Press Release -- 4 March 2010
Karapatan protests at AFP headquarters over
THE human rights group KARAPATAN picketed the
gates of the AFP Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo to denounce the alarming
spate of extra-judicial killings (EJK’s) by suspected state security
Three activists are the latest victims of
EJK’s: BAYAN MUNA activist Rodel Estrellado of Barangay 3, Malilipot,
Albay and B’laan tribal chief Rudy Dejos and his son Rody Rick Dejos of
Barangay Zone-1, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
According to KARAPATAN documentation, there
are already ten victims of EJK’s by suspected state forces in eight weeks
from January to February this year, and at least 40 victims since Pres.
Aquino took office eight months ago. EJK’s are averaging more than once a
week under Aquino.
“As the Aquino government talks peace, his
troops are once again on a killing spree,” KARAPATAN spokesperson Jigs
“The new Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP)
‘Bayanihan’ of the AFP, approved by Aquino, included so-called selective
targets of military operations. This is no different from the Oplan
Bantay-Laya of the AFP under Macapagal-Arroyo which killed 1,206 in nine
years. Aquino seems "all talk and no action” in ordering state security
forces to stop the killings. If Aquino really wants peace, he should stop
the killings,” Clamor said.
Estrellado, 34, was abducted around 9:00 am on
February 25 by four men posing as Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)
agents as he was walking home after buying food for his family at the
local market. He was forced to board a grey car with the plate number MXN
902 according to Vince Casilihan, Karapatan-Bikol regional coordinator.
Casilihan said that as early as 6:30 a.m. on
the same day, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through Major
Razeleigh Cabunoc issued a statement that a New People’s Army (NPA)
member, identified as a certain Elmer Estrellado, was killed in an
encounter in Brgy. Buluang, Bato, Camarines Sur. This was also in a
blotter report in PNP Bato filed later by Major Danilo Ambe and 2nd Lt.
Maribel Donilla based in Mabaludbalud, Tigaon, Camarines Sur.
The “Elmer” reported by the military turned
out to be Rodel. His remains was recovered by his family at a funeral
parlor in Camarines Sur on February 27.
Meanwhile, the B’laan tribal chief and leader
of the Zone-1 Farmers Association (ZOFA) in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur
affiliated with the Kilusang Magbubuid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Rudy
Yalon-Dejos, 50, and his son Rody Rick, 26, were found dead with gunshot
and stab wounds inside their house on February 27.
The Dejos family members were consistent
targets of harassment and intimidation by soldiers from the 39th IB
Philippine Army and members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit
(CAFGU) since June last year.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human
rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual
advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and
civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights
violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training
and campaign. It was established in 1995.
Press conference to present the r eport
of the Fact Finding Mission report
▼ Military harassment:
at the Luksang Parangal to the funeral march ▼
March 10, 2011
Military harassed funeral march for slain
Davao del Sur – Human rights group Karapatan condemned the harassment done
by the AFP’s 39th Infantry Battalion during a funeral march yesterday (Mar
9) held for two slain farmer activists in Sta. Cruz, this town.
More than 500 members of human rights groups and farmers organizations
held the funeral march for the father and son Rudy and Rudy Rick Dejos,
both members of the Zone 1- Farmers Association (ZOFA) affiliated with
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). The groups stopped over at the
39th Infantry Battalion detachment for an indignation protest action and
proceeded to a funeral march when the elements of the 39th IB blocked
their way and harassed the group.
According to Hanimay Suazo, Acting Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan,
“The military insulted us. Wala baya lain nga dunay motibo sa pagpatay sa
duha kundili ang mga elemento sa 39th IB.”
On February 27, the Dejoses, residents of Sitio Malusing, Brgy. Zone 1,
Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur, were stabbed and shot dead. They were found past
noon time within the premises of their home with their bodies bearing
signs of torture. A fact-finding team composed of human rights advocates
found out that their nails and fingers were smashed with a hammer and
their bodies were black and blue from bruises.
Their families and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas believe that only
the 39th IB has motives in killing the two.
“My husband and son have been constantly persecuted by the military
because of their political involvement. Every time there would be an
encounter between the army and the NPA within the vicinity, they would
automatically be subject to suspicion and be accosted,” said Mercy Dejos
as she calls for justice over her family’s fate.
On June and December last year, the Dejoses filed two separate complaints
of harassment, threat and intimidation against the 39th IB and members of
the 39th IB – installed Barangay Defense System (BDS).
“We call on the authorities to speedily resolve this attack against human
rights defender. We fear that under the Aquino government whose counter
insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan is no different from the previous
Oplans, the cases of victims of human rights violation will pile up just
like what happened with over a thousand extrajudicial killing victims
under the Arroyo administration,” Suazo said.
The Dejoses are the fourth and fifth victim of political killings in the
region under the Aquino administration.#
Luksang Parangal is an activity by friends and supporters of the dead
where they pay tribute and extol their lives. The military, the principal
suspect in the twin brutal murders, without an invitation, attended the
The military was everywhere during the
funeral march. .Photo shows former Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador and the
commanding officer of the 39th IB.
March 2, 2011
Reference: Danilo Ramos
Secretary General – KMP
Noynoy government not satisfied with
pro-landlord CARPer, uses Oplan Bayanihan to terrorize peasants; Oplan
Bayanihan is sugar-coated state terrorism
“Noynoy wields so much power and yet he remains unsatisfied with his sham
pro-landlord agrarian reform program, CARPer, to decimate militant and
progressive peasants that he utilizes the country’s number 1 human rights
violator – the AFP – and its ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ to make our prime
agricultural lands ‘howling deserts’ devoid of farmers and agricultural
workers,” Danilo Ramos intensely asserts.
“We condemn the vicious and dastardly killing of Rudy Yalon-Dejos, 50 and
his son Rody Rick Dejos, 26 last February 27, 2011 in Sta. Cruz, Davao del
Sur. They belong to the B’laan tribe, of which Rudy serves as tribal
chieftain. They are also peasants, with Rudy serving as Vice-Chair of Zone
1 Farmers Association or ZOFA. ZOFA is part of NAMASDDS – Davao del Sur,
the regional chapter of KMP,” Ramos explains.
As per reports and urgent action updates dated March 1, 2011, the lifeless
bodies of elder and younger Dejos were discovered in the afternoon of
February 27 by Rudy’s wife, Mercy. They suffered stab and gunshot wounds.
Their bodies bore bruises which suggest that they were tortured with great
severity as evidenced by their smashed hands and nails.
“We demand that justice be served to Rudy and his son Rody Rick and all
peasant victims of extra-judicial killings,” Ramos declares. “We have had
enough of murders, enforced disappearances and political repression; we
offer condolences to the families of our martyred peasants and pay tribute
to their valiant stand to struggle for genuine agrarian reform and
national democracy,” Ramos continues.
Landlessness is the principal difficulty which burdens farmers. The
massive land use conversions and agriculture labor force statistics based
on comparisons between the 1997-1998 Census and the 2002 Census of
Agriculture shows that in Southern Mindanao, to which Davao del Sur is
part, there are 8 landless peasants for every 10 peasants. CARP
contributed largely to the ejectment of farmers and this consequent
landlessness coupled with the heavy militarization to protect the
interests of landlords and facilitate the entrance of large-scale
destructive mining operations in the area.
Furthermore, the presence of large monopoly-market oriented investors like
San Miguel Corporation, Coco Davao Inc., Franklin Baker Co., GSL Food
Industries are direct manifestations that investors and bureaucrat
capitalists are so eager to push out the remaining land-owning peasants
and destroy the livelihood of tenant farmers in order to concentrate
landholdings to themsleves. Oplan Bayanihan as the overarching state
security program serves to protect the interests of big businesses in the
countrysides and vainly suppress the growing peasant unrest.
Ramos notes that the failure CARP brought and which CARPer will keep up
together with RA 9742 also known as the Mining Act of 1995, will further
result to the utter destruction of our peasantry’s vital resource – land.
And the only other solution that the Noynoy-led government puts forward is
to not only drive out peasants from their resources but to eradicate them
as well with merciless brutality.
According to reports of KARAPATAN, of the 9 victims of human rights
violations this year, 6 of them are peasants. Of these 6 peasants, three
of them have been murdered.
“May this grief that we experience as we lose our peasants be turned to
resolve so that we may defy and smash the power this oppressive and
exploitative system continues to inflict on us farmers who feed our
nation,” Ramos exhorts.###
The 39th IB of the Philippine Army sent
a bunch of flowers to the family of Rudy and Rudyric, which the daughter,
Marilyn, promptly smashed to the ground and burned.
15 March 2011
Hustisya slams Army’s charges against rights
Davao City - A group of families and relatives of victims of political
killings, HUSTISYA! denounced today Lt. Col. Oliver Artuz of the 39th
Infantry Batallion for desperately trying to divert the military’s
accountability to the death of Rudy Dejos and his son Rudyric Dejos of
Brgy. Zone-1, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
The group said that Artuz has revealed this by threatening to file cases
against leaders of human rights and progressive organizations for illegal
assembly during a funeral march last 09 March 2011.
“This is a clear harassment against human rights defenders. The 39th IB
under Lt. Col. Artuz are desperate because the people of Sta. Cruz have
spoken and have pinpointed to them as the perpetrators of the brutal
killing of the Dejoses,” said Bayan Intise, spokesperson of HUSTISTYA!
Intise said that initial result of the fact finding mission revealed that
circumstantial evidence would point to the military’s culpability in this
recent case of extra-judicial killing.
Intise added that documentation records of human rights group KARAPATAN
showed that the military had previously threatened the victims to stop
their activities in the peasant organizations that is asserting for their
rights. Rudy Dejos was listed in the order of battle by the 39th IB
soldiers who forced him to go to the military detachment for tactical
interrogation. Last year, he was threatened by the military after knowing
his involvement in a local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
“Despite the repeated attempts to intimidate and harass him, Rudy Dejos
continued to work with the KMP and its campaigns for land and livelihood,
and against the military’s barangay defense system (BDS),” Intese said.
“The BDS regulated and limited the movement of community folks and local
food supply. Residents have been made to write about their whereabouts in
a journal. Those who enter and leave the area are obliged to give their
names. Community folks have been forced to watch the military posts.
Further, leaders and members of progressive organizations have been
subjected to intensive surveillance and vilification which have turned the
whole community into a military garrison,” Intise added.
The group also cited KARAPATAN’s documentation showing that there were
already twelve (12) victims of extra-judicial killings (EJKs) all over the
country perpetrated by state security agents from January to February this
year. There are already 40 victims of EJKs since Pres. Aquino took office
eight months ago. Five of these victims were peasants in Southern
“The average incident of extra-judicial killings is more than once a week
under Aquino which is very alarming despite the regime’s promise of
upholding human rights. Political killings must be stopped now,” Intise
Karapatan-SMR Deputy Secretary General Hanimay Suazo in
a confrontation with 39th IB CO LtCol Oliver Artuz
Military encampment in a public place of Sitio Malusing Brgy Zone Sta Cruz
7 March 2010
KARAPATAN CHALLENGES NEW AFP CHIEF TO WEED
OUT HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS
As President Aquino appointed Lt. Gen. Eduardo S.L. Oban Jr. as the new
42nd chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the
human rights group KARAPATAN issued a challenge for Oban "to weed out
human rights violators within the state security forces".
Karapatan spokesperson Jigs Clamor said that the top three priorities
spelled by Gen. Oban did not include human rights as an integral part of
the AFP reforms.
Gen. Oban told the media that his top three priorities are reform against
corruption, modernization and the counter-insurgency Internal Peace and
Security Plan (IPSP) dubbed by the AFP as "Bayanihan".
"Oban has obviously left out human rights among his priorities. Although
the IPSP Bayanihan purports to respect human rights, there are now 40
victims of political killings since Aquino took office, ten of whom were
killed since the AFP's Bayanihan was launched. Suspected perpetrators are
elements of the AFP and other state-sponsored forces. Gen. Oban should
look into these," Clamor said.
Among the latest victims of extrajudicial killings were BAYAN MUNA
activist Rodel Estrellado of Barangay 3, Malilipot, Albay and B’laan
tribal chief Rudy Dejos and his son Rody Rick Dejos of Barangay Zone-1,
Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. Estrellado, who was abducted in Albay, was
allegedly killed in an AFP encounter with the New People's Army in
Camarines Sur last February 25. The Dejos father and son were killed last
February 27 after having been harassed by AFP troops since July last year.
"Oban is duty-bound to weed out the human
rights violators among the 130,000-strong AFP troops if he really wants
reforms. So-called 'civil-military operations' for basic services to the
communities are better left to government agencies and the 16-year old
business of AFP modernization initiated by Congress in 1995 has only
squandered the people's money. Plunder of the nation's coffers is bad
enough. Perpetuating impunity and placing critics in coffins is worse,"
Reference: Jigs Clamor, Acting Secretary General (+63-920-946-6210)
Angge Santos, Media Liaison (+63-918-979-0580)
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
intelligence asset punished in Davao del Sur
Magtanggol Roque Command
Front 51 Operations Command
March 7, 2011
Red partisans of the Magtanggol Roque Command-New
People's Army in Southern Mindanao implemented the standing order against
39th IB-AFP intelligence asset Roldan Quitua, 24, last February 25 in
Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
Contrary to the 10th ID-AFP's vehement claims,
Quitua was not a civilian but was a long standing combat intelligence
asset of the 39th IB-AFP. His case officer is 39th IB-AFP's Lt. Villegas.
Quitua's father is a Cafgu member in Sinuron, Santa Cruz.
In the last quarter of 2008, Quitua was tasked by
his military handler to enlist in the NPA to gather combat intelligence.
He had a short stint inside the NPA and as his duplicity was about to be
uncovered he immediately abandoned his post. Quitua fed intelligence
information to the 39th IB-AFP on the location and troop disposition of
the NPA unit that almost resulted into two defensive actions for the NPA.
Both AFP raids were fortunately thwarted by the guerilla unit after timely
information relayed by the revolutionary masses. In 39th IB-AFP military
operations in Davao del Sur, Quitua was involved in harassing and
intimidating the masses in Santa Cruz particularly residents who are vocal
against the 39th IB-AFP's rights violations and the AFP-enforced Barangay
The NPA lambasted the 10th ID-AFP's fabrication
that Quitua was tortured by Red fighters while the standing order was
enforced and the military's misrepresentation of Quitua as a civilian.
Torture and barbarity are the 39th IB-AFP's trademark and not the people's
By rendering service to the 39th IB-AFP as an
intelligence asset, Quitua ceased to be a civilian. As an active agent of
the 39th IB-AFP combat intelligence unit, Quitua forfeited his protected
status as a civilian and rendered himself a legitimate target of the NPA.
The NDFP Declaration of undertaking to apply the Geneva Conventions of
1949 and protocol 1 of 1977 had clearly stated that personnel of the AFP,
PNP, paramilitary units and their intelligence elements are considered
legitimate military targets.
The case of intelligence asset Quitua should serve
as a strong warning to counter-revolutionaries and fascist troops who
continue to unleash their brutality against the people.
Will Rebelyn's murderers ever be
Rubi Del Mundo
National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao
March 5, 2011
We remember Rebelyn Pitao in her second death anniversary today as we
remember the thousand others who are victims of extrajudicial killings and
disappearances under the reactionary system that breeds widespread social
injustice and state-sponsored violence. Under this rotten system and the
reactionary government that perpetuates it; the state-sponsored violence
and the climate of impunity are the norms rather than the exception.
Two years ago today, Rebelyn Pitao, 20, a young private school teacher,
was abducted, raped, tortured and mercilessly murdered by the Military
Intelligence Group-Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines. Such contemptible barbarity committed against Rebelyn and
many other civilians and non-combatants under the regime's failed
anti-people and counter revolutionary Oplan Bantay Laya are the same
barbarity being peddled now as 'peace and development' under US-Aquino's
Oplan Bayanihan. This peace and development sham has been further exposed
as no different from Gloria Arroyo's Bantay Laya.
Civilians and noncombatants like Rebelyn are fair game to the 10th ID-AFP's
desperate bid to destroy the revolutionary people's movement. Justice for
Rebelyn and for thousands of violent deaths and disappearances in the
country remain elusive under the reactionary US-Aquino regime. GPH
President Benigno Aquino III's callousness to the cries for justice of the
grieving families, and his apathy to the crimes of Gloria Arroyo to the
people all point to Aquino's endorsement to the condemnable extrajudicial
killings by the regime's fascist apparatus on civilians and non
combatants. The brutal murders of peasants Rudy Dejos, 50 and his son,
Rudy Rick, 26 in the hinterlands of Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur by the 39th
IB-AFP under the regime's Oplan Bayanihan speak volumes about the real
intent of Aquino's "counter-insurgency" campaign.
Aquino's false pretenses to differentiate himself from the previous
regime's brutal campaigns of suppression against the people and the
revolutionary movement by playing the anti-corruption card are easily
uncovered by the toiling masses. His internal security plan is the same as
Arroyo's Bantay Laya which is both lifted from the unimaginative and
failed US Counter insurgency manual. Like Oplan Bantay Laya, Aquino's
so-called Bayanihan will be a failure and would only spur the rapid
advance of the people's war.
Genuine justice for Rebelyn Pitao and the victims of the state-sponsored
extrajudicial killings shall be attained in the revolutionary people's
court and in the intensification of the people's war.