National Interfaith Peace and Mercy Mission (Duyog sa Panaw)

looks into recent cases of extra-judicial killings and human rights violations

in Southern Mindanao
 

May 21-23,  2010

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Belen Galleto of Save PANTUKAN Alliance whose life is under threat

 due to her active stance against the entry  of foreign and large mining companies

A Mansaka tribal chieftain attested that there were economic

and cultural rights violation perpetrated by the US-Russel Mining,

   

 

Duyog sa Panaw believes that the mission has found revealing data and information on the continued sufferings of our peasant and lumad brothers and sisters who, in their fight for life and liberty, are being targeted by the state’s military apparatus who violate their basic human rights with impunity and without compunction.

 

--- From the mission report

 

   
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Photos courtesy of KARAPATAN - Southern Mindanao Region
           
     

 

Peace group to lead national peace and mercy mission; probes on extra-judicial killings and hr violations in region

+++Davao City – Clergy-led peace group Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP) will spearhead a National Interfaith Peace and Mercy Mission, Duyog sa Panaw, from May 21-23, 2001 to look into recent cases of extra-judicial killings and reported human rights violations in Southern Mindanao.

Bishop Delfin Callao, convenor of EJP, said that Duyog sa Panaw will visit Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and Pantukan, Compostela Valley for two highlight cases of extra-judicial killings in the region.

Bishop Callao cited the documentation by human rights group Karapatan, an alliance for the advancement of people’s rights, that in Sta. Cruz, a B’laan tribal chieftain Rudy Dejos, vice-chairperson of Zone-1 Farmers Association (ZOFA) and his son Rody Rick Dejos, who is also a member of ZOFA, were tortured and brutally killed in broad daylight last February 27, 2011. The report also indicated that suspected members and agents of the 39th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Oliver Artuz carried out the barbaric crime. ZOFA is affiliated to the progressive peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)

Two weeks after the Dejos incident, Santos Manrique in Pantukan, Compostela Valley was shot dead by four unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen at his residence in Brgy. Kingking last April 12, 2011. Manrique was a barangay councilor and was the chairperson of the progressive environmental group Panalipdan.

Bishop Modesto Villasanta of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines and convenor of EJP pointed out that before their deaths “it was clear that they were active in their respective causes – land, national patrimony and the environment.”

“In the face of these extra-judicial killings and at least 53 documented instances of human rights violations,  the 10th Infantry Division (ID) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continues to shamelessly brag about their ‘peace and development outreach programs’,” added Bishop Villasanta.

“Reports and testimonies from families of victims of extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations would reveal the deception and true intent of the military’s counterinsurgency program via Oplan Bayanihan. The policy continues to attempt to stifle people’s dissent, and to suppress the peasants’ struggle for land, and people’s struggle against poverty. Definitely not the kind of peace we seek,” Bishop Villasanta said.

Residents in different communities in armed conflict areas and even in villages here in Davao City, Callao added, continue to be intimidated and harassed by military presence by tagging them as supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) and by forcing civilians to become members of the Barangay Defense System (BDS).

“There are also many cases wherein innocent civilians are illegally arrested by state agents and are presented as NPA surrenderees,” said Callao.

“It worries us that these incidents seem to be just a continuation of the much-hated Oplan Bantay Laya, which wrecked thousands of lives and properties. Thus, our call is for the government to end the implementation of these counterinsurgency programs and to address the real causes of armed conflict in its place. It is high time that we give way for genuine peace; one that is based on justice,” Callao said.

A national delegation from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, Promotion of Church People’s Response and Karapatan will join EJP in solidarity with the families and in the documentation of the said cases.###
 

Iinterview with Manrique's widow
At the grave of Manrique with his grandchildren.
Belen Galleto (fellow of Manrique in opposition to the entry of large-scale mining corporations in Pantukan), together with Manrique's wife, mother and daughter
           
     
Filing of Blotter at the PNP Panukan Station on harassment & illegal checkpoint & search, and on Belen Galleto's case, and ff-up case onSantos Manrique (EJK Victim)
     

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Duyog sa Panaw

 

 

 

National Interfaith Peace and Mercy Mission

 

May 20-23, 2011


Mission Statement

May 23, 2011

 

A Call for Justice to Victims of Extra-judicial killings

A Call for the Respect Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws


National peace and mercy mission confirms extra-judicial killings continue under PNoy admin; Oplan Bayanihan continue dark legacy of Oplan Bantay Laya


“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Isaiah 1:17


The Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP) spearheaded a national interfaith peace and mercy mission dubbed as Duyog sa Panaw, May 20-23, 2011 in two mission areas, in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

Duyog sa Panaw  was an effort from peace advocates, human rights defenders and peoples organizations to continue the pursuit of justice and genuine peace by way of an independent fact-finding mission on the recent cases of extra-judicial killings in the aforementioned towns.

The killings of Rudy and his son Rudyric Dejos in Sta. Cruz and that of Santos Manrique in Pantukan brought to light the real face of Oplan Bayanihan: that it was far from being a peace and development program and that it was a carryover of the previous counterinsurgency policy, the Oplan Bantay Laya 2.

As in the past, militarization is not entirely within the purview of the government’s thrust to curb the country’s insurgency, but actually forms part of the state’s continued subservience to foreign capitalist interests, in this case,  in Southern Mindanao region.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, through its spin-doctor’s, has tried hard but failed to repackage Oplan Bayanihan as a deadly policy when, this early, such policy has again claimed lives and properties of civilian communities.

Duyog sa Panaw now puts forward the following results of the fact-finding mission:

  1. On the killing of the Dejoses

Rudy Dejos had served as Vice-Chairperson of Zone 1 Farmers’ Association (ZOFA) – a farmer’s organization in Sta. Cruz affiliated with the progressive Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. His son Rudyric who is also a member of ZOFA.

Before he died, Rudy Dejos served as a tribal chieftain of the B’Laan community and acted as a Barangay Human Rights Officer. He actively campaigned against the Barangay Defense System which forces the recruitment of residents.  

Testimonies from Rudy’s colleagues tell of a peasant leader who rendered good leadership in their former organization Patulangon Farmer’s Association (PATUFA). Some time in 2009, the PATUFA was dismantled by the 39th Infantry Battallion of the Philippine Army when the latter accused the former of having links with the underground New People’s Army. Since then, full blast human rights violations committed by the 39th IB against residents had escalated.

Rudy Dejos,  was steadfast in reviving the PATUFA. That was then they were able to form the Zone-1 Farmers’ Association (ZOFA) where he served as Vice-Chairperson. He sought the support of Karapatan, Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, in exposing the rights abuses, to the consternation of  the military.

During one of the meetings initiated by the military in the community, they gave out warnings not to attend rallies, not to go to Karapatan and to isolate Dejos.  The military was also reported to have told residents: “Kana sila dili makahatag og yuta sa inyoha kami makahatag sa inyo og yuta, 6-feet below the ground. [They (Karapatan and other progressive groups) cannot give you land; we can give you land--6-feet below the ground].”  

On February 27, 2011 in their farm house located at Upper Malusing, Brgy. Zone-1, Sta. Cruz Rudy and Rudyric Dejos were found dead. The bodies of both father and son bore stab wounds, gunshot wounds, and signs of torture. The post-mortem report has yet to be released from the Municipal Health Office.

According to Chief of Police Demetrius Taypin, the Dejos killing was jointly investigated by the municipal Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Provincial Crime and Investigation Detection Group (CIDG).  The police investigation concluded that the NPA killed the Dejoses; a case was already filed in court.

On the other hand, the Dejos family and the officers of local organizations believe that only the elements of the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has the motive of killing the activists.

In the information gathered by the mission team, a testimony from a resident (name withheld) of Zone 1 revealed that before Rudy was killed, he had already received death threats and harassments from the elements of the 39th IB. Said testimony narrated that possible reasons for these threats are: 1) Rudy’s refusal to attend meetings called for by the military particularly regarding the Barangay Defense System, 2) Rudy’s active membership in ZOFA, 3) The military believes that Rudy is a member of the New People’s Army.

The testimony also revealed there are two witnesses to corroborate the fact that the military is behind the killing.

  1. On the murder of Manrique

    Santos Manrique, 50 years old, was barangay councilor of Barangay Kingking in Pantukan, Compostela Valley. He was also the chairperson of Panalipdan Pantukan, a progressive environmental group opposing the entry of large-scale and foreign mining operations in the area.

    Manrique had been leading small-miners in opposing the operation of large-scale mining companies that include: Philippine Mining Corporation (PMC); Napnapan Minerals Resource Incorporation (NMRI); Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR) known to be the local partner of US-owned Russel Mining and Minerals, Inc.

    As an active anti-foreign and large mining, Manrique was consistent in gathering petitions from local residents to firmly oppose the entry of environmental plunderers.

    Manrique was also one of those who reported to the regional office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Southern Mindanao Region regarding the presence of US soldiers involved in the US-RP Balikatan exercise last January 26-27 at Batiao Beach Resort, Pantukan.

    With his involvement in the said campaign, Manrique had received death threats and harassments through text messages.  He was even tagged as a supporter of the New People’s Army. In March this year, Manrique was held and harassed by elements of the 1001st Brigade in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley on his way home after meeting fellow small-scale miners.

    Before he was killed, Manrique, was said to be visited by a certain personnel from Russel Mining to ask him to sign a document giving permission to the operation of said mining company.

    On April 12, 2011, Manrique was shot dead by four (4) unidentified armed men riding on motorcycles.

    The mission further learned of the following cases of human rights violations:

  1. In Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, residents of Brgy. Zone 1 are living daily in terror, afraid of the 39th Infantry Battalion living among them.

    1. The mission team recorded a total of 26 cases of human rights violations with 851 victims;

    2. The 39th IB violated the international humanitarian law prohibiting the use of schools,  medical, religious and other public places or facilities for military purposes, which has affected around 25 families;

    3. The 39th IB also violated the rights of 22 individuals by coercing them to join the Barangay Defense System, using them as shields against the military’s enemies;

    4. Two hundred nineteen (219) residents were victims of harassments and intimidation and one hundred forty-five (145) were violated of their right to freedom of association, when the 39th IB threatened them from joining rallies and progressive organizations;

  1. In Pantukan, Compostela Valley, large-scale foreign mining interests resulted in violations of the international humanitarian laws and the human rights of small-scale miners and their families of Gumayan, Brgy. Kingking:

    1. Three thousand (3,000) individuals or around 500 families were victims of land grabbing resulting from the Russel mining company’s claim of the ancestral domain of the Lumads in the area;

    2. The elements of the 71st IB violated IHL in their use of public place and facilities for military operations affecting 480 individuals and  80 families;

    3. The mission has also documented of the formation of a private army initiated by Russel mining company;

  1. Human rights defenders are victims of human rights violations too

    1. Mission delegation that went to Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur were harassed by the presence of elements of the 39th IB who were in the activity area. Their presence also intimidated other residents who were prevented from giving their testimonies to Mission team members;

    2. Delegates who went to Pantukan, Compostela Valley, were harassed when a composite team of Pantukan police and soldiers belonging to the 71st Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army held a surprise checkpoint;


Duyog sa Panaw believes that the mission has found revealing data and information on the continued sufferings of our peasant and lumad brothers and sisters who, in their fight for life and liberty, are being targeted by the state’s military apparatus who violate their basic human rights with impunity and without compunction.

Duyog sa Panaw thus puts forward the following demands and calls:

  1. That the PNoy administration immediately investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the violations committed by state security forces and law enforcement agencies against the people. We demand, in particular, the prosecution of responsible elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines belonging to the 39th and the 71st Infantry Battalions of the Philippine Army-10th Infantry Division as having masterminded and perpetrated the killings of the Dejoses and Manrique;

  1. That the PNoy administration order to immediately end the continued forced recruitment of civilians into and to dismantle the Barangay Defense System (BDS), adhere to the principles regarding the protection of civilians from being forced to take part in the hostilities as provided for by international humanitarian laws and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CARHRIHL);

  1. Review and stop the AFP’s counterinsurgency program under the Oplan Bayanhihan that has facilitated the use of schools, medical, religious and other public places or facilities for military purposes endangering the lives of civilians;

  1. Immediately pull-out all military personnel who are taking over civilian communities in the guise of peace and development;

  1. Stop all counterinsurgency programs that only aim to stifle people’s struggle for life and put in place instead socio-economic reforms that address the root cause of armed conflict in the country.

  1. Sustain the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

We shall not be deaf when we hear the cry of the oppressed. We shall not close our eyes when we see our people’s suffering. We shall speak out to condemn all that has caused the misery of the poor.

We have taken the challenge to seek justice and continue with our commitment for the respect of human rights.

Let this mission’s undertaking continue to challenge others to join the journey and encourage the oppressed to rise as one in our quest for a just and lasting peace.

Signed

“Duyog sa Panaw”
National Interfaith Peace and Mercy Mission
May 23, 2011
Davao Episcopal Mission Center
Davao City, Philippines


 

Harassment of 71st IB & PNP-Pantukan on Duyog Mission Delegates
Illegal checkpoint & illegal search conducted by 71st IB & PNP
     

A Mansaka tribal chieftain attested that there were economic

and cultural rights violation perpetrated by the US-Russel Mining,

     
     
     
Manrique's residence
on the 40 days commemoration on the brutal killing of Santos Manrique.JPG

Psychosocial Release Diagnostic Activity for children (grandchildren of Manrique

and other neigboring children)

the Duyog sa Panaw team offered Liturgical Service for Manrique.JPG
           
     
Re-enactment on extrajudicial killing of Santos Manrique
     

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Press Release
May 22, 2011

 

Police, military stops peace mission in surprise checkpoint

 

Pantukan, Compostela Valley - A composite team of Pantukan police and soldiers belonging to the 71st Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army atop a 6x6 army vehicle,  held  at a surprise checkpoint, 73 members of a Peace and Mercy Mission of the church-led Exodus for Justice and Peace Saturday afternoon.

Police Inspector Dwayne Ducducan, head of the 10-man composite team ordered male members of Duyog sa Panaw mission – composed of church people and human rights advocates from Davao City and Manila – to alight from the truck at around 4: 30 pm near the Pantukan poblacion. “We were falsely accused of carrying firearms. It was pure harassment against us,” cried Rev. Angelico Confreros, Jr. of  Exodus for Justice and Peace   

The Mission  came from Sitio Gumayan, Brgy. Kingking where they investigated circumstances surrounding the killing of Santos Manrique, a known mining leader, as well as the impact of the mining operations of the US-based Russel Mining.

“We resisted and asserted that it was an illegal search they’re doing, therefore it was unnecessary for any of us to unload from the truck. We were willing to submit to a checkpoint in plain view only. But the police insisted. We even showed them the approved letter and permission from Pantukan Mayor Celso Sarenas, but they ignored it and proceeded with their search. Under duress, our male contingent unloaded and raised their shirts to show that we were not carrying any arms,” said Hanimay Suazo, acting deputy secretary general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao and head of the documentation team of the mission delegates in Pantukan.

Undeterred by the harassment, the groups proceeded to the police station to continue with their fact-finding mission. They interviewed authorities on its own investigation of Manrique’s killing. They also filed a police blotter to complain over the death threats received by Belen Galleto, Manrique’s colleague and also a member of Save Pantukan Alliance and Panalipdan, both environmental groups opposing foreign and large-scale mining in ssouthern Mindanao.

The group also filed a police blotter on the illegal search and checkpoint, which prompted the police to later ask for an apology.

“We condemn this act of arrogance from the state’s law enforcing agencies, the PNP and the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP). They can never silence or stop us from seeking justice,” said Bishop Modesto Villasanta, convenor of the Exodus for Justice and Peace.

Duyog sa Panaw is a national interfaith peace and mercy mission attended by national and local peace and human rights advocates. It sent fact-finding delegations to Pantukan and Sta. Cruz towns, areas where extra-judicial killings have recently occurred.###

 

A small tunnel operated by small-scale miners
A trek going to the mission area
           
     

Belen Galleto of Save PANTUKAN Alliance whose life is underthreat due to her active stance against the entry

 of foreign and large mining companies

BINA - a stone consists of gold element for processing CARHRIHL Violation
 
     

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Press Release
May 22, 2011


39th IB soldiers disrupts peace mission in Sta. Cruz

Davao City - Delegates of the National Fact Finding Mission spearheaded by Exodus for Justice and Peace in Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur were harassed by the elements of the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Saturday (May 21).

The National Fact Finding Mission that was composed of various organizations went to Sta. Cruz to investigate on the killing of two peasant members of the a local farmer’s group in Brgy. Zone 1, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and the reported cases of human rights violations brought by the installation of the Barangay Defense System.

Twenty nine delegates from various sectoral organizations arrived at Cagas Gym in Brgy. Zone 1 at around 8:45 in the morning of Saturday.  “Upon our arrival we noticed the presence of more or less two fully-armed military men observing at the youth who were playing volleyball that time,” narrated Jose Arnel Aguilar of the Promotion of Church People’s Response National Capital Region.

“We immediately left the gym and proceed to the Municipal Hall of Sta. Cruz to pay courtesy to Mayor Joel Lopez who assured us of our security in the area,” Aguilar said.

“We returned to Cagas Gym to proceed with our activity.  That was the time we saw that the number of soldiers increased,” he said.

“Although the Barangay Captain of Brgy. Zone 1, Ricky Taylaran,Sr., admitted that he invited the 39th IB to watch over the disco activity of the barangay after the youth sportsfest in the morning, we are appalled that the military were very early to conduct their monitoring. It is very clear that they were in the area to monitor the activity of the fact-finding mission,” he added.

Two unidentified men who were believed to be elements of the 39th IB entered the Day Care Center where the mission team was conducting interviews with the local residents and farmer leaders.


 

The two suddenly took pictures of the interviewees. “The interviewees and our documentation team were harassed and feared for their security,” Aguilar said.

“Minomonitor nga talaga ang activity namin. Maituturing na harassment ang ginawa nila dahil natakot ang mga inimbitahang residente at mga magsasakang kinakausap namin. Nakapagdulot iyon ng pag-dadalawang-isip sa mga iniinterview na magbahagi ng kanilang mga nalalaman sa lugar at kanilang opinion sa kaso ng mag-amang Dejos,” he said.

“Our team confronted a certain military officer Meneses who denied that they were taking pictures, contrary to what we saw from their digital camera which we borrowed from them,” he said.

“This only shows that the counter-insurgency plan Oplan Bayanihan (OPB), which parades its self to respect human rights and promote peace, is out to threaten, harass and intimidate civilians.  Just like the previous Oplan Bantay Laya, OPB is out to target legal progressive organizations,” Aguilar added. #

 

Caucus with small-scale miners in Gumayan
Community at the mining area
           
     

Drilling equipment operated by US-Russel mining corporation

Drilling Operation by US-Russel Mining Corporation which violated MPSA with the small-scale miners and FPIC of the Mansaka tribe

Duyog sa Panaw 2011 spearheaded by Exodus for Justice and Peace, in cooperation with Barug Katungod, KARAPATAN, PANALIPDAN,
 

=          
==          
     

Duyog sa Panaw Pantukan Delegates in solidarity with the small-scale miners and Mansaka tribes in defense for human rights and environment

Entering Kingking Mines Equipment owned by NADECOR Mines
           

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Press Release
May 24, 2011

Extra-judicial killings continue under PNoy Admin, worries peace group

Davao City – The clergy-led Exodus for Justice and Peace expressed concern over the death of two activist leaders in southern Mindanao in less than a month, an indication of the continuation of extra-judicial killings under Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s administration.

Findings of the recently concluded National Interfaith Peace and Mercy Mission dubbed us Duyog sa Panaw puts forward that Rudy and his son Rudyric Dejos of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and Santos Manrique of Pantukan, Compostela Valley were killed because of their political beliefs and activities.

Rudy Dejos had served as Vice-Chairperson of Zone 1 Farmers’ Association (ZOFA) – a farmer’s organization in Sta. Cruz affiliated with the progressive Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. His is also a member of ZOFA.

Before he died, Rudy Dejos served as a tribal chieftain of the B’Laan community and acted as a Barangay Human Rights Officer. He actively campaigned against the Barangay Defense System which forces the recruitment of residents. He sought the support of Karapatan, Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, in exposing the rights abuses, to the consternation of the military.

In Pantukan, Santos Manrique was barangay councilor of Barangay Kingking and the chairperson of Panalipdan Pantukan, a progressive environmental group opposing the entry of large-scale and foreign mining operations in the area.

Manrique had been leading small-miners in opposing the operation of large-scale mining companies that include: Philippine Mining Corporation (PMC); Minerals Resource Incorporation (NMRI); Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR) known to be the local partner of US-owned Russel Mining and Minerals, Inc. He gathered petitions from local residents to firmly oppose the entry of environmental plunderers.

“While police investigators could easily ascribe these killings to either personal conflict or purged by the revolutionary movement through the New People’s Army, our fact-finding teams found otherwise – extra-judicial killings continue under the government’s Oplan Bayanihan,” said Bishop Modesto Villasanta during the public presentation of the mission’s report in Davao Espiscopal Mission Center in Davao City, Monday.

“We condemn this, and along with the victims’ families and peace advocates, we shall seek justice. We cannot allow the wickedness of Oplan Bantay Laya continue, thus our call to the PNoy administration to stop the implementation of its counterinsurgency program and pursue putting in place socio-economic reforms that intend to address the root of the armed conflict in the country,” Villasanta said.

For Reference:

Bishop Modesto Villasanta
Exodus for Justice and Peace
221-6920


 

Gold-ore processing
           
     
    Interview with a small-scale miner (abantero) in the area
     

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PRESS RELEASE

April 14, 2011

 

For reference:

Hanimay Suazo

0939-4501308

 

44th victim of killings under PNoy gunned down

 

DAVAO CITY – Another victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration was gunned down by unidentified men in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, Tuesday.

 

According to the initial reports gathered by Karapatan-Southern Mindanao, Santos “Ricky” Manrique, 49 year-old, president of the Federation of Miners’ Aggrupation in Pantukan (FEDMAP) and a member of the progressive Anakpawis Partylist was shot dead at around 6 PM at his residence along Mendoza Hi-way, Brgy. Kingking, Municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

 

About four unidentified armed men with motorcycles were seen as perpetrators of the incident. Manrique participated with small-scale miners and environmentalists in actively campaigning against the entry of Russell Mining and Minerals, a US- owned mining company in the area.

 

“Barely a week after the friends, relatives and human rights group remembered the 40 days of the death of father and son Dejos, who were killed in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Manrique is gunned down as the 6th victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration in Southern Mindanao.  And similar to the father and son Dejos, and the previous victims from the region, Manrique is also allied with cause-oriented and progressive organizations,” said Hanimay Suazo, acting deputy secretary general of Karapatan. 

 

 “We are adamant that the PNoy administration is taking a different course from that of the Arroyo administration. With a total number of 44 victims under the Aquino administration in just 10 months, this means four to five victims of political killings a month,” Suazo said.

 

Manrique who also serves as chairperson of Panalipdan-Pantukan chapter, an alliance of environmental advocates, is also a Brgy. Kagawad in Brgy. Napnapan, Pantukan. 

 

“Five previous cases of political killings in the region are yet to be resolved, and now, another victim is added to the list. We can only conclude that the perpetrators of the political killings are on a killing spree,” Suazo said.

 

“We believe that the deceptive Oplan Bayanihan, which parades itself as a counter-insurgency campaign that respects human rights is responsible for the killings.  The census that the military is doing during their civil-military operations or the peace and development teams in the community gathers intelligence information on the members and leaders of progressive organizations and the information are then forwarded to their operatives,” Suazo said.

 

“We demand the Aquino administration to abandon its counter-insurgency operation that is plainly similar to the previous Oplans which targets unarmed civilians,” she said. #

 

Interview with the small-scale miners
Manual operation of small-scale miners for almost 25 years

 39th IBPA harassed the mission delegates by their mere presence,

intimidating the community not to testify and cooperate with the mission

           
     
At the US-Russel Mining Company in Pantukan Barangay Hall of Kingking, Pantukan Manual processing of gold
     

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PRESS RELEASE
MAY 19, 2011

Same with Amnesty International report
Karapatan tags rights abuses  in Aquino-AFP’s peace and development strategy

DAVAO CITY – Indeed, the moniker “wolves in sheep’s clothing” for the Armed Forces of the Philippines is real after it is again linked to extra-judicial killings and other rights abuses in the region under the new counter-insurgency plan, Operation Plan Bayanihan (Oplan Bayanihan), this according to Karapatan’s Midyear Report.

 

The initial findings of the human rights group, Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region hews closely with the conclusion made recently by the Amnesty International which lamented that rights abuses have continued under the Aquino government.  Amnesty International said  305 cases of extrajudicial killings and more than 200 cases of enforced disappearances that occurred in the last decade remains unresolved, with its perpetrators  yet to be punished up to now.


According to Karapatan’s pre-midyear human rights situation monitor, from the time of Aquino’s presidency, OBL and OPB have taken six victims of extrajudicial killings in Southern Mindanao Region. “In just the first three months of this year, we have recorded three victims of extrajudicial killings one of which is a peasant leader and a small scale miner leader and one (1) victim of enforced disappearances,” Suazo said.

 

Karapatan also  documented 53 cases of human rights violations where state security forces and paramilitary groups and its agents have victimized 99 families with 1259 individuals from January to May 15, 2011.

 

The atrocious and barbaric Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) and the new Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) under the new Aquino administration has no difference, except the names and the latter’s rampant use of deceptive words like “respect of human rights”, “development-oriented activities” and “peace”,” said Hanimay Suazo, Karapatan-SMR’s acting Deputy Secretary-General.

 

Moreover, Karapatan is also also highlighted the marking of cases of forced and fake surrendering of civilians, illegal arrests, illegal detention, torture, violation of children’s rights to protection and safety, use of civilians as guide during military operations and harassment/threat/intimidation of leaders and farmers.

 

There is no change, more so, no peace and development.  The security forces from the Arroyo regime to the current Aquino government have been consistent with their human rights violations in the region,” Suazo said.


“Shame on them for talking about “respect for human rights” when they have not done anything to make the previous administration and its cohorts accountable for the thousands of human rights violation victims,” she added.

The internationally-recognized human rights organization challenges the new administration of PNoy to heed the call of the victims: justice for all the victims of human rights violations and to end impunity by prosecuting former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, retired Major General and known “Berdugo” Jovito Palparan and other fascist military perpetrators.

Karapatan is also calling the Aquino government to withdraw Oplan Bayanihan and all forms of counter-insurgency methods and strategies, and to show Aquino’s sincerity in adhering to all the agreements lodged during the peace negotiations between National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and Government of the Philippines (GPH) by implementing CARHRIHL and address the roots of armed conflict through social-economic reforms.#


 

FOR REFERENCE:

 

HANIMAY SUAZO

Acting Deputy Secretary-General

KARAPATAN-SMR

Mobile No. 09294014945

 

Mission Area at Sitio Gumayan, Brgy. Kingking, Municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province
Mission Delegates onboard a Saddam Truck going to the mining area
Sitio Gumayan, Brgy. Kingking, Municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province
 
     

Solidarity message from a small-scale mining leader in Sitio Gumayan, expressed their strong resistance on foreign-owned mining companies

Solidarity program with small-scale miners and paying tribute

to Santos Manrique (a martyr of the small-scale miners and enviro

Visiting the office of US-Russel Mining Company
     

 

Media Release
April 26, 2011

Mining Worker in Compostela Valley, 4th labor leader killed under Aquino

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemns the murder of Santos "Ricky" Manrique, 49, president of the Federation of Miners' Association in Pantukan(FEDMAP) Compostela Valley. Manrique is the 4th labor leader killed under Aquino’s OPLAN BAYANIHAN.

Manrique was shot dead last April 12 at around 6:30pm while having dinner at their residence in Napnapan village.

“This shows how brutal Oplan Bayanihan is. They let foreign mining corporations devastate our natural resources under the banner of development and murder whoever gets in their way,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary general.

Manrique is a leader of the anti-large scale mining group in Pantukan, Compostela Valley. He was a known opposition of the mining operations of Nationwide Development Corporation(NADECOR) and the US owned Russell Mining and Mineral Inc. They have also been opposing the entry of Napnapan Mineral Resources Inc. that was allowed by the government to operate on a 4, 912 hectare of land that would affect small scale miners.

“Aquino did not just allow these giant mining corporations to operate in our land but also gave them license to own private armies and conduct killing sprees against all who threaten their operations, may it be armed rebels or civilians,” Soluta said.

“However Aquino boast on Oplan Bayanihan’s pro-people approach, it is very obvious that it is as brutal and as coldblooded as Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya. Worse, it was designed to protect the interests of US investments in the country against nationalist workers and people,” Soluta added.

KMU demands justice for the killing of Manrique and calls on Aquino to stop letting foreign mining corporations from raping our resources and killing our countrymen.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary general, 0928-7215313
 

An interview with Mercy Dejos, wife of Rudy and mother of Rudyric Dejos
Calling for Justice to Rudy and Rudyric Dejos!
 
     
     
Courtesy call at the Mayor's office    
   

xApril 24, 2011

“Slain activist Santos Manrique paid dearly to defend land from U.S. mining plunder”- Bayan-SMR

DAVAO CITY – The alliance of patriotic and progressive organizations, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Southern Mindanao Region (Bayan-SMR) pays tribute to Santos "Ricky" V. Manrique, as he is laid to rest today in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

Manrique, another patriotic and progressive leader paid dearly to defend Filipino land from U.S. imperialist agenda of plunder and destruction.

That he was killed amid an intensifying campaign of resistance launched by the people of Pantukan against the entry of American company, Russell Mining and Minerals Inc, shows that no other elements can have the motive to eliminate him but those whose agenda run counter to his political activities.

The state security forces hold the record of protectors of foreign large-scale mining entrants. Their hands are tainted with the blood of activists being killed similarly elsewhere in the country until today.

Manrique is the sixth activist killed in SMR and the 44th victim in the country’s record of political killings in the span of President Benigno Aquino III’s less than a year rule.

His death bore the patent of killings perpetrated by elements of state security forces against activists, the recent cases in the region include those of other Anakpawis leaders, namely Julius Tamondes and Reynaldo Labrador who were slain successively in Paquibato in the early days of Aquino’s rule; Vicente Felisilda in Mawab, and most recently, father-and-son, Rudy and Rudyric Dejos whose lifeless and tortured bodies were found in their homes just this February.

That Manrique was killed by four armed men on board two motorcycles who entered his home and shot him to death in view of his grandson and wife was meant to sow terror in order to quell the ongoing massive opposition against the entry of large-scale mining.

Manrique, as president of the Federation of Miners’ Aggrupation in Pantukan (FEDMAP) and member of the progressive party list group, Anakpawis, led small-scale miners, indigenous peoples, farmers and small traders of Pantukan who stood to be displaced if the US-owned Russell Mining and its local counterpart, Nationwide Development Corporation (Nadecor), would succeed in their claim on a total 1,663-hectare land area in Pantukan for large-scale copper and gold mining.

Like the many slain activists before him, Manrique’s death, was preceded by harassments, threats, and tagging as a leftist, if not, a member of the revolutionary New People’s Army (NPA), by elements of the AFP.

A month prior his death, Manrique was held and harassed by soldiers at an army detachment of the 1001st Brigade in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley as he was on his way home from a meeting.

Manrique was also the one who reported to progressive organizations sightings of U.S. troops offshore Pantukan, particularly in the municipal mayor’s family-owned resort Batiao Beach last end of January, where a military training dubbed “Fleet Marine Exercise Pagsisikap 2011, Amphibious Raid Capability Demonstration” was held.

His death shows that President Aquino has not departed from the fascistic methods employed by his predecessors in suppressing people’s legitimate dissent.

Contrary to its purported “humane and non-traditional approach” of carrying out its military program Oplan Bayanihan, Manrique’s death exposes President Aquino to be no different from Gloria Arroyo who carried out the murderous campaign, Oplan Bantay Laya.

After all, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan, which is patterned after the US Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Guide in January 2009, serves best his role as the leading agent of the U.S. imperialist’s agenda in the country.

Manrique’s fight is testament to the people’s continuing struggle against ever getting fiercer oppressions in their midst wrought by a leadership whose policy is now getting clearer to be that of espousing sell-out of the country’s patrimony to U.S. imperialism.

But the people will persist. By this death of another of the people’s martyr, we carry on the fight for genuine national sovereignty and opposition to further U.S. control of the country’s economy.


For Bayan-SMR,

FRANCHIE BUHAYAN
Secretary General
0999.195.3370

     
           
     
  Duyog sa Panaw 2011 Sta. Cruz Mission Team
     

 

Leader of small-scale miners killed in Compostela Valley
UA No: 2011-04-03
UA Date :
April 21, 2011
UA Case :
Assassination
Victim :
Santos V. Manrique
- 49 years old, married, resident of Brgy. Kingking, Pantukan
- President, Boringot Small-scale Miners’ Cooperative;
- Chair, Federation of Miners’ Aggrupation in Pantukan (FedMAP);
- Chair, Panalipdan-Pantukan;
- Member, Anakpawis party-list
- Council member, Compostela Valley Federation of Small-scale Miners

Place of Incident :
Manrique residence, along Mendoza Highway, barangay Kingking, municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley province

Date of Incident :
April 12, 2011

Alleged Perpetrators :
Four armed men suspected to be hired killers

Account of the Incident:
 

On April 12, 2011, at around 6 PM, Santos V. Manrique, also known as Ricky, was at the lawn in front of his house in Brgy. Kingking, Pantukan responding to a call in his two-way radio. His wife, Amelia, 46, said she was just a meter away from him, while their six-year-old grandson was also near when a man arrived and shot Ricky three times at the back with a .45 caliber pistol, from a three-and-a-half meter distance.
 

Amelia said that as soon as Ricky fell, the gunman pointed his gun at her and other members of the family as he stepped backward. The assassin then headed towards the road where three other men were waiting on two TMX motorcycles. Amelia described the gunman to be between 25 and 30 years old with fair complexion, and was in a white t-shirt and white shorts.
 

With the help of their neighbours and family members, Amelia brought Ricky to the Community Hospital of Pantukan where he was declared dead on arrival. Ricky sustained two gunshot wounds at the back which exited to the right and left side of his chest, and one in the head which hit him on the right side and went through to the left side.
 

As leader of two groups of small-scale miners, Chair of the municipal chapter of Panalipdan, as well as village councilman, Ricky had been active in the campaign against the entry of big-scale mining.
Panalipdan is a broad alliance of environmentalists and other people’s groups which advocate the defense of the environment, land rights and food sovereignty.
 

In 2008, Ricky was at the forefront of the campaign against the entry of the Philippine Mining Corporation (PMC).
 

In 2010, he was the spokesperson of the campaign that initiated the petition-signing against the entry of the Napnapan Minerals Resource Incorporation (NMRI) in Boringot area. The petition was submitted to the municipal council of Pantukan, with a copy furnished to the office of the Pantukan mayor, and forwarded to the office of the Compostela Valley provincial governor.
 

This year, Ricky was visibly active in lobbying with the local government against the entry of big mining companies.
 

On January 25, 2011, the Small-Scale Miners’ Cooperative of Boringot led by Ricky filed a petition against the Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR) and the Russel Mining Corporation which planned to enter into mining in Boringot. The petition was submitted to the municipal council of Pantukan, with a copy furnished to the Pantukan mayor, and forwarded to the provincial governor. The entry of the two mining companies was approved by the Pantukan municipal council in a resolution in 2009, and was supported by Pantukan Mayor Celso Sarenas.
 

On March 2, 2011, Ricky and the small-scale miners held a dialogue with Provincial Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy and members of the Provincial Board and discussed the petition submitted in January. The petitioners were joined by Francis Morales, Secretary General of Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao Region, representatives of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) party-list, Katribu party-list and other advocates. The local government officials gave their commitment to support the petition.
 

On March 9, 2011, elements of the 1001st Infantry Brigade harassed Ricky and his companion in barangay Mipangi, Nabunturan municipality, as they negotiated with the soldiers regarding the claims and relocation of mining in the area.
 

On March 25, Ricky did not attend the public scoping at the office of the Russel Mining Corporation in Pantukan, where the company presented its mining plans. Ricky had said that he avoided the activity because he knew that he had earned the ire of the authorities in Pantukan because of his involvement in the protest against the entry of big mining in the area.
 

Ricky’s family suspects that his stand and active involvement in the protest against big mining was the main reason for his killing.
 

Human Rights Violation documented, and use public places for military purposes

endanger the lives of civilians

Presence of 39th IBPA at the mission area

Psychosocial Release Diagnostic Activity for the Dejos children

and other neighboring children in the community

           
           
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/p

  
 

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