Tag Archives: Urgent Action

[Urgent Action] Harassment of a Priest by Barangay Officials in Manila -PAHRA

An alleged incident of harassment was reported yesterday March 19, 2020, against Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD who heads the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center in Barangay 344, Sta. Cruz, Manila. According to reports, barangay officials forced them to stop food distribution to their beneficiaries for alleged violation of the social distancing order of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Barangay officials insisted that Fr. Flavie et al violated the mass gathering and social distancing rules under the enhanced community quarantine policy of the government, aimed at supposedly subduing the proliferation of the coronavirus. The incident happened when barangay officials went to the center at around 10:00am on March 19, 2020. Barangay officials, later on, summoned the police for assistance.

Fr. Villanueva claimed no mass gathering occurred and social distancing was observed. He emphasized that only 12 to 15 people were allowed inside the center and those in line were at least 1.5 meters apart.

“The homeless have no options amid a lockdown where people are asked to stay in their homes”, said Fr. Villanueva. He even told the barangay officials to provide an alternative that resembles what he is currently doing in order for him to stop.
Regrettably, the beneficiaries of the program were forced to disperse due to fear of being arrested.

Feeding programs, like the government’s quarantine program, are also life-saving measures to the homeless and the poor who currently have no means nor the freedom to make a living. There is no law that prohibits feeding programs of civic organizations or of the Catholic Church.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates affirms that the government’s lack of planning, preparation, and organization in responding to the COVID19 pandemic has left vulnerable sectors such as the poor and homeless to fend for themselves. Fr. Flavie Villanueva opened his center, despite a quarantine order, to assist those homeless and underprivileged who have no access to government help.

Actions Requested:
Please write to the Philippine authorities, urging them to:
· Stop the harassment of Fr. Flavie Villanueva and the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center;
· Ensure the free and unhampered operation of the center including its feeding program;
· Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Fr. Flavie Villanueva;
· Ensure that government services reach the homeless and indigent communities especially during the Luzon lockdown;
· Fr. Flavie is a human rights defender. Subject to the limitations and correct interpretation of the COVID19 quarantine policies, the government should comply in all circumstances with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its Articles 1, 6(c) and 12.2; and
· Urge all levels of government to comply with international human rights standards in humanitarian response, in particular in relation to COVID19.

(Reference: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/19/20/authorities-stop-homeless-feeding-care-program-in-manila-amid-luzon-lockdown / Photo Credit: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news)

Please forward this Urgent Action to the following agencies and institutions:

Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Philippine President
Malacañang Complex, J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, 1005 Philippines
Telefax No. +63(2)-87368621
Website: https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/
Email: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph

Ms. Maria Leonor G. Robredo
Philippine Vice President
1112, 100 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippine
Telephone Nos: (63) 905 626 3237; (632) 8534 6451
Email: vp@ovp.gov.ph; lenirobredo.ovp@gmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Office-Of-The-Vice-President/490197837660269

Mr. Eduardo M. Año (Ret.Gen)
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Direct Line No.: 8925-0330; 89250331;Fax No. 8925-0332
Trunkline: 8876-3454 loc. 1001
Email: emano@dilg.gov.ph

Mr. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa
Police General
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1111 Philippines
Trunk Line: (632) 723-0401
Website: http://www.pnp.gov.ph/main/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=67
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/pnp.pio/

Mr. Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson
SAAC Building, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101
Telephone Nos: (632) 8928-56-55; (632) 8926-6188; (632) 8920-9510
Telefax (02) 8929-0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChairChito

Mr. Francisco M. Domagoso
Mayor, City of Manila
C/o Bernardito C. Ang
Telephone No: (632) 5275191
Fax: (632) 5275208
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iskomorenodomagoso/

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Email: urgent-action@ohchr.org

https://www.facebook.com/notes/philippine-alliance-of-human-rights-advocates/urgent-action-harassment-of-a-priest-by-barangay-officials-in-manila/912955405811568/

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Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

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[Urgent Action] Alleged Inhumane Treatment of Arbitrarily Arrested Citizens by Barangay Officials in Sta. Cruz Laguna -PAHRA

Officials of Barangay Gatid in Sta. Cruz Laguna allegedly detained several persons inside a small animal cage. In a photo dated March 20, 2020, by the Facebook page “Santa Cruz Cityhood”, around 6 to 7 persons were imprisoned, who apparently violated the government imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine. The move placed the entire island of Luzon on lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. The post elicited mixed comments from the public, either supporting or condemning the act. Until now, there is no existing law that explicitly states that violation of the ECQ is a crime.

Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9745, also known as the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, Other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is a criminal offense which “refers to a deliberate and aggravated treatment or punishment (not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act), inflicted by a person in authority or agent of a person in authority against another person in custody, which attains a level of severity sufficient to cause suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the latter.” The assessment of the level of severity shall depend on all the circumstances of the case, including the duration of the treatment or punishment, its physical and mental effects and, in some cases, the sex, religion, age, and state of health of the victim. Also under Section 7, “Secret detention places, solitary confinement, incommunicado or other similar forms of detention, where torture may be carried out with impunity are prohibited.”

The Philippines is a state party and has ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, and rights to due process and a fair trial.

The alleged punishment imposed on the victims by officials of Barangay Gatid clearly violates our domestic law and the said international treaty.

(Source: https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzLagunaCityhood/photos/a.686503531732875/1065170940532797/?type=3&theater)

Actions Requested:
● Release all detained persons and end the arbitrary detention of those who will supposedly violate the Enhance Community Quarantine
● Investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and ensure that the suspected perpetrators are prosecuted in a transparent and fair trial
● Allow the unhampered investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the incident
● Suspend all policies and issuances by both national and local government that violates the rights of peoples
Please forward this Urgent Action to the following agencies and institutions:

Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Philippine President
Malacañang Complex, J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, 1005 Philippines
Telefax No. +63(2)-87368621
Website: https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/
Email: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph

Ms. Maria Leonor G. Robredo
Philippine Vice President
1112, 100 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippine
Telephone Nos: (63) 905 626 3237; (632) 8534 6451
Email: vp@ovp.gov.ph; lenirobredo.ovp@gmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Office-Of-The-Vice-President/490197837660269

Mr. Vicente C. Sotto III
Senate President
Senate Office: Rm. 606, 211 & 24 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City, Philippines
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 local nos. 6501 to 6505
Direct Lines: (632) 804-0270 / (632) 552-6813 / (632) 552-6691
Telefax No.: (632) 804-0270
Email Address: os_sotto@yahoo.com
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/teamsottoako

Mr. Alan Peter S. Cayetano
Speaker, House of Representatives
District Representative
Taguig City-Pateros, 1st District
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Rm. RVM-406
Phone: (632) 8931-5001, Local: 7011
Direct: 8951-8891
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alanpetercayetano/

Mr. Eduardo M. Año (Ret.Gen)
Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Direct Line No.: 8925-0330; 89250331;Fax No. 8925-0332
Trunkline: 8876-3454 loc. 1001
Email: emano@dilg.gov.ph

Mr. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa
Police General
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1111 Philippines
Trunk Line: (632) 723-0401
Website: http://www.pnp.gov.ph/main/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=67
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/pnp.pio/

Mr. Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson
SAAC Building, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101
Telephone Nos: (632) 8928-56-55; (632) 8926-6188; (632) 8920-9510
Telefax (02) 8929-0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChairChito

Mr. Edgar S. San Luis
Mayor, Sta. Cruz Laguna
Cailles St., Poblacion III, Santa Cruz, Laguna
Telephone: (6349) 501 1008 (6349) 501-3572 / (6349) 501-7328
Email: santacruzlagunaofficial@gmail.com; santacruzmpdo@yahoo.com; pio_stacruz@yahoo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzLagunaOfficial/

Special Rapporteur on Torture
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Email: urgent-action@ohchr.org

https://www.facebook.com/notes/philippine-alliance-of-human-rights-advocates/urgent-action-alleged-inhumane-treatment-of-arbitrarily-arrested-citizens-by-bar/912969372476838/

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Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

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

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

[Urgent Action] Two Civilian Agta Women Arrested Arbitrarily and Psychologically Tortured by Police and Soldiers- TFDP

Vote for this campaign for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ Choice Awards

Urgent Action

December 18, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) Two Civilian Agta Women Arrested Arbitrarily and Psychologically Tortured by Police and Soldiers

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the arrest and detention and psychological torture of Marites Dela Cruz Marquez and Rosario Marquez Loreto, both from General Nakar in Quezon Province, by police and soldiers.

TFDP logo small

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; Email: tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com and tfdp.1974@gmail.com; or call: +632 4378054.
______________________________________

Case Title: Loreto & Marquez ARD TOR
Case: Arbitrary Arrest and Detention / Torture
Name of Victims: Marites Dela Cruz Marquez (Sierra Madre in Tumbil, Barangay Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon) and Rosario Marquez Loreto (Mataping, Barangay Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon)
Date of Incident: September 26, 2014
Place of Incident: Barangay Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal Province
Alleged Perpetrators: combined elements of the 59th and 16th Infantry Battalions and local police of Tanay, headed by 2LT Ronnel Avanzado and Chief Inspector Reynaldo Francisco
Motive: Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA)

Account of the Incident:

Two (2) women from the Agta indigenous group in Quezon were illegally arrested and charged with the kidnapping of a soldier named Master Sergeant Lino Hernandez.

On September 26, 2014 at 9:00am, while waiting for a ride in Barangay Sta. Ines in Tanay, Rizal, Marites Marquez, 43 and Rosario Loreto, 37, were approached by a group of military personnel and police who were all armed and wearing civilian clothes. The two were ‘invited” for questioning and to validate their identity. The two women were accompanied by the security forces to the barangay hall where they met some barangay officials. Marquez and Loreto were interrogated for two days by the soldiers and the police. They were repeatedly asked the same set of questions to make them admit their participation in the kidnapping of Master Sgt. Hernandez and to being NPA members. The two however denied the accusations. The police and soldiers eventually decided to bring them to the Tanay Police Station. At this point, barangay officials questioned the law enforcers’ decision since there was no proof that Loreto and Marquez committed a crime, therefore, there was no reason to detain them. Eventually, they both agreed to sign a blotter, with the condition that the police and soldiers will release Marquez and Loreto after the interview and crosschecking.

On the following day, September 27, Barangay Councilor Liwayway delos Reyes went to the Tanay Police Station to fetch Marquez and Loreto and bring them back to their families. The police at the station ignored her plea.

On September 28, Barangay Councilor Reyes informed Fr. Pete Montallana about the whereabouts and situation of Marquez and Loreto. Fr. Montallana went to visit the two at the Tanay Police Station.

According to Fr. Montallana, Marquez and Loreto were accused of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and robbery, in relation to the abduction of a soldier named Master Sergeant Lino Hernandez by the New People’s Army (NPA). He added that the military and police linked Marquez and Loreto to the case because the choker necklace (made out of black cloth) they wore around their neck during the arrest was the same type of necklace worn by the Agta NPAs who kidnapped Master Sergeant Hernandez.

Based on Court documents produced, Marquez and Loreto were arrested based on sworn statements submitted by Virginia Villa Filipino, Jonathan Villa delos Angeles, Corporal Louie G. Eresnido, Police Officer 3 Arnel Dimalag Baslan, Police Officer 2 Rolando Candido Opena and Police Officer Jay Ar Baccay Bernabeo.

Marquez and Loreto denied all allegations against them. Before they were arrested, both sold vegetables, did traditional gold panning, and did household chores for a living.

Marquez and Loreto are temporarily detained at the Rizal Police Provincial Office (RPO) lock-up cell at the Taytay Police Station but may soon be transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig with reference to the ‘Order’ dated October 27, 2014, issued by Presiding Judge Sheila Marie Alaan-Ignacio.

The charges with criminal case number 14-12346-M against Marquez and Loreto are filed at Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 80.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write a letter to the following authorities, urging them to initiate inquiries into the said case.

Immediate and unconditional release of Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto, with reference to the set of principles set forth by the International Humanitarian Law, particularly the protection of persons who are not, or are no longer, participating in hostilities;
Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto;
Ensure that all those who participated and were responsible for the illegal arrest and psychological torture of Marites Marquez and Rosario Loreto be brought to justice;
Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with 1987 Philippine Constitution, international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines.

Please send your letters to:

1. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
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
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Secretary Leila M. De Lima
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Department of Justice
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila 1000
Philippines
Fax: +632 523 9548
Tel: +632 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / lmdelima.doj@gmail.com

4. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5. Ms. Marlea P. Muñez
Executive Director
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
373-95-34 / 575 12 00 Loc. 1012
Email: ncipexecdirector@gmail.com

6. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

7. Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 7907 / +63 2 911 6436

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

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

[Urgent Action] The Military Presence and their Unwanted Behavior Sow Fear and Restlessness in the Community of an Indigenous People in Pampanga -TFDP

URGENT ACTION

May 29, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) The Military Presence and their Unwanted Behavior Sow Fear and Restlessness in the Community of an Indigenous People in Pampanga

Issues: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-Determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the problems and day-to-day struggle currently facing the Aeta community from the hands of the Military and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Camias in Porac, Pampanga.

TFDP logo small

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; email: tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com and tfdp.1974@gmail.com; or call: +632 4378054.
______________________________________________________________________________

Case Title: Harassment of Porac Aetas
Case: Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence
Name of Victims: (Names withheld for Security Reasons)
Date of Incident: From 2008 up to Present
Place of Incident: Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga
Alleged Perpetrators: members of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU)
Motive: Suspected supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) / Development Aggression
______________________________________________________________________________

Accounts:

The Aeta community in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga is continuously being threatened by the presence of government forces in the area and their unwarranted actions.

The military and paramilitary personnel manning the tribal community are currently deployed within the ancestral domain covering 18,067 hectares of land claimed by the Aetas. The former health center where Aetas seek health related assistance is currently being occupied and utilized by the military allegedly under supervision of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as one of their outposts.

The Aetas are usually confronted and questioned by the military about their activities. Traditional practices of the Aetas are currently under suspicion and being examined by the military and CAFGU. Customary practices of their tribe are no longer observed since the military are barring them from doing so.

A recent incident was when the Aetas were restrained from hunting wild birds and animals because the military cast doubt on their method of hunting. For instance, when the Aetas hunt, they have a distinct way of chasing the wild birds. They blow a whistle so that birds will come down from the trees and are caught by the Aetas. The military suspected that this method was a secret signal to give information rebels groups.

On several occasions, the Aetas are not allowed to go to the municipal proper to buy food supplies, medicines and things needed in their community. Worse, the military confiscate their rice and other food items. They also seize some of their livestock and kitchen utensils. They are accused of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them food.

They instructed minors and forced them to do errands for them particularly to fetch water from a faucet or well. The education of the children is affected. It causes fear to the children and they are apparently traumatized.

The Military and militia personnel also barred the Aetas from gathering in groups. Often times, the government forces fire their guns while they are under the influence of alcohol.

The military and CAFGU started deployment in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga in 2008. Later on, the area was eventually declared as an insurgency free zone.

Around 1,800 families with 3,000 individuals are affected in Barangay Camias alone.

Alleged Reasons for the Military Deployment:

The Aetas alleged that the deployment of government troops has something to do with the infrastructure and development projects funded by private corporation with consent from both the national and local government. They alleged that the military are being mobilized to protect vested interests of investors as well as government officials who benefit from these projects. They added that soldiers might also be utilized to suppress the rights of people to express their sentiments and the right to oppose for they are the ones affected.
According to the tribal group, the Aboitiz Power Corporation is currently in the process of exploring the geothermal power source in some 20,000 hectares of land in Pampanga that cover the Aetas’ ancestral domain and nearby Zambales.

The company is presently conducting exploration in Porac and Floridablanca in Pampanga; and San Marcelino and Botolan in Zambales.

An investment amounting to $300 million is for the planned 100-MW plant in the area largely owned by indigenous tribes based in the two provinces.

The Aetas are fighting to defend their ancestral domain. Until now, the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) or a formal recognition of ownership has not been issued to the Aetas. The CADT or other certification such as the certificate of ancestral land title (CALT) shall be obtained from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-Ancestral Domains Office (ADO), or by securing a certificate of title by virtue of “Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land Registration Act 496.”4.

Another private corporation, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), is also involved in a dispute with the IP communities. The Aetas are accusing the company of land grabbing in establishing a golf course and water park inside the Freeport. Five thousand (5,000 hectares of supposed ancestral land are being occupied by CDC.

The third issue is the copper, gold and silver extraction project by the Shuley Mine Inc. (SMI) within the tribe’s ancestral domain in Barangay Camias. The project covers 1,160 hectares of Aetas’ ancestral land.

According to the tribal leaders, lowlanders would be affected when wastes from the mines drain down to Gumain River toward Lubao and Sasmuan towns and Manila Bay. The sites, they said, are used by Aetas for recreation, hunting, source of materials for weddings (tangan) and medicinal herbs.

Another entity, the developer LLL Holdings Inc. is said to have grabbed 18,000 hectares of the land tilled by the farmers and Aetas.

Suggested Actions:

Please write a letter to concerned government agencies urging them to:

  • Conduct an inquiry and investigation regarding the violations of government troops such as Harassment, Threat and Intimidation; Violation against the Right to Self-determination and Liberty of Abode and Travel; Denied of Means of Subsistence;
  • Recall the presence of the military and paramilitary group since the area has already been declared as ‘insurgency free zone’;
  • To provide immediate protection for the IP group especially their leaders against possible physical and emotional harm;
  • Guarantee the means of the victims to cultivate crops, hunt wild birds and animals and raise their livestock, provide food for their community, and to move freely within their community without any fear of getting threatened and intimidated;
  • Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

Sample letter:

Dear___________,

I am writing to draw your attention regarding the problems and day-to-day struggle currently facing the Aeta community from the hands of the Military and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Camias, Porac, Pampanga. The Aetas are continuously being threatened by the presence of the government forces in the area and their unwarranted actions.

The military and paramilitary personnel manning the tribal community are currently deployed within the ancestral domain claimed by the Aetas covering 18,067 hectares of land. The former health center where Aetas seek health related assistance is currently being occupied and utilized by the military allegedly under supervision of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as one of their outposts.

They are usually confronted and questioned by the military about their activities. Traditional practices of the Aetas are currently under suspicion and being examined by the military and CAFGU. Customary practices of their tribe are no longer observed since the military are barring them from doing so.

A recent incident was when the Aetas were restrained from hunting wild birds and animals because the military cast doubt on their method of hunting. For instance, when the Aetas hunt, they have a distinct way of chasing the wild birds. They blow a whistle so that birds will come down from the trees and are caught by the Aetas. The military suspected that this method was a secret signal to give information rebels groups.

I have also learned that the Aetas are not allowed to go to the municipal proper to buy food supplies, medicines and things needed in their community. Worse, the military confiscate their rice and other food items. They also seize some of their livestock and kitchen utensils. They are accused of supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) by giving them food

It was also brought to our attention that the military and militia personnel also barred the Aetas from gathering in groups. Often times, the government personnel fire their guns while they are under the influence of alcohol.

Furthermore, they instructed minors and forced them to do errands particularly to fetch water from a faucet or well. The education of the children is affected. It causes fear to the children and they are apparently traumatized.

We now urge you to call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation or inquiry into these events, and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt action is granted favorably to the Aetas.

Lastly, we hope that the government will continue to guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and international human rights standards.

I look forward to your urgent action in this case.

Yours sincerely,

————————————————

Please send your letters to:

1. Hon. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

2. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Ms. Marlea P. Muñez
Executive Director
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
373-95-34 / 575 12 00 Loc. 1012
Email: ncipexecdirector@gmail.com

4. Mr. Bayani D. Sumaoang
Commissioner
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Region 3
Tel: +63 2 575 12 00 Loc. 1006
Email: commissioner.region3@gmail.com

5. Lt. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 61 93; +63 2 911 04 88
Email: odr.dnd@gmail.com / odr.pdt@dnd.gov.ph

6. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

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[Urgent Action] (Philippines) A “Dumagat” tribal member was abducted by unidentified armed persons believed to be affiliated with the military

Urgent Action: (Philippines) A “Dumagat” tribal member was abducted by unidentified armed persons believed to be affiliated with the military

Type of Violation:  Enforced Disappearance
Victim: Rodiemer “Demer” Dela Cruz Morada
Date and Time of Incident: August 23, 2011, 9:00am
Alleged Perpetrators: Unidentified armed persons believed to be members of the military
_____________________________________________________________________

Account of the Incident

Rodiemer “Demer” Dela Cruz Morada, 20, of Barangay Bonifacio, Municipality of Burdeos, Province of Quezon, was abducted on August 23, 2011 at around 9:00am and is still missing until now. According to his mother Gina Morada, four (4) persons, all carrying long firearms went to his house and talked with Demer. They asked him if he could accompany them to the nearby town of P. Gitna. At first Gina was hesitant to allow Demer to go with the unidentified persons since they were armed. But eventually Gina let her son go with the group without knowing that this will be the last time she will see him.

Gina has no knowledge about the identities of the said persons. But based on her recollection, she noticed that all of them were wearing black shirts, military boots and had short hair.

At 12:00 noon, a child spotted Demer who was with the armed group apparently drinking liquor outside the house of a certain “May” in Sitio P. Gitna. Hours later, several locals saw them, but with more or less five (5) additional persons who were also armed. Other witnesses such as Narciso Benedicto and Jimmy Dela Cruz also came across with the armed persons.

Before sunset, Demer’s uncle Samuel Dela Cruz and aunt Geralyn Dela Cruz, residents of P. Gitna, Barangay Rizal, chanced upon the group. They were able to have a short talk with Demer. He told his uncle that his companions are members of the military, and that they are taking him to their destination.

At around 2:00am on August 24, 2011, Samuel saw Demer accompanied by approximately ten (10) armed persons board a motor boat. Samuel did not know the group’s destination.

Before all of these incidents happened, witnesses said that the four (4) unidentified armed persons stayed overnight at the house of a couple known only as Danny and Lanie in Baranggay Bonifacio. Danny and Lanie are neighbors of the Moradas.

Demer was last seen wearing yellow green sleeveless shirt, cream corduroy short pants and blue rubber sandals.

Action Requested

Please write to the authorities in the Philippines urging them to:
1.    Call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the abduction of  Rodiemer “Demer” Dela Cruz Morada, and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt rehabilitation and assistance is granted to the victim’s family;
2.    Immediately organize and conduct a search operation in search of the victim;
3.    To strictly observe and comply with the Republic Act No. 8371 also known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, which is a law to recognize, protect and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities;
4.    To strictly observe and comply with the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which recognizes and establishes protection of civilians not belonging to armed forces or armed groups. The military should ensure that civilians under the power of enemy forces must be treated humanely in all circumstances, without any adverse distinction. They must be protected against all forms of violence and degrading treatment;
5.    Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

Please send your letters to:

1.    His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street , San Miguel
Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph /opnet@ops.gov.ph

2.    Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila, 1000
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: + 63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com

3.     Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense (DND)
Camp Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 982 5640
Tel: +63 2 982 5638
Email webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

4.    Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5.    Atty. Roque N. Agton, Jr.
Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
2nd Floor N. dela Merced Building
Cor. West and Quezon Avenues, Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 373 9787
Fax: +63 2 373 9765
Email: resource@ncip.gov.ph

6.     General Eduardo SL Oban Jr
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
DND Building, Camp Gen Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City 1110
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 911 6001 local 8414
Fax: +63 2 421 3531
Email: bacsecretariat@dnd.gov.ph

Documented by:

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
#45 St. Mary Street, Cubao
Quezon City 1109, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 437 8054
Fax: +63 2 911 3643
Emal: tfdp1974@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.tfdp.net

[Urgent Action] torture of a minor a 17 year old college student in Basilan, Mindanao

Urgent action-torture of a minor a 17 year old college student in Basilan, Mindanao

Dear Friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), writes to inform you about the arrest and alleged torture committed to a native of a Yakan tribe, in sitio Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan Province island of Mindanao, who was arrested on June 23,2011. The alleged perpetrators were said to be members of 32nd Infantry Battalion under 1st Infantry Division of Philippine army and members of Philippine National Police, led by 1LT. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, Philippine Army and Police Chief Inspector Nestor Placio, PNP.

VICTIM                          : ASRAF JAMIRI MUSA, 17 EYARS OLD, A 1ST YEAR
COLLEGE  STUDENT

DATE OF INCIDENT     : JUNE 23,2011 AT ABOUT 1:45PM
PLACE  OF INCIDENT  :sitio Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan
Province
_______________________________________________
CASE BACKGROUND:

Asraf Jamiri Musa, 17 years old and a 1st year college student, taking up Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED), was arrested along with his cousin Pawad Esmael Alpad by members of 32nd IB, 1st IDPA and members of Philippine National Police led by 1LT. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, PA and P/Chief Inspector Nestor Placio, PNP in sitio Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan Province on June 23,2011 at about 1:45 in the afternoon.

According to Asraf, at 11:00 in the morning of June 23,2011, he was sleeping at the house of his aunt where he was staying since he studied elementary along with his cousin Pawad. When, he was awaken by his aunt because of the presence of the military.

Asraf said the military and Police search the house but they did not find anything. Accordingly, they were looking for two (2) Abu Sayyaf members Nurhasan Jamiri and Musanna J. Musa (a kidnap for ransom group), allegedly staying at the house of Hadji Samiri Alpad where Asraf also staying.

They took Asraf and Pawad and brought them to the brigade detachment in Lamitan, the aunt of Asraf accompanied them. At about 30 minutes, they were brought to the military brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan.

Asraf said, he was brought inside the brigade and was made to sit in a waiting shed. He was interrogated and asked if he is an Abu Sayyaf member, he replied that he is a student but they did not believed Asraf. His cousin Pawad was released but he was left behind.

He was brought inside and at about 10:00 in the evening, Asraf was forced to admit about his membership with the Abu Sayyaf group.  He was blindfolded with a handkerchief and handcuffed behind his back. Both feet were tied with a rope and he was punched hitting his stomach for three (3) times. He was also punched at the left side of his body once. When Asraf denied his membership, he was brought to a drum filled with water and was submerged for three (3) times. He was threatened for several times to admit his membership with ASG or he will be killed. Asraf said his head  was wrapped with a cellophane twice and was threatened to be buried.

Afterwards, Asraf was forced to admit again his membership with the group and was again submerged in a drum. Asraf recounted his ordeal which lasted for about two (2) hours. Then, he was brought in a waiting shed where he was tied.

On the following, June 24 in the morning, he was made to take a bath. Afterwards, he was again blindfolded and was brought in an unknown place. He was made to hold a hard object which he did not recognized what kind of object and then he sensed that he was taken pictures. Then, he was brought to the Police station and then to Fiscal’s office in Isabela City and that was the time he learned that it was a hand grenade which the military asked him to hold. Afterwards, he was again brought to Police station.

On June 25, at about 5:00 in the afternoon, he was remanded to Provincial jail in Isabela City, Basilan. A case of Illegal possession of explosive was being charged against him.

According to Asraf, one of his alleged torturer introduced himself as Lt. Galanza and he was able to recognized his companions because his blindfold was loosen.

On June 28,2011 at 10:00 in the morning a medical certificate was issued by Dr. Alfonso L. Bravo, Jr. MD, chief of hospital of Ediborah P. Yap Memorial hospital, Lamitan District hospital, according to his finding;

(+) contusion right forehead 2×3 cm
(+) abrasion, left forehead cm
(+) contusion hematoma 7 x 1 cm bridge of nose
Erythema left chest 2 x 3 cm

Duration of treatment: 7 days

Asraf, on dream is to finish his education in order to help his parents. He said during interview that if ever he will be released he will continue his schooling. This case is a clear violation of his right as a child and curtailing his right to education.

Photo of Asraf Jamiri Musa
Taken at the Provincial Jail, Isabela City, Basilan
Taken on August 2,2011
Taken by John Vincent Mesa of Medical Action Group (MAG)

SUGGESTED ACTION:

KINDLY WRITE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, PARTICULARLY THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO CONDUCT IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION REGARDING THE ARREST AND  ALLEGED TORTURE COMMITTED TO THE VICTIM, THEY SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE BAR OF JUSTICE AND IF FOUND GUILTY APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS WILL BE METED OUT.  

THE ALLEGED PERPETRATORS WILL TRIED UNDER REPUBLIC ACT 9745 ALSO KNOWN AS THE ANTI-TORTURE LAW OF 2009 AND REPUBLIC ACT 7610, A SPECIAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN, HIS RIGHTS AS A MINOR SHOULD BE PROTECTED AND OBSERVED.

UNDER REPUBLIC ACT 9344 OR THE JUVENILE JUSTICE & WELFARE ACT OF 2006, PURSUANT TO SECTION 23 OF THE ACT: CHILDREN IN CONFLCIT WITH THE LAW SHALL UNDERGO DIVERSION PROGRAMS WITHOUT UNDERGOING PROCEEDINGS SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS AS PROVIDED IN IT. HENCE, THE COURT SHOULD EVALUATE THE CASE OF THE VICTIM AND IMMEDIATELY PLACED HIM UNDER THE CARE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT.

THE AUTHORITIES SHOULD BE REMINDED TO OBSERVE DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND RESPECT OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

Thank you.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear_______.

Greetings of peace!

I am writing to express my concern regarding the arrest and alleged torture of Asraf Jamiri Musa, a 17 year boy and a 1st year college student, taking up Bachelor of Science in Education. He was arrested along with his cousin by members of 32nd Infantry battalion of Philippine army under 1st Infantry Division and members of Philippine National Police led by 1Lt. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, Philippine army and P/Chief Inspector Nestor Placio, PNP in sition Patikul, barangay Matatag, Lamitan City, Basilan Province in Mindanao on June 23,2011.

I have known that after his apprehension, he was brought to a military brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan where experienced torture. According to information I received, inside the camp, he was blindfolded with a handkerchief and handcuffed behind his back. Both feet were also tied with a rope and he punched hitting his stomach for three (3) times. While being interrogated he was forced to admit his membership with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and when he denied he was brought to a drum filled with water and was submerged for three (3) times. The victim was also threatened for several times to admit his membership with the group or he will be killed. His head was also wrapped with a cellophane twice and was threatened to be buried.

I was also informed that on June 24, he was taken by the military to an unknown place while being blindfolded and was made to hold a hard object which he did not recognized what kind of object he was holding to. Then, he sensed that he was taken pictures. He was brought to the Police station, then, to Prosecutor’s office and then that was the time he learned that the hard object which the military made him to hold was a hand grenade. A case of illegal possession of explosive was being charged against him.

The Philippines is also a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Universal Declaration on Human Rights and also United Nations convention against torture and other degrading treatment or punishment. As signatory to this covenants the Philippine government is bounded to respect and abide by the provisions stipulated therein, which prohibits the use of torture. Our Philippine Constitution, particularly the bill of rights also prohibits the use of torture. The Philippines had also passed Republic Act 9745 also known as the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, which criminalizes acts of torture. Asraf should also be protected under Republic Act 7610, a Special Protection of Children.

I am urging that Asrf Jamiri Musa will be placed under the custody of the department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD) in pursuant to Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

I am also urging that an impartial investigation will be conducted and perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice.
I trust that you will act favorably.  Thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Pls 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.Hon. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman
Secretary
Department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD)
DSWD bldg., Batasan Hills, 1126 Quezon City, Philippines
Trunkline: (632) 931-81-01 loc. 300, 302, 303
Tel/Fax: (632) 931-81-91
Office: Tel: (632) 931-81-01 to 07

Attention: Atty. Marijoy D. Segui
OIC, Director, Legal Service
Trunklines: (632) 931-81-01 loc 417-418
Tel/Fax: (632) 951-22-38

3.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

4. Mrs. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta
Chief, Public Attorney Office (PAO)
DOJ Agencies Building,
NIA Road East Avenue
1104 Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Tel. No.: +63 2 929 9010 / 9436
Fax No. +63 2 927 6810 / 926 2878
Email: chiefacosta@edsamail.com.ph

5. Director General Raul Bacalzo
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2724 8763
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
E-mail: ruth_cossid@yahoo.com

6. 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

7. Mr. Emilio Gonzalez
Deputy Ombudsman
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military
and Other Law Enforcement Offices
3rd Floor, Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road, Diliman
1104 Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 926 8747

[Urgent Action/Solidarity] support for 10 Vietnamese workers unjustly arrested in South Korea simply for demanding better conditions

From:  <pssp@jinbo.net>
To: jerbertph@yahoo.com
Sent: Saturday, June 4, 2011 7:58:46 PM
Subject: Requesting Solidarity for Vietnamese workers in SK unjustly arrested for work action

Greeting friends and allies,

I am writing to ask for your support for 10 Vietnamese workers unjustly arrested in South Korea simply for demanding better conditions. This is a clear case of the criminalization of documented migrant workers in South Korea and of labor repression. Background information on the case follows.

PSSP is participating in an emergency committee formed to support these workers and fight for their release. The committee includes several labor and social justice movement organizations in South Korea.

A petition to be submitted to the presiding judge in the case is attached. To show your support, please sign it and by fax or email to 82-32-576-8113 or ahihihi@hanmail.net.

We are also collecting petitions in South Korea. All petitions will be submitted to the judge together on June 8 (Korean time.)

<Background>

Recently 10 Vietnamese migrant workers working in South Korea were arrested, detained and brought to the trial.

The Prosecutor’s Office has charged them with several crimes including obstruction of business, group violence, mob assault and assault with a deadly weapon. The prosecution is claiming the Vietnamese migrant workers carried out an illegal strike. In its letter of indictment the prosecution claims that the workers who were arrested had led the strike and used threats and force to make other workers participate.

All those arrested are documented migrant workers who entered South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS). If they are convicted, they are highly likely to face deportation under the Immigration Control Act.

The 10 individuals had been among 200 Vietnamese workers employed to construct the substructure of a container wharf at the Incheon New Port last year.

<Working Conditions>

KRW 4,110/hour wage (minimum wage).
12-hour shifts from 7:00 to 19:00 (Lunch break: 12:00-13:00). The company almost always ran two shifts, one from 7:00 to 19:00 and one from 19:00 to 7:00.
Work on Saturday and Sunday even though the employment contract stipulated a Monday to Friday work week.
Only 1 meal a day (lunch) provided free of charge. The cost of breakfast and lunch (KRW 240,000 a month) was deducted from wages. For this reason, the major demand during the strike was the provision of three meals a day. The company offered breakfast and dinner for free from April to May, 2010. But it notified the workers it would offer only lunch for free beginning in July. Many workers who had worked since April staged a walkout and refused to work.

<1st Strike: July 22 to 25, 2010>

Beginning at 7 o’clock in the morning on the 22th of July, 2010, roughly two hundred Vietnamese workers went on a walkout. The walkout continued until 7 o’clock in the evening on the 25th of July, 2010.

The workers made the following demands:

That they be provided three meals a day, free of charge.
That the not be forced to work at night against their will.
That they be allowed to have friends visit them in company-provided living quarters.
That they be allowed to have food, drink and alcohol in their living quarters.

*The company argued that the strike caused losses worth KRW 1 billon. It said it was forced to hired local workers and had to paid extra to rent equipment for an extended period of time.

<2nd Strike: January 9 to 10, 2010>
Most of the Vietnamese workers went on a walkout against beginning on January 9,, 2011. In response, the company changed its policy. It reduced recognized work hours from 12 to 11 hours (The workers worked for 12 hours from 7:00 to 19:00pm, with a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:00pm). The company had previously recognized 12 working hours including 4 hours of overtime work.
*The company argued the second strike caused losses worth KRW 109 million.

<Arrest and Trial>

The 10 Vietnamese migrants continued to be employed and worked after the strike.

Some of those who were arrested had only begun to work in July 2010. As such, they were not in the condition to lead the first strike.

The 10 workers were arrested in March and April 2011, and were charged with interfering with the business, group violence, and mob assault with a deadly weapon.

At a hearing on May 26, the prosecution asked that the workers be given prison sentences of 3 years to 2 of the workers, 1 year and 6 months to 1 worker, 1 year to 6 workers and 1 year suspended for 2 years to 1 worker.

The next hearing in the case will be on June 9.