A week after Duterte’s martial law proclamation in Mindanao Initial Timeline of Human Rights Violations*

Dear friends,

On May 23, 2017, at around 10pm, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the whole of Mindanao and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. A  week later, attacks against persons and communities have continued to worsen. The onslaught of military operations perpetuated by the continued implementation of US-driven counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan was further legitimized by Duterte’s martial rule. This has only aggravated the human rights situation in Mindanao and authorized the continued curtailment of people’s civil and political rights. The period after the martial law pronouncement saw the arrest of members and leaders of progressive organizations and the targeting of civilians in lieu of deceiving buzzwords such as “security’.” We call for vigilance as Duterte accords the infamous rights violators Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police  (PNP) more powers that can further undermine civilian processes and suppress people’s rights.

Please join us in calling for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao, and an end to the continuing attacks against individuals and communities. We enjoin everyone to help and assist in providing relief and assistance to the evacuees displaced not only by the fighting and the aerial strikes done by the AFP in Marawi and in other regions in Mindanao. Let us continue to call on the Duterte administration to cease the implementation of Oplan Kapayapaan and to stop such acts of terror perpetrated by the military and other state agents officiated by DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Año.

 

ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENTS:

On May 25, 2017, from 5:30am to 10pm, around 240 elements of the 39th and 72nd IBPA conducted a series of aerial bombings and fired at the Moro communities in sitios Pedtobawan, Campo, Apulan, and Centro Salat in Brgy. Salat, and in sitio Libpas in Brgy. Tuael, President Roxas, North Cotabato.  Aerial strikes were also reported in the barangays of Tangkulan, Anggaan, and Damulog in Bukidnon. These areas are at least 100 kilometers away from Marawi City. 105 howitzer cannons were mounted at Brgy. Kisupaan, Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato. The incident displaced more than 252 families (amounting to more than 1,000 individuals).

According to the residents, military choppers were spotted hovering in their communities around 10am. Thereafter, around six (6) bombs were dropped. The military also strafed the villagers’ houses from its MG20 helicopter and subsequently launched six (6) 105 cannons towards the community. Around 3 p.m., another four (4) bombs were dropped, another incident of strafing from its MG20 helicopter occurred and  another six (6) 105 cannons were hurled at communities. At around 7pm, aerial strikes started all over again. The bombings, as confirmed by Abdillah Makalang, barangay captain of Brgy. Salata, resulted to the death of Abdullah Mamansag, 34, farmer, Maguindanaoan and resident of the said village. Mamansag was hit by a shrapnel in his spine and his right leg was cut off after being hit by a cannon.

Two more Maguindanaoan residents of Brgy. Salata, Norhamin Taligapin, 25 and Dodong (not his real name), 14, were brought to the Amas Provincial Hospital after they were also hit by shrapnels in the stomach and chest.

In Brgy. Tuael, Pres. Roxas, N. Cotabato and Brgys. Tangkulan and Anggaan, Damulog, Bukidnon, 39th IBPA elements went on a firing spree attacking homes of residents with 50 caliber machine guns.

On the same day, May 25, at least thirty (30) Lumad, Moro, and Christian women who participated in a gathering entitled  “Leadership Development and Capacity Building for Gender and Ecological Justice” by the Ecumenical Women’s Forum, were accosted and held for at least one hour and 30 minutes by the 6th Marine Landing Battalion in a checkpoint in Brgy. Domulon, Sultan Kudarat. Their leaders were interrogated, asked to produce identification cards, and questioned on their permit to travel. They were also asked if they were with some women leaders they named. The leaders were forbidden to take down notes during the said interrogation. A soldier took pictures of the rest of the women and they were told to write down their names on a sheet of paper. Sexist remarks were also thrown at the women.

Also on May 25, at least 260 persons from Barangays 76-A and 23 in Davao City were rounded up by the Davao City Police Office, on the basis of failure to shown proofs of identification. They were brought to the DCPO to undergo a “verification process.”

In Matanao, Davao del Sur, Daniel Lasid, 58, a Blaan council member of Akma Aksasatu Matanao (Unity of Matanao) was shot by five (5) gunmen onboard three motorcycles on May 26, 2017. Lasid was with a companion, Lindo Samling. The two were about to cross the bridge in Kasagaran, Colonsabac, Matanao, when they were  shot. Witnesses identified elements of the 73rd IBPA as the perpetrators. Lasid sustained eleven (11) gunshot wounds, majority to his head, which caused his immediate death. Samling, on the other hand, was also wounded and brought to a hospital. Lasid was on his way to visit his child confined at Dalapo medical clinic and to process the Philhealth benefits for his child when the incident occurred.

Also on May 26, the PNP Regional Office of Region 11 threatened to arrest leaders and organizers of rallies, following the declaration of martial law. The AFP also released a statement stating the institution’s intent to exercise their right to censure.

On May 27, 2017, two farmer members of the Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma nga Nakigbisog (UMANA) and residents of Brgy. Poblacion, Maragusan, Compostela Valley, Nestor Quintano, 51, and Remon Rodela, 25, were forcibly taken by elements of the 66th IBPA. Their wives, witnesses to the incident, relayed that the soldiers barged into their homes at the break of dawn and mauled their husbands – kicked them to the ground, stepped on their faces and tied their hands. The two were arrested on allegations of being members of the NPA. Their wives denied this, stating that Nestor was a farmer while Remon was a small-scale miner. The two were taken to the 66th IBPA camp before they were surrendered to the Maragusan police station. Their families were not allowed to visit them while in the police station.

In a separate incident on the same day, May 27, Ana Marie Digaynon Aumada, 29, was gunned down while in her house in Brgy. Lucod, Banganga, Davao Oriental. At around 6pm, an assailant wearing a bonnet entered her residence and shot her.  Prior to the incident, on May 25, 2017, Digaynon was called in at the 67th IBPA Battalion Command Headquarters by LTC. Jake Obligado, purportedly to clear her name.  Two days letter, she was killed. Digaynon is a Mandaya and an active member of Alyansa sa mga Mag-uuma sa Sidlakang Davao (ALMASID).

In a report dated May 28, 2017  from the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DSWD-DROMIC),  the situation in Marawi – as a combination of the result of the firefight and AFP airstrikes – has already displaced at least 54, 335 individuals. Military operations which spilled over to nearby provinces have also caused the evacuation of 895 individuals in Saguiran and a total of 4,445 evacuees in the whole of Lanao del Norte. The bombings in Marawi and nearby areas have also resulted in damages in civilian structures and people’s homes. 

Most recently on May 29, 2017, peasant couple Kidjol Marcelo Antay Sr. and Noeme Antay were illegally arrested by combined elements of the 60th IBPA and the Bagani paramilitary group in Brgy. Andap, Laak, Compstela Valley. On the same day, another couple, Otik Catalino and Maricho Catalino, were also illegally arrested in Brgy. Malinao, Laak, Compostela Valley by the same perpetrators. Both couples were active members of the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Laak (NAMULAK), a local peasant organization in Laak, Compostela Valley. Witnesses attested that the two couples were brought to the 6oth IBPA camp in Dona Andrea Asuncion, Davao del Norte.

Throughout the first week of the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, military and police checkpoints in Mindanao, Tacloban City, and in Metro Manila have been put up, while curfews have been implemented in areas in Mindanao.

*The reproduction and distribution of information contained in this publication are allowed as long as the sources are cited, and KARAPATAN is acknowledged as the source. Please furnish KARAPATAN copies of the final work where the quotation or citation appears.

 

Recommended actions:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1.       The immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao which has been used by State security forces as license to further perpetuate rights violations;

2.      The immediate restoration of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus;

3.      The immediate investigation of the separate incidents to be conducted by an independent body;

4.      The immediate investigation and prosecution of perpetrators which include the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and elements of the police;

5.      An end to the bombings in communities and immediate relief and assistance accorded to the evacuees displaced by the AFP’s aerial strikes;

6.      An end to counter-insurgency programs like Oplan Kapayapaan which encourage the use of ‘hit lists’ that target activists and civilians;

7.      The Philippine Government to pursue its commitments under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which includes freedom from illegal arrests and detention, right to life and against torture and inhumane treatment, the right to freedom of thought and expression, freedom of conscience, political and religious beliefs and practices and the right not to be punished or held accountable for the exercise of these rights; and

8.     The Philippine Government to adhere and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all major Human Rights instruments that is a party and signatory.

 

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Republic

Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph, pace_op@malacanang.gov.ph or send message through http://president.gov.ph/contact-us/

 

Hon. Jesus Dureza

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

7th Floor Agustin Building I

Emerald Avenue

Pasig City 1605

Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066

Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216

Email: stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph, feedback@opapp.net

 

Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600

Fax:+63(2) 982-5600

Email: info@dnd.gov.ph, webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

 

Hon. Vitaliano Aguirre

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721

Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214

Fax: (+632) 521-1614

Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

 

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

 

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

National Office

2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central,

Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES

Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146

Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org; karapatan@karapatan.org

 

Website: www.karapatan.org

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