Tag Archives: task force detainees

[Statement] Dismissal from service of torturers not enough, implement RA9745, convene the Oversight Com -TFDP

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Reaction to the alleged torture of inmates in a secret detention in Binan Laguna
January 30, 2014

DISMISSAL FROM SERVICE OF TORTURERS NOT ENOUGH, IMPLEMENT RA9745, CONVENE THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Suspension and dismissal from service of the 10 suspected torturers are not enough. Cases should be filed against the alleged perpetrators under the Anti-Torture Law (ATL) or RA9745 and prosecute torturers.

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The alleged torture of detainees if proven should not only penalize the 10 police personnel. Their immediate superiors should also be held liable. The ATL provides,

The immediate commanding officer of the unit concerned of the AFP or the immediate senior public official of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies shall be held liable as a principal to the crime of torture or other cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment for any act or omission, or negligence committed by him/her that shall have led, assisted, abetted or allowed, whether directly or indirectly, the commission thereof by his/her subordinates. If he/she has knowledge of or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment shall be committed, is being committed, or has been committed by his/her subordinates or by others within his/her area of responsibility and, despite such knowledge, did not take preventive or corrective action either before, during or immediately after its commission, when he/she has the authority to prevent or investigate allegations of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment but failed to prevent or investigate allegations of such act, whether deliberately or due to negligence shall also be liable as principals.

Moreover, they should also be held liable for maintaining a “secret prison” in Binan, Laguna. Section 7 of RA 9745 states that

Prohibited Detention. – Secret detention places, solitary confinement, incommunicado or other similar forms of detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity.

This is also to urge the Commission on Human Rights to convene the oversight committee, as provided by the law. The committee shall be composed of representatives from both houses of Congress for the purpose of monitoring compliance to the act.

EMMANUEL AMISTAD
Executive Director
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
09178569830; ecamistad@yahoo.com, office: 9950246, 4378054; tfdp.1974@gmail.com

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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[Urgent Appeal] Extrajudicial Killing of Human Rights Defender Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin -TFDP

URGENT APPEAL: Extrajudicial Killing of Human Rights Defender Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin

TFDP logo small

Dear Friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) writes to inform you about the killing of a human rights defender, Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr. on July 2, 2013 at his home in Maharlika Village, Matina Aplaya, Davao City, Philippines by an unknown person. Petalcorin was the president of the Davao City based group, Network of Transport Organizations (NETO), a member of the Alliance of Progressive Labor and Akbayan in Davao.

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FACTS OF THE CASE

In the morning of July 2, 2013, at around 8:15 AM, Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr. was shot three times by an unknown gunman at his home garage in Maharlika Village, Davao City.

According to Petalcorin’s wife, she heard a gun shot then heard Petalcorin shout. Alarmed, she hurriedly went to the garage and found her husband’s body in blood on the ground.

Thinking that Petalcorin was still alive, his wife went inside the house and called the emergency hotline. The emergency team along with the Police came after about 15 minutes, but Petalcorin was dead.

The assassin was allegedly caught on a CCTV camera as he walked away from the scene and rode a motorcycle. A sketch of the suspect is currently in the hands of the police.

According to Petalcorin’s wife, her husband has not received any death threats. However, prior to Petalcorin’s death, another leader of a transport group, Emilio Rivera, former chair of Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative was killed on January 25, 2013. Petalcorin and Rivera both took part in a campaign to expose the corruption in the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and to oust its director, Benjamin Go.

Petalcorin’s name had previously appeared on the alleged order of battle that was leaked in 2008.

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REQUESTED ACTION

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO

Investigate and prosecute not only the actual perpetrator but including and especially the mastermind of this heinous crime will be brought to justice.

Exert special efforts in protection of human rights defenders and observe their rights in accordance with human rights standards.

Address the issues brought forward by the victims, Antonio Petalcorin and Emilio Rivera in Davao: the alleged corruption at the LTFRB office in Davao City.

________________________________________________________________________________

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear

RE: Extrajudicial Killing of Human Rights Defender Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin

I write to urgently seek your action regarding the killing of a Human Rights Defender, Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, the President of a transport group in Davao, Network of Transport Organizations (NETO), member of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and Akbayan.

I have learned that Mr. Petalcorin was killed in his home, in Maharlika Village, Matina Aplaya, Davao City on July 2, 2013 by an unknown gunman, who was later seen on a CCTV as he left the scene of the crime.

I have also learned that prior to the killing of Mr. Petalcorin, another transport leader, Emilio Rivera of the Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO) has been killed in January 25, 2013.

It was brought to my attention that before their death, both men actively campaigned against an alleged corruption at the Land Transport Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and against its director, Mr Benjamin Go.

There was also information that the name of Mr. Petalcorin has been included in the alleged order of battle leaked in 2008 and that this alleged list included names of many human rights defenders.

I am asking the concerned government agencies to exert special efforts in ensuring the safety and well being of human rights defenders based on the standards set by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, rights and protections accorded to them.

I am also asking that they investigate and prosecute not only the actual perpetrator but including and especially the mastermind of the killing of Mr. Petalcorin and to bring justice to his death.

Lastly, in pursuit of the cause of Mr. Petalcorin and Mr. Rivera, we ask for the decisive resolution on the issue of alleged corruption at the LTFRB office in Davao City. This will ensure that the victims did not die in vain.

________________________________________________________________________________

PLEASE SEND TO
Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St.
San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Fax +632 7421641/9293968
Email: corres@op.gov.ph/opnet@ops.gov.ph

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

Atty. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St. Manila
Philippines
Fax: +632 5211614
Email : doj.delima@gmail.com

Mr. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya
Secretary
Department of Transportation and Communication
The Columbia Tower
Ortigas Avenue, Barangay Wack-wack
Mandaluyong City
Philippines
Fax + 632 7234925
Email: webmaster@dotc.gov.ph

Atty. Winston M. Ginez
Chairman
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board
East Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City 1100
Philippines
Fax +632 9257191
Email: contact@ltfrb.gov.ph

Ms. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Building, UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax +632 9290102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

Note: 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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[Petition] Free All Political Prisoners and Detainees! Proclaim December 7 as Political Prisoners Day!

Petition for the release of Political Prisoners and Detainees and for Proclaiming December 7 as Political Prisoners Day

Sign petiton #FreeOurDefenders

TFDP logo small

Dear President Benigno Simeon Aquino

We are writing to Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of the Philippines to appeal in behalf of the 328 political prisoners and detainees nationwide. Our appeal is based on Section 19 of Article VII of the Philippine Constitution that gives you the power to grant Executive Clemency.

We would also like to ask you to proclaim December 7, 2013 of the Human Rights week commemoration as a Political Prisoners and Detainees day in honor of all victims of political incarceration in the country like your father, the late Senator Benigno Aquino.

As of January 2013, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) has documented 328 political prisoners and detainees languishing in jails nationwide. They are the likes of Cocoy Tulawie, a detained Human Rights Defender and Nitoy Itaas, a long held Political Prisoner.

Cocoy Tulawie was detained and being tried with trumped-up charges to silence him and discourage others in defending human rights against perpetrators in Sulu. Nitoy Itaas has suffered more than 20 years of incarceration for crimes he did not commit. They are two of the more than 300 victims of political repression, majority of which are victims of the past repressive administration.

Honorable President, we know that you are aware that defending human rights, freedom of belief and opinion, expression and association, and many other freedoms are all human rights, and that it is your administration’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfill. We expect no less from the son of both parents who were known heroes of democracy and enemies of repression. You know and feel the pain of imprisonment of a loved one and his eventual assassination, a victim of extra-judicial killing.

Dear President, It is imperative for a democracy to respect differing opinions and beliefs. The more than 300 political prisoners and detainees are not criminals. They are defenders of change, and fighters for freedom but were charged and treated as common criminals.

They are farmers, workers, youth, women and men of the marginalized sectors. They have suffered torture, illegal arrests and detention; others were disappeared and surfaced in detention. They are the more than 300 defenders of peoples’ rights and social justice.

We urge you dear President to use your executive influence to grant them the freedom that they, their families and friends had been longing for.

Free our Defenders. Free all Political Prisoners and Detainees.

Download and sign petition here and submit to tfdp.1974@gmail.com

———————————————

Support #FreeOurDefenders Signature drive! Petition PNoy for the release of Political Prisoners and Detainees and for Proclaiming December 7 as Political Prisoners Day.

Support the #FreeOurDefenders campaign!
• Like our FB page and share our posts.
• Sign the petition and help us generate 300+ more signatures. Download petition letter @www.tfdp.net
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[Statement] Protect the right to defend human rights! Freedom and Justice for Women Human Rights Defenders! -TFDP

Protect the right to defend human rights! Freedom and Justice for Women Human Rights Defenders!

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Even with the existence of laws supposedly protecting women from violence, there are still women including those working with human rights and peoples’ issues who are subjected to killings, enforced disappearance, torture, illegal arrests and detention and other human rights violations.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) declares its unwavering solidarity with our women human rights defenders in calling for an end to all forms of violence against women and their children and calls on the Philippine government to free women defenders who are being politically incarcerated and demand justice for all women victims of human rights violations.

An anti-mining woman leader of the B’laan tribe in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, Juvy Capion, also a mother of four was killed on October 18, 2012 by members of the 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. The army claimed that it was a legitimate operation and that they were in pursuit of Daguil Capion, Juvy’s husband and allegedly a member of a rebel group.

Juvy Capion and her children were unarmed and resting inside their hut.

Charity Diño, 30 years old was arrested, tortured and detained on November 23, 2009.   Maricon Montaje was arrested on June 3, 2010.  They were both detained at Batangas Provincial Jail and  charged and suspected to be members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA).

Just recently, 14 farmers including women were harassed, arrested without warrant and detained in Sarangani Province in Mindanao.  The victims include a pregnant woman and a two year old girl. The Kiamba Police, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-SarGen and 73rd Infantry battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested the victims and raided their houses without warrant of arrest and search warrant.

They are just a few of the countless women activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines who suffered human rights violations.  Women defenders are tortured and detained. Others were even killed because of their assertion of their rights against development aggression.  Many were defenders of the right to food, housing and access to means of subsistence.  And still there are women who are fighting for freedom and against oppression.

Women deserve equal respect and protection by the law.  Women have the right to practice their political belief, freedom of expression and association. Women have the right to defend human rights. Women have human rights!

Protect women’s right to defend human rights! Freedom and justice for our women defenders! Free all political prisoners!

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[Statement] New Compensation Law (RA10368) for victims of human rights violations: right step but not enough to end Marcos impunity -PAHRA

PAHRA STATEMENT:

NEW COMPENSATION LAW, (Republic Act 10368)
FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS:
RIGHT STEP BUT NOT ENOUGH TO END
MARCOS IMPUNITY

pahra logo copyOn January 23, 1977, the newspaper Bulletin Today bannered this headline: “One-sided press reports scored. No violations of human rights – FM”.

Ferdinand Marcos was then vehemently denying the reports of massive and grave human rights violations perpetrated since his seizing a second term presidency by imposing martial law on September 21, 1972. Mainly documented by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), established by the Association of Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) in 1974, these violations reached the international community and the then U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Marcos used the State machinery to produce a coercive environment and to engender a culture of impunity that persist till the present.

After seven and twenty years since the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship, there is finally a law which acknowledges the long-known truth held by people that there were human rights violations, such as arbitrary and illegal arrests, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture, committed by the martial law regime. It is only correct and just to recognize and memorialize all the heroes and martyrs who fought against repression and who courageously struggled for human and people’s rights.

Signing into law the Bill which compensates the victims of human rights violations during the martial law period is the right step towards ending the Marcos impunity and obtaining both justice and healing.
PAHRA commends both Congress and the Administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III for this legislative act that shatters a Marcosian myth and propaganda that there were no human rights

PAHRA, nonetheless, believes and stands that while the law gives recognition and compensation to the victims of human rights violations, it is not enough to break through and to end the impunity unleashed by Marcos. The U.N. Updated Principles in Combating Impunity enumerate some State obligations still need to be complied with:

The Right to Truth – wherein it ensures the individual’s, as well as, the victim’s families and relatives right to know the circumstances and reasons for the victim’s torture, enforced disappearance or extrajudicial killing. For this end, Benigno S. Aquino III, as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief, should order all services of the security forces to de-classify all reports and data related to the martial law period. We recommend strongly here the passage into law of the right to information. The Office of the President should also institutionalize or calendar the President’s public paying of respects to the heroes and martyrs who fought the imposition of martial law and its adverse effects on human rights.

The Right to Justice –means bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims.

There will be no closure to the wounds caused by the martial law period if there is no justice.

The State obligations to institute reforms to ensure the non-recurrence of these violations include the passage of legislation criminalizing extra-judicial killings and responding to the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs). This also means the establishment and operationalization of national monitoring mechanisms.

EDSA people power ended Ferdinand E. Marcos’ one-man, martial law rule but has not completely dealt with and eliminated impunity.

PAHRA calls on and will join all people of good-will to determinedly combat impunity.

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[Press Release] Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!” -ATM

Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!”
Mining is root cause of killing of indigenous peoples, envi advocates

Manila—Anti-mining and human rights group led an indignation rally at the Sagittarius Mines Inc.-Xstrata (SMI-Xstrata) Head Office in Makati, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame early today condemning the massacre of Capion Family in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur last October 18.

Tampakan Forum, a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue, blames the massacre to the U$5.2-billion gold-copper mining project—one of the largest mining investments in South-East Asia by SMI-Xstrata.

Facts of the Case

October 18, early morning. The 27th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army under the command of Lt. Dante Jimenez, raided the Capion farmhouse and strafed their nipa hut killing Juvy, 27 mother of four and wife of Daguil Capion, Jordan, 13, and John, 8. John was shot close-range.

Two other children, Ressa Piang and Becky Capion, were targeted when Aileen Capion, a relative of the family, called on the military men to stop shooting.

Aileen Capion recalled calling on the military: “Ayaw ninyo unsaa and mga bata, akoa na ang mga bata (Do nor harm the children. I will take custody of them).” A plea to which the military replied, “Mas maayo nga tiwason ang mga bata para wala’y witness (Better to finish off the children so that there will be no witnesses.)”

The military then claimed that there was an encounter between their group and the New Peoples’ Army, which Daguil Capion is a member. However, witnesses and initial investigations say otherwise.

Emmanuel Amistad, executive director of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, said: “It was not an encounter. The Philippine Army massacred unarmed, innocent civilians. They should not only be relieved; they should be dishonorably dismissed from service and criminal charges filed against them.

“The Capion famly were like meek lambs led to slaughter. They are not collateral damage, they are victims of human rights violations and for this, the military should be held responsible”Amistad concluded.

Atty. Mario E. Maderazo of PMPI said: “President Aquino should order the immediate pull-out of the 27th Infantry Battallion in Tampakan to ensure a thorough and impartial investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).”

He added that his tragic incident and the past unsolved killings and human rights violations are enough reasons not to allow the Tampakan Mining project to proceed.

Mayor of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur calls for the capture of Daguil Capion ‘dead or alive’

Meanwhile, after the incident, Mayor Marivic Diamante of Kiblawan, announced a reward of Php 300, 000 for the captivity of Daguil Capion, dead or alive. She said it is to avoid a pangayaw (tribal instigated war) where the B’laan community might take revenge. (Reported by Inquirer Mindanao, 20 October 2012). ATM denounced this call by Mayor Diamante, accusing her of sowing more fear and tension in the area, instead of calling for sobriety and peaceful resolution of the case.

Reports last October 23 also said that the two children who survived were riding a habal-habal (motorcycle) on the way to Bishop Dinaulaldo Gutierrez house to seek refuge when a certain Josephine Malid, staff of SMI-Xstrata-supported foundation hailed them and asked them to ride a white truck, owned by the mining firm.

It was reported that Mayor Diamante wanted to take the two children to Davao, despite the fact that they were already with their relatives from the area. Atty. Cristina Hawtay of Commission on Human Rights Region XII pacified the tug-of-war between Diamante’s group and Daguil Capion’s mother. The children are now with the Social Action Center of Marbel.

Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator said: “It is very clear that there is connivance by the mining company, the military and the local government units, even. It is very ironic that the mayor of Kiblawan is on the side of the military asking for the head of Capion, when she should lead seeking justice for the killing of the Capion family.

“Contrary to the claim of SMI-Xstrata that they will help the development of communities—THEY CAUSED THE KILLING ANTI-MINING ADVOCATES, AND EVEN CIVILIANS, AND THAT’S BLOOD IN THEIR HANDS. Capion and other tribal leaders are tasked to protect their ancestral domains, and it is for this reason that they have a strong stand against mining that will literally take away their land, but this is not respected by the mining companies—they resort to harassment, militarization, different forms of human rights violations to silence the opposition.”

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.

# # #

For more information:
Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP Executive Director, tfdp@tfdp.org
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

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[In the news] #rememberML@40: Share the past, empower the youth to take care of tomorrow -InterAksyon.com

#rememberML@40: Share the past, empower the youth to take care of tomorrow
By InterAksyon.com
September 12, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Thus said philosopher George Santayana.

And this is what human rights groups do not want to happen 40 years after the horrors and harrows of the Martial Law regime.

Through their Facebook community page campaign, tagged #rememberML@40, which started six months before the anniversary of the September 21, 1972 declaration of Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos, the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights (PAHRA), and Claimants 1081 are encouraging ML survivors to share their stories to the youth.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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

[From the web] Call for genuine reform at ARMM LGU Summit -mpc.org.ph

Call for genuine reform at ARMM LGU Summit

Davao City, June 20, 2012 – Progressive groups met President Noynoy Aquino and local executives of ARMM along KM 7 in Lanang with a picket rally calling for genuine ARMM reform.

President Noynoy Aquino III (PNOY) and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) executives were met by representatives of the Free Cocoy Tulawie Movement, including Freedom from Debt Coalition, Partido ng Manggagawa, Kilusan ng Pambansang Demokrasya, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines and the Mindanao Peoples Caucus, along the highway to Waterfront Insular hotel, while said personalities were on their way to the ARMM LGU Summit.

The rallyists are demanding for genuine reforms, and zeroed in on the following calls related to human rights closely linked with ARMM governance:

The conduct of a Congressional Inquiry on the situation of human rights in ARMM, especially in Sulu;

For PNOY to immediately revoke EO 546 that allows Local Chief Executives to arm civilians;
Declaration of an audit on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of ARMM LGUs;
For the Ombudsman to investigate the Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) of ARMM executives;

Vehement objection of the populace towards the Visiting Forces Agreement;

Speedy and just trial of Cocoy Tulawie, a human rights defender from Sulu currently detained in Davao City

And lastly, on the issue of the right to self-determination, the group is calling for a just political settlement and signing of a peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Meanwhile, at the summit venue, representatives of local civil society organizations led by Mrs. Pat Sarenas of MINCODE had an audience with PNOY himself who was accompanied by top executives, among others, DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo, MinDA Chair Lu Antonino, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva and PNOY’s Political Adviser Ronald Llamas.

The CSO delegation presented a gift to the president, which was handed over by Mr. Dani Caspe of MPC, an album containing a copy of a speech of then Senator Ninoy Aquino delivered at the King Abdel Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia way back in May 12, 1981 titled “The historical background of the Moro problem in Southern Philippines.” In the said article, Ninoy outlined the root causes of the conflict in Mindanao and his proposed solutions, including the right to self determination of the Bangsamoro. The speech was presented to PNOY to remind him of what his father envisioned a long time ago. A fitting reminder for everyone who aspires for genuine reform in the ARMM.

Christine Sumugoy of MPC read the content of the Free Cocoy Tulawie Movement official statement at the meeting and submitted related documents to the president.

Read full article @ mpc.org.ph

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

[Press Release] Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers

Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers

More than 600 people participate in the annual Basta Run Against Torture in time for the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture today, June 26, 2012. Now in its 6th year, anti-torture advocates challenged the security sector to declare torture free detention centers in words and in deeds.

“This year’s BRAT aims to bridge the gap between the commitments and policies on one hand and practices on the other of the security sector and other government agencies with respect to the issue of torture. It hopes to exact the commitment of AFP, PNP and BJMP to declare their places of detention as torture free and stand firm on their commitment.” Joy Lascano of Balay Rehabilitation Center, representative of UATC said in a statement.

The United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), a network of anti-torture advocates engages the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to publicly announce their commitment to proclaim a policy of complete prohibition of torture in all places of detention.

Lascano of UATC further said that, “Three years after the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, only a handful of cases have been filed. The attempt to prosecute perpetrators is fraught with difficulties due to a lack of transparency from the security sector and the unfamiliarity of prosecutors and judges about the law on torture. None of these cases have seen a just resolution.”

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), also a member of UATC on the other hand documented 23 cases with 40 victims of torture under the P-Noy administration (as of May 2012). According to the group, the data shows that practice of torture on the ground still persists
while no one get punished.

BRAT 6 was participated by Amnesty International-Philippines, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Medical Action Group (MAG), Balay Rehabilitation Center, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the #rememberML@40 campaign committee.

Also present are CHR, PHRC, DILG, DOJ, PNP, AFP and BJMP.

[Press Release] We run. We remember. Justice to Martial Law & human rights victims -PAHRA

We run. We remember. Justice to Martial Law & human rights victims

March 21, 2012. Mendiola / Don Chino Roces Bridge

“We Run. We Remember” is the theme of the morning kick off activity by running priest, Fr. Robert Reyes.  The run signaled the start of a 6-month campaign to raise awareness about what really happened during the 40 years from the start of and after martial law.  The campaign was initiated by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA).

According to Fr. Robert, “kailangan ang malawakan at malalimang pagpapaalala sa mga nangyari noong panahon ni Marcos, mula simula hanggang katapusan upang hindi lang maulit kundi tuluyan nang magbago ang takbo ng pamahalaan.” ( It is necessary to conduct a broad and deep awareness campaign for people to remember what really happened from beginning to end during the Martial Law period.  This must be done  so that it would not be repeated and the running of government would truly change.)

The run, which was less than 3 hours, took the Sta. Mesa route to pass by Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon Avenue and ended in the national office of the Commission on Human Rights.

Various activities will be held, preferably, during the 21st of the succeeding months until September.  A special focus would be in reaching out to the youth who either have not experienced martial law as well as those who do not know anything about those dark years.  Films (documentary and full-length), exhibits and reading materials related to martial law would be made available as wide as possible. An e-museum is also being discussed with the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) which documented thousands of human rights violations since 1974. Families of the Involuntarily Disappeared (FIND) and BALAY Rehabilitation Center, Inc. would also present documentations pertaining to extrajudicial killings, massacres, enforced disappearances, torture and displacements.

Also included are adverse impacts to economic, social and cultural rights as well as the environment devastated because of the policies and consequences of the imposition of martial law.

Asked if there has been any change since the EDSA Uprising that ended martial law, Fr. Robert said in Filipino: .”The effect of Martial Law has not really disappeared.  Although democracy has been restored, the  power of the military still predominates.”

“The paradigm shift of the security forces”, according to Max de Mesa, Chairperson of PAHRA, “from one of impunity to that of human rights as preferred values got stuck.”  “We also run to demand over-due accountability,” de Mesa added.

Finally, Fr. Robert opined that professionalism among military officers and the rank-and-file soldiers must be maintained and the police should not engage in politics for change in governance to be significant.
###
For inquiries, please contact: Ms. Rose Trajano, Acting Secretary-General
PAHRA Ofc. 4362633 or 09065531792

[From the web] “My being incarcerated shall not become a reason for me to stop from speaking the truth.” -Cocoy Tulawie

Note: English version of Cocoy’s letter dated Feb.16,2012.

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi taala wa barakatuhu!

Foremost, I bestow my thankfulness to Allah for not forsaking me, my wife and my children. Allah made a lot of means and instruments- such as help coming from various communities and diverse nations and/or faiths- so that my family and I will not suffer so much difficulty.

Likewise, I extend my thanks to all the organizations who have been helping me all this time: Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC); Balay Rehabilitation Center; Saligan; Task Force Detainees of the Phil. (TFDP); Consortium of BangsaMoro Civil Society (CBCS); Initiative for International Dialogue (IID); AKBAYAN Party List; Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA); HRD-Pilipinas; Jihad al Akbar and PAHRA-WesMin; Free Debt Coalition; Front Line (Protection of Human Rights Defender); Indonosia Legal Aid Foundation; Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) of Hong Kong; Bread for the World of Germany; Non Violence Peace Force (NP);Human Rights Watch International. I also include all those I may have not mentioned here.

My beloved citizens of Lupah Sug, I know how much you love and value me; I also know that you desire to aid me; however, there is a reason why you cannot manifest openly your support for me. It has come to my knowledge that many from among you lawyers, doctors, professors along with other CSOs have previously conferred last January 15, 2012. You met to strategize about certain ways and means to help me out from my predicament but unfortunately you were as soon stifled. Patience my brethren, let us exercise restraint; and Allah is witness, I do not wish that anyone from you will incur any mishap all because of me. Only there is one thing that saddens me though: if the professionals or highly educated ones -such as lawyers, doctors, professors and CSO groups- lose the “freedom to speak out” what they wish to express, then, what has befallen our homeland now? I believe that whatever oppression they will inflict upon the citizens of Lupah Sug, there still will sprout two to three people who will rise up in defense of the rights of the people so that our struggle will not end—this is our struggle to be emancipated from the confines of oppressive poverty and our striving to be liberated from the shackles of oppressive fear.

My brethren, do not despair that much if you have been thwarted in manifesting your support for me; even if it be merely in your heart, it is as much valuable and great help. Just recently someone visited me and told me, “Coy, if we are the ones in trouble, you have been able to help us, you fully defend our rights, however, when you were the one who’s hit, we cannot even we help you. We are reduce to be just a mere onlooker and eavesdropper. Please bear with us, our young brother, we are incapable to buttress the sky. I repeat fervently, there is no cause for you to be anxious because Allah has many ways from various zones so that my well-being will not be neglected. There are many people who are helping me here in Davao to Bukidnon, CDO, Iligan, Marawi, Cotabato, GenSan, Pagadian and even in Manila. Just last Saturday, some human rights org in Manila held a press conference regarding my case. Help are coming my way even from as far as Indonesia, Hongkong and Germany. All these are evidence of the Majestic Power of Allah.

I have not returned to Sulu for two years and 4 months now. I can say that this is the most difficult trial that I have undergone in my lifetime, until I am now detained in this cell for a month and two days now. Notwithstanding, this is the moment when I have contemplated well about my homeland. Inside this cell, we listen to news from the radio often. I often hear Pnoy administration’s radio program, “Matuwid na Daan.” I told myself the straight path that they are proclaiming here has not reached Sulu.

What transpired during the term of Gloria still persists today; I can even say that poverty has worsened, the foolishness of the elected officials of Sulu has likewise worsened. Chaos has germinated in the hearts and minds in most of us. This is the consequence of the National government that tolerates our local officials; it even seems that they are in connivance with each other so that we will be trapped within oppression from time to time. Manila government has let our leaders and politicians rob us and indulge in corruption of our land so that we will straggle in poverty.

The poverty that has struck us is no petty matter. It has reached the point that even siblings will not help each other. The other one would think if he shares his own share, by tomorrow he will be left with nothing for himself. We even have lost our traditional values that once even what we are about to feed into our mouth we would rather give to our neighbor who has greater hunger than we have.

My brethren, our kinship ties have been severed by poverty, and so we have lost our solidarity (even in fact unity is demanded by our faith). We no longer have the time to think about our homeland, our thoughts are focused to our stomach.

Likewise, Manila government has not only tolerated corruption by those who govern us, it has also ignored their buying and hoarding of arms in order to sow terror among us; so they can do whatever they want according to their whims- this includes despoiling the daughters of the poor masses such as that of the “Gang Rape case in 2009.”

Why did the National Government ignore the foolishness of those who govern us? Perhaps the reason could be that we still shout out our dignity and rights as human beings to the whole world; because we are aware that our substantive rights as human beings is the door that leads to the freedom of our nation.

I ask you brethren, do you think that in this kind of predicament that we are embroiled in, and most especially that our siblings in the hinterlands and islands are all in, too: do we have any other option apart from the need to unite? Well, we only have two options to choose from: “to just let it be” or “to unite then to reflect.” We must implant in our minds, that if we remain indifferent, the next breed of generation will blame us and we shall be our offsprings’ and grandchildren’s source of shame. They can never proclaim that their father or their grandfather struggled for the ancestral domain, for the nation, and most of all for our deen from Allaahu Taala. Let us not reason out that we failed to wage a struggle in defense just because we were armless, there is more powerful than arms, we do not need arms, all we need to do is to know and understand our human rights. Absolutely the government is prohibited from degrading us, making us feel that we do not have rights and dignity. My brethren, whatever decadence we can see thriving in our midst at the moment is a consequence of our apathy.

There is truth in the saying, “if a good person remains idle in his own inertness that is the moment that Satan shall reign.” My brethren, our homeland has become the laughingstock of all nations in the world.

Lastly, my being incarcerated shall not become a reason for me to stop from speaking the truth. Likewise, my imprisonment shall not be the reason that I will abandon what I have initiated in the span of 13 years striving to achieve the rights of my own people, my own homeland, and my own nation.

Wassalam!

Temogen ‘Cocoy’ S. Tulawie
Sulu-Human Rights Defender

Source: http://www.facebook.com/cocoy.tulawie

[Event] “Criminalization” of Human Rights Defenders Condemned

Criminalization” of Human Rights Defenders Condemned

Human rights groups here raised anew an alarm and condemned a global pattern of repression of human rights defenders and as also being experienced in the Philippines.

In a press conference co-sponsored by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP), the said organizations pointed out the widespread campaign especially in developing countries ruled by either civilian and/or military dictators. One devious pattern is the “criminalization” of persons who defend the poor, vulnerable and marginalized against repressive governance and impoverishing development.

One of the victims presented by Mr. Max de Mesa, Chairperson of PAHRA, was Mr. Ales Bialitski from Belarus presently imprisoned since November 24, 2011 in his own country for promoting human rights.. Bialitski is the Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH ) and President of the Belarusian Human Rights Center “Viasna” (Viasna). PAHRA is the Philippine member of FIDH.

“Any opposition to a repressive regime or authority,” de Mesa said, “will be branded as a crime, including the promotion and defence of human rights.” “This we experienced during the Marcos dictatorship,” the PAHRA Chairperson continued. Ales was convicted of alleged tax evasion.

Ms. Rita Melencio, TFDP Deputy for Operations, stated that “the cases of both Mr. Ales Bialitski and Mr. Temogen Tulawie expose the same oftentimes political character of the prosecution and persecution of human rights defenders.” Tulawie’s advocacies included protecting people in Sulu against abuses during military operations as in the Ipil massacre, and demanding justice and accountability for moro women victims of rape. Charges of alleged assassination attempts was filed by Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan. Tulawie is presently detained in Davao.

“Also those who defend economic, social and cultural rights,” according to Dr. Nymia Simbulan, Professor of U.P. Manila and Executive Director of PhilRights, “become subject of trumped up charges to silence their active defence of these rights.” She cited the arrest of leaders and members of indigenous peoples’ communities resisting development aggression in large-scale mining, as well as those urban poor leaders asserting their right to housing against illegal demolitions.

Finally, Dr. Renato Mabunga, Chairperson of Human Rights Defenders – Pilipinas, called on all present to “become human rights defenders and stand for human rights as our common preferred values.” Adding, “after all, this administration has declared adherence to the primacy of human rights.”

Contact Person: Rommel Yamzon (0917)4969979 – PAHRA

[Press Release] TFDP assails judge for abrupt transfer of Cocoy Tulawie to Jolo, defying Supreme Court order

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), assails Judge Betlee-Ian  Barraquias in ordering  the transfer of Cocoy Tulawie’s detention to Jolo in defiance of the Supreme Court order. It must be recalled that the Supreme Court third division issued a resolution dated 13 June 2011, dispositive portion states, “that continuing with the trial of the subject criminal cases in the RTC of Jolo, Sulu, can lead to miscarriage of justice”. The court was ordered to transfer the entire records of the case to the Regional Trial Court in Davao City.

The Judge’s action and whimsical is open defiance of the Supreme Court. He should be held accountable and should be charged with conduct unbecoming and for gross ignorance of the law. Cocoy Tulawie’s case only demonstrated how the Judiciary and Executive conspire with each other.

Cocoy Tulawie’s case is not a common crime. He is a human rights defender, who fought for human rights and freedom for the people of Sulu. He has remained committed in his conviction for human rights and democracy amongst the people whose human rights have been violated.

The United Nation recognizes the works of human rights defenders just like Cocoy Tulawie and being a member, the state and it’s agents should uphold the United Nation’s Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. His case must be heard impartially and he should be afforded with due process.

TFDP is calling on the Supreme Court to immediately intervene and investigate the action taken by Judge Barraquias and if found guilty he should be sanctioned in accordance with the law.

RITA M. MELECIO
Deputy Executive Director
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
# 45 St. Mary St., Cubao, Quezon City
Contact: 09497215341

[Press Release] TFDP calls for fair, impartial and speedy disposition of Mr. Tulawie’s case

“TFDP CALLS FOR FAIR, IMPARTIAL AND SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF MR. TULAWIE’S CASE”

 Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), is calling for fair, impartial and speedy disposition of the case of Mr. Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie. He was arrested on January 13,2012 at 11:45 in the evening by combined elements of Military Intelligence Group (MIG), Region 9, Special Action Force (SAF)and Police Intelligence (R2), in Catalunan Grande, Davao City.

TFDP, supports Mr. Tulawie in his quest for justice not only for himself but for all the people of Sulu province whose rights were violated. Being a human rights defender, it is his conviction to both God and the people to act against the human rights violations that endanger his life and that of his family.

Mr. Tulawie has an impressive record in human rights defense and promotion. He is the former provincial chairperson of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), a coalition of Bangsamoro civil society organizations (CSOs) within the province of Sulu. His works involves monitoring and documentation of cases of human rights violations affecting Muslim communities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), especially in the province of Sulu.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, enumerated some rights and protection accorded to human rights defenders, among others; to seek the protection and realization of human rights at the national and international level and to make complaints about official policies and acts relating to human rights and to have such complaints reviewed.

Under this declaration, the state is bound with the duties to protect, promote and implement human rights and to provide an effective remedy for persons who claim to have been victims of human rights violations.

With these safeguards, TFDP is certain that Mr. Tulawie will be afforded with impartiality by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the court will hear his case without prejudice considering that his private complainant is a prominent Governor of Sulu.

Uphold his integrity as a human rights defender!
RITA M. MELECIO
Deputy Executive Director
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Cell: 09497215341

January 16,2012