he was doing in the meeting.

Ka Rudy in turn asked them who they are and asked for their identification cards. The man driving the motorcycle said, “We are policemen! What is your name?” However, their questioning was cut short and immediately left when they saw a member of the SMMB approaching them.

Ka Rudy was about to go back to the venue of the meeting to relay to his colleagues what happened but, not far from the corner, he saw the two motorcyclists following him. Ka Rudy was forced to enter the nearest yard to ask for help. The men on the motorcycles approached him. One of the men pulled out a gun and shouted, “Do not try to run! Come here! What is in your bag?”

The owner of the house came out upon hearing the noise and the two men were frightened away. Ka Rudy immediately reported the incident to a member of the SMMB who went to the house. While the two were talking, the motorcycle riding men came back and one of them pointed his finger at Ka Rudy.

The SMMB member took Ka Rudy to his tricycle and away from the community. The two motorcyclists who had earlier pointed a gun at Ka Rudy tailed them but were lost when Ka Rudy and his companion drove around the community to shake off the men. Ka Rudy was able to get out of the area safely.

In the afternoon of the same day, seven men threatened a member of the SMMB to get Ka Rudy’s house address. The same men were reported to be asking around residents about Ka Rudy – what he looks like and where his home is. Another report came to Ka Rudy that men were keeping watch on his house.

The surveillance at Ka Rudy’s house by suspected police and military agents continued until 13 September 2010.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the concerned authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Overt surveillance on a peasant leader in Bataan

Name of the victim: Rodolfo “Ka Rudy” Sambajon, 67 years old, fisherman, Secretary General of Patriotic Coalition – Central Luzon (Makabayan). He is the National Chairperson Emeritus of National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines (Pamalakaya).

Alleged Perpetrators: unidentified men
Date of incident: 2 and 4 August 2013 at 11am
Place of incident: Family residence in Orani, Bataan.

I am writing to draw your attention regarding the surveillance to Rodolfo “Ka Rudy” Sambajon, Secretary General of Makabayan Coalition-Central Luzon, a local chapter of Patriotic Coalition (Makabayan) and National Chairperson Emeritus of National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines (Pamalakaya), on 2 August 2013 at 11am. He noticed a man riding in a Kawasaki motorcycle passed by when he arrived at his home in Orani, Bataan. One reason he noticed this particular motorcycle was because it had an improvised “lost plate” licence plate of vehicle registration number.

According to Ka Rudy, the man riding in the motorcycle had a military haircut and was about 5’7” tall. Ka Rudy’s son also reported that he had seen the same man coming out of an alley near their house and looking around.

I am aware that on 4 August, Ka Rudy’s wife sent him a text message warning him not to go home. She noticed unfamiliar men going around their place and especially hawkers whom she suspected to be government intelligence agents.

The incident happened almost three weeks after Ka Rudy joined a Quick Response Team (QRT) on 14 July 2013 to look into the case of the reported abduction of farmers in Bataan by soldiers of the 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA). Also in July, the National Office of Karapatan received a report that Ka Rudy has been targeted for assassination by the 72nd Military Intelligence Company, a unit of Sgt. Antonio Hilario. Antonio Hilario is the brother of M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, a co-accused of Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan for the enforced disappearance of the two University of the Philippine students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

I urge you to conduct an effective investigation in order to identify and held to account those responsible in conducting the surveillance on Rudy Sambajon. Also, ensure the safety of the victim and his family. They must be afforded with adequate security and protection promptly. It is disappointing that despite previous similar incidents, there has not been any progress to ensure their protection and safety.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.

Yours sincerely,

——————————
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

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

2. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Police Director Alan LM Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax +632 7248763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

4. Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
E-mail: soj@doj.gov.ph

Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia)

AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines
Follow us on:
Facebook: ahrc pilipinas
Twitter: @ahrcphilippines
Podcast: AHRC Philippines Rights Cast

Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

——————————————————
NEW REPORT:
Special Report: The Philippines’ hollow human rights system

Click to access v11n0203.pdf

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[Statement] Why is there no investigation into the torture of a rape suspect two months on? -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: Why is there no investigation into the torture of a rape suspect two months on?

Asian Human Rights Commission

On June 21, we reported that Alfredo Lim, the former Mayor of Manila, had tortured a rape suspect in full view of the public, while the senior police officers present did nothing to prevent him. We rightly demanded that Lim, who perpetrated the torture and the policemen, who did nothing to stop the torture, be investigated for violation of the Anti-torture Act of 2009. The criminal liability under this law applies not only to public officials who commit torture but also those who knowingly allow it to happen and do nothing to prevent it.

In our previous statement, we also published the transcript of the video. By reading the transcript of the conversation between Lim and the suspect it was clear that the infliction of physical and psychological pain by Lim on the man was to extract a confession. In full view of the public, the suspect was forced to admit that he had raped, not one, but several women in separate incidents.

In response to our demand for a full investigation, without any reservations Lim defended his actions arguing as to why they were necessary and why he was not liable under the Anti-torture Law. In this report, Lim was quoted to have said:

The purpose of the press conference was not to extract admission from the suspect as he has already confessed to the crime before the police, the intention was for other possible victims to surface once they see the suspect’s face on television and newspapers.

In a separate report, Lim also challenged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) “….to investigate questions being raised by an alleged group of activists”. In this he was obviously referring to the AHRC. Lim’s call for the CHR to investigate, however, was to serve his own purposes and not to shed light on the allegations of torture. Lim’s remark: “What about the victims? Don’t they have human rights, too?” clearly demonstrates his typically divisive strategy by making the public choose between the rights of a ‘criminal’ and a ‘victim’, and not whether he should be held criminally liable for having committed torture.

Lim’s style is not surprising. In fact, in November 2012, he defended the policemen who killed a man accused of murdering three women. In that report, Lim argued the “presumption of regularity” in defence of the policemen who were criticized for the killing. What Lim meant was that the policemen who took custody of the murdered suspect must be assumed to have been performing in accordance with the law; thus, to kill the suspect in custody by simply explaining that the suspect tried to grab a gun in order to escape was justified.

While we are not surprise by Lim’s actions in dealing with criminal suspects; however, the inaction by the CHR and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is indeed shocking. If the prohibition and prevention of torture were to be absolute, either by the Constitution and Statutory laws, the failure of the CHR and the PAO to conduct a “prompt, immediate and impartial investigation” on Lim and the policemen means that the absolute freedom from torture only exist on paper and not in practice, as is evident in this case.

It is clear that neither the CHR nor the PAO did anything to investigate. Our demand for an investigation has been widely publicized; thus, it could not have been possible that the CHR and the PAO were not aware about this case. If Lim could ignore the CHR’s questioning about the custodial death of a man in police custody in 2012, we would not be surprised if Lim could, again, ignore the CHR now if it continues not to do anything.

The CHR and the PAO must explain why, two months after the incident, Lim and the policemen were never subjected to any form of investigation to answer these serious allegations. The absence of investigation into allegations of torture weakens the efficacy of the Anti-torture Law, and has since given rise to the loss of confidence in the law, not only by the torture victims, but also the public.

If the public officials and the law enforcers are not held accountable for the gravest forms of violations of fundamental rights: torture, they can hardly expect people and the public to abide by the law as well. It is completely wrong for the CHR and PAO to ignore this issue and just carryon on as if nothing has happened, especially with the violation of the law that Lim and the policemen committed.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Read this Statement online
AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines
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[From the web] PNP sued by peasant activists -hrdefenders.wordpress.com

PNP sued by peasant activists
hrdefenders.wordpress.com

karapatan_logo4

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!

pahra logo copy

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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[Press Release] Labor group condemns police-company collusion to stop picketing workers -CTUHR

Labor group condemns police-company collusion to stop picketing workers

CTUHR logo

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights condemns the collusion of the Quezon City police and the Pentagon Steel Corporation management to put down the picket of over a hundred workers in Brgy. Apolonio Samson, Kaingin Road, Quezon City.

“The extent of support given by the local police to the company is alarming especially because fundamental human rights of the workers have been gravely violated,” Arman Hernando, CTUHR coordinator for Documentation said.

Last May 18, CTUHR dispatched a quick response team (QRT) to the site of the picketing workers where Hernando reportedly witnessed how the policemen from Police Community Precinct 1 of the Quezon City Police District (PCP1-QCPD) willingly provided security services to the steel company. “The company just sent a request letter to the police asking them to implement an injunction order. It is amazing how fast the police responded to their request,” Hernando added.

Around 40 policemen from PCP1-QCPD headed by Major de Vera were deployed 8 AM of May 18 to sever the workers protest of following a preliminary injunction order issued by the National Labor Relations Commission.

“It’s not difficult to conclude that the police was siding with the company. The police officers stood in front of the factory as though they were the company’s private security, and their vehicles were parked inside the compound,” Hernando narrated.

CTUHR also reported 17 men in civilian clothes spread around the workers’ picket line. Later it was discovered that these men were police intelligence officers.

Three workers suffered minor head injuries after being hit by truncheons. After the dispersal, at around 10 AM, the police also reportedly escorted some 50 individuals including 20 scabs to get inside the factory.
Sec. 10 Rule XIII Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code clearly provides that “no public official, employee, including officers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Integrated National Police, or any armed person shall bring in, introduce or escort, in any manner, any individuals who seeks to replace strikers in entering or leaving the premises of strike area.xxx”

“There is a clear collusion of the two entities to further violate the rights of the workers here. Pentagon management after its illegal lockout seeks to continue its operation by replacing the 130 dismissed workers. The police, instead of staying neutral at best, unquestioningly provided the necessary act to fulfill the company’s intention. Worse than being illegal, their acts are inhumane. These acts strip-off the only thing left of the workers—dignity,” Hernando pointed out.

Meanwhile, on May 14 at 8 AM, Bimbo Laurenciano fell off a 40-feet asbestos roof inside the Pentagon plant after attempting to sneak inside Pentagon’s premises to work. Laurenciano was immediately brought to Quezon City General Hospital but died in the afternoon of the same date due to severe head injury.

“We feel sorry for the death of Laurenciano. In Pentagon’s attempt to continue earning profit amid the labor dispute cost another worker’s life,” Hernando added.

Hernando said that the accident could have been avoided if Pentagon has stopped its illegal lock-out of workers. “The workers are in fact asking much, they just want the management to respect their union, and implement the collective bargaining agreement by providing workers with safety gadgets. They are not even asking for a hike. But instead of heeding their just and modest demands, union leaders were suspended and later, all of the union members were also illegally dismissed,” Hernando said.

“We call on the NLRC and the Pentagon management to resolve dispute immediately and bring the workers back to work,” Hernando said.

RELEASE
23 May 2013

for reference: Arman Hernando, CTUHR Coordinator for Documentation, 02.4110456

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wk of disappeared copysign petiton2 small

[Blog] Humanity must come together as One to crush all forms of madness, inhumanity, superstition and fanaticism by Jose Mario De Vega

Humanity must come together as One to crush all forms of madness, inhumanity, superstition and fanaticism
by Jose Mario De Vega

Mario De VegaI refer to the shocking news at happened last week In Papua New Guinea. According to the reports of the AFP:

A young mother who was accused of sorcery was stripped naked, doused with petrol and burned alive in front of a crowd including schoolchildren in Papua New Guinea.

The National newspaper, named the woman as Keapari Leniata, a 20 year old, who at the time of her brutal death have an eight-month-old daughter.

Besides her inhumane manner of death, it was also reported that she was also “tortured with a branding iron and tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres”.

Her crime?

She was torched by the villagers for allegedly claiming to have killed a six-year old boy through sorcery.

If she indeed, committed a crime, the villagers have no right whatsoever to stripped her naked, tortured with a branding iron, tied up, doused with petrol and torched to death.

Let the courts of law ascertain the facts of the case and render the appropriate judgment.

What irritates and angered me with this gruesome and undeniably barbaric act is the unfortunate fact that while those murderous villagers are putting the law into their own hands, the law enforcers, the police, were outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene.

This is a shame!

I am wondering: do they not have any guns, issued to them by the government? If they do, then, how come they did not fire a warning shot or two into the sky to stop the mob from carrying out this barbaric and indescribably horrendous act?

Added insult to injury is the preposterous report that “a fire truck that responded to the incident, which took place on Wednesday morning in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands”; which to my surprise and shock was also chased away.

Does it mean that that bloody truck has no water to disperse the crowd?

I cannot understand all of this! This is a perfect case of a comedy that ends in tragedy!

Imagine and picture the whole situation: you have some policemen that cannot enforce the law; second you have a fire truck that is waterless or perhaps the driver is so stupid that that idiot does not know what to do under the circumstances.

Third, you have a bunch of villagers that does not recognize the duly constituted authorities.

Net effect: you have a society that is backward, primitive, idiotic, barbaric, intolerant and truly unenlightened.

I understand that “there is a widespread belief in sorcery in the poverty-stricken Pacific nation”, but that is not a valid reason to burn another human being.

The police “said they were treating the torching as murder and preparing charges against those responsible”. I doubt the sincerity and courage of these individuals. How could they bring to the bar of justice the perpetrators of this horrible and violent act, when they are there exactly at the scene of the crime and they did not even lift a finger to stop the mod from violating the law?

Now, they are telling that they will do something, how come they did not do it — on the spot — right there and then?

I concur with the local Bishop David Piso’s contention that “many innocent people had been killed.”

Further he stated that:

“Sorcery and sorcery-related killings are growing and the government needs to come up with a law to stop such practice…”

I also subscribed to the statement issued by the US embassy in Port Moresby in strongly condemning the “brutal murder” of Leniata, who had an eight-month-old daughter. It also added that said act against the young woman is evidence of “pervasive gender-based violence”.

Portion of the statement reads in part that:

“We add our voice to those of Papua New Guinean religious and civil society leaders who have spoken out against the brutality inflicted upon Ms Leniata…”

“There is no possible justification for this sort of violence. We hope that appropriate resources are devoted to identifying, prosecuting, and punishing those responsible for Ms Leniata’s murder.”

Is this the kind of world we want?

A world divided by prejudice, by inhumanity of man by man, of paranoia, of distrust and mistrust, racism, ethnocentrism, of hate and bias, of anger and rage?

We have to come together as one, because we are one, despite the difference in the color of our skin, or the diversity of our background; we are all human beings and we share the same planet, we all live in the same place, breathed the same air and share the same blood!

We must all rise up from this madness, this idiocy, this inhumanity for the future of the greater mankind!

It is in this great sense that I condemn the barbaric act of those brainless and murderous villagers in burning to death Leniata.

On behalf of the international community, I call upon the duly elected authority of Papua New Guinea to do everything within its powers to bring to the bar of justice all those bloody bastards who participated in carrying out this dastardly and utterly unspeakable acts of madness, inhumanity and fanaticism.

In the immortal words of Voltaire:

Let us therefore reject all superstition in order to become more human; but in speaking against fanaticism, let us not imitate the fanatics: they are sick men in delirium who want to chastise their doctors. Let us assuage their ills, and never embitter them, and let us pour drop by drop into their souls the divine balm of toleration, which they would reject with horror if it were offered to them all at once.

Humanity must come together as One to crush all forms of madness, inhumanity, superstition and fanaticism.

Justice for Leniata and all victims like her…

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
Concurrent Lecturer

College of Arts and Letters
Department of Philosophy
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

And

Institute of Arts and Sciences
Department of Humanities, Literature and Philosophy
Far Eastern University

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[In the news] PPCRV assails police, military presence inside ARMM registration centers -MindaNews

MindaNews » PPCRV assails police, military presence inside ARMM registration centers.

By Keith Bacongco
August 5, 2012

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/4 Aug) – The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has assailed the presence of police and military personnel inside registration centers during the 10-day re-registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) last month.

In an assessment meeting of the Task Force Rehistro on Thursday, Fr. David Procalla, chair of the PPCRV-ARMM, accused the police and military of “playing with law.”

Procalla was referring to election law that prohibits the presence of police and military personnel right inside in the registration centers.

Although he acknowledged that there was a need for the presence of the police and military inside the registration centers, particularly in Lanao del Sur, the law clearly says it is prohibited, he stressed.

“Should we play with laws or should we implement even if there are requests from election officers? They should only stay within hearing distance, even just outside the door,” the priest told members of Task Force Rehistro.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[From the web] Criminalizing CARP beneficiaries -hrdefenders

Criminalizing CARP beneficiaries
by hrdefenders

August 1, 2012

The continuing persecution of peasant activists who are struggling for their right to the land they’re tilling is outright condemnable. For months, the peasants of Brgy. Cantipay, Carmen, Cebu have been frustrating efforts of the town mayor to fence off their farm lots. In the entire time, they have withstood goons and police sent out by local government to quell their opposition to the illegal fencing.

Armed only with the legitimacy of their cause, they stood firmly in protesting the abuse of authority amidst partisan display of police might by the local executive. To highlight the justness of their cause and firmness of their resolve, the Cantipay Farmers’ Association (CAFA) filed administrative complaints against the mayor before the Office of the Ombudsman on July 10, 2012. While harboring no high hopes on our reactionary courts, the peasants would like to demonstrate that they would not cringe from whatever arena their struggle would take them in defense of their rights. In reprisal, the local police lodged trumped up charges of theft against the poor peasants.

Without due notice, they proceeded to arrest spouses Erlinda and Leonides Into on July 24 2012 at about 12:30 PM, two of those who filed the complaint against the mayor at the ombudsman. Not satisfied with that, they would file more charges of illegal possession of firearms and direct assault against the hapless victims. The victims are now penalized to languish in jail due to the high cost of bail recommended by the police for their freedom.

Read full article @ hrdefenders.wordpress.com

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[In the news] Lawmen may be behind summary executions in Manila, ex-cop says -PhilStar.com

Lawmen may be behind summary executions in Manila, ex-cop says
By Rey Galupo, PhilStar.com
April 30, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – A former police official of the Western Police District (now the Manila Police District) believes that the recent series of summary executions in Manila could be the work of law enforcers.

The police officer, who asked not to be named, called up The STAR to say that reports of bodies being found at the former Smokey Mountain dump remind him of the time when he was investigating a series of summary executions in different parts of the city in the 1990s.

“The style is almost the same. They kill the person, usually known criminals and recidivists, then dump the body somewhere else. These vigilantes would, most of the time, make sure that the public is well aware of what is happening. That’s why they tend to dramatize the killing… that’s the reason why they put tags like ‘holdaper ako (I’m a robber)’ on the victims,” he said.

The source – a celebrated police officer during his time – said there are pros and cons in being a vigilante.

“When you salvage criminals you instill fear in their minds. They begin to have second thoughts. For a time, it will lessen criminal activities in the area. But criminals will always be criminals. They will find ways to do their thing. That is when they become more aggressive on their victims. When they rob you they will… harm or even kill you because they know their lives are in danger,” he said, adding that criminals just commit crimes somewhere else when an area becomes “too hot” for them.

Read full article @ new.philstar.com

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[From the web] An Act against women -INQUIRER.net

An Act against women.

By: Rina Jimenez-David, Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 20, 2012

Do you know that if you were to venture out of your home in your house clothes, stand on a street corner and appear as if you have “no visible means of income,” you can be arrested for vagrancy?

And if you are a woman and police suspect you of being a prostitute, but have no proof that you are, they can haul you into jail on a charge of vagrancy? And if you are so unlucky as to meet a corrupt or sleazy police officer, you can be forced to fork over a certain amount and/or provide free sexual services in exchange for your release?

“Vagrancy” is an archaic charge used by police to bring in people from the street who they feel are public annoyances or threats. As an activist, I have heard many times about comrades hauled into police stations on the charge of “standing [around] without permission.” That is how vague and sweeping a crime like “vagrancy” is.

No wonder the police resisted moves to get “vagrancy” stricken off the law books. Though it’s aimed at getting poor people off the streets, it’s been mainly used against women, who complain that the law turns them into “gatasan” or “milking cows” for police in search of a quick and easy buck, or an easy lay.

Read full article @ opinion.inquirer.net

[In the news] DSWD Lapu police mishandled child -Cebu Daily News

DSWD Lapu police mishandled child -Cebu Daily News
March 14, 2012

Social welfare officials in Lapu-Lapu City questioned the city police’s interrogation of the 7-year-old boy who claimed to have witnessed the drowning of 7-year-old Joshua Veloso in barangay Buaya, Lapu-Lapu City, last Feb. 29.

In an interview, Mark Bao, social worker assistant of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Lapu-Lapu City said the boy’s affidavit as facilitated by the police is “inadmissible” in court.

Bao said the execution of an affidavit involving a minor should be done in the presence of social workers.

The affidavit was reportedly executed by investigators of the police’s Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD).

The desk also executed the affidavit of the 11-year-old who pushed Joshua into the waters.

Joshua, whose mother didn’t press charges against the underage bullies who harassed him, didn’t know how to swim.

Read full article @ cebudailynews.wordpress.com

[Event] Press Conference: Walang Kabuluhan Ang “EDSA” Kung Walang Nakakamit Na Hustisya!

26 Taon Matapos ang “EDSA”… 2 Taon nang Maipasa ang Anti-Torture Law, Patuloy ang Pag-Tortyur At Nananatiling Uhaw Sa Katarungan Ang Mga Biktima At Pamilya.

Walang Kabuluhan Ang
“EDSA”
Kung Walang Nakakamit Na Hustisya!

Press Conference/Briefing
February 24, 2012, Friday @ Max’s Restaurant
Located at 1123 M.Y. Orosa St., cor. U.N. Ave., Ermita, Manila (infront of Court of Appeals-East Gate)

Cases to be presented: 1) Lenin Salas, et al. and Ronel Cabais-The victims were tortured and both tagged as rebels by law enforcers.

Resource Persons: Ronel Cabais, family members of torture victims, and human rights defenders/experts

Photo Ops: Around 20 Family Members and Victims with placards each stating—
”Ako’y Biktima Ng Torture” or “Ang Aking Tatay Ay Biktima ng Tortyur”, etc.; and 1 (one) Big Placard stating— “Lahat Tayo’y Maaaring Maging Biktima ng Tortyur!

Sponsored by: United Against Torture Coalition (UATC); and,
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)

For details, please contact Mr. Egay Cabalitan (0921)9645017
or Mr. Rommel Yamzon (0917)4969979

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