Appeals for Action

Anti-mining advocate shot dead in Maco, Compostela Valley province, Philippines

UA Case:    Extrajudicial killing

Victim/s:    MARCELO C. MONTERONA, Jr.

  • Male, 41, married with three children  ages 16, 14 and 12
  • Self-employed mechanic and driver
  • Resident of Maco town, Compostela Valley province
  • Council member, Indug Kautawan, Maco chapter of Barug Katawhan (People Rise Up! a group of typhoon “Pablo” survivors in Maco)
  • Member, Kabalikat Civicom – Maragusan Chapter

Place of Incident:    Near the victim’s house in Elizalde village, Maco, Compostela Valley

Date of Incident:    3 January 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):    Two unidentified men believed to be members of the 71st Infantry Battalion Philippine Army on board a motorcycle.

Account of the Incident:

On January 3, 2014, Marcelo Monterona was fixing his multicab vehicle. At around 11 a.m., he went to Km. 11 on-board his motorcycle to borrow a sparkplug ring from his friend Edgardo Sedillo, a bakery owner. Sedillo’s bakery is about 600 meters from Monterona’s residence. While waiting for Sedillo, Monterona noticed seven army soldiers in uniform at a neighbourhood store across the street. Right after Monterona got the sparkplug ring, he returned to his house to continue fixing the multicab.

At around 12:00 noon, Monterona tested the multicab on the road in front of his house. He was some 13 meters from his house when two unidentified men, aboard an XRM motorcycle, stopped near the driver’s seat of the multicab. Witnesses said the gunman went straight to the driver’s seat and shot Monterona with a .45 caliber pistol, hitting him on the left side of his mouth. He tried to crawl out of the vehicle through the passenger’s side. But the gunman got on the vehicle through the driver’s side door and shot Monterona several times more before speeding away.

Monterona fell out of the vehicle and was rushed to a hospital in Tagum City by his wife and son. Sedillo, who was grazed by a stray bullet in the stomach, was also brought to the hospital.

URGENT APPEAL: RELEASE EDUARDO SARMIENTO NOW!

Dear friends and colleagues,

Greetings of peace!

On 11 December 2013, Eduardo Sarmiento, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the peace process with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH), was sentenced to 20 to 40 years imprisonment by Judge Myra Bayot Quiambao of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 203, on the basis of trumped up criminal charge of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Lawyers of Sarmiento are challenging the conviction, through a motion for reconsideration filed before the local court, and have also sought, for the second time, for the judge to inhibit herself from the case. These pleas are expected to be heard on Friday, 17 January 2014.

His arrest and detention is based on allegations of fabricated charges of arson, multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder filed against him in the courts of Samar and of illegal possession of firearms and explosives in Muntinlupa. All the charges in Samar have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

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