2006 Worst Year for Human Rights in Davao Regions — 1. Impunity in Extrajudicial Killings

Dec. 03, 2006

Main Trends in The Human Rights Situation

1. Impunity in Extrajudicial Killings

The rising extrajudicial killings committed with impunity, continue to be the utmost concern in this years human rights situation. KARAPATAN documented 185 extrajudicial killings from January to November. This has put the total number of victims from January 21, 2001 to November, 2006 to 797. In Southern Mindanao Region, 76 victims of extrajudicial killings from January 2001 to November 2006, this year mark 22 individuals killed. Table 1 shows the breakdown of killings by year. table1

Majority of the victims for 2006, numbering 96 persons, were leaders and members of progressive party lists and militant peoples organizations. This represents a 33% increase in the number of political activists killed compared to 2005. This shows that the policy to target legal Left personalities continues and is even intensifying. Even human rights advocates were not spared from the spate of political killings.

table1aTable 2 lists of leaders, members of municipal and provincial sectoral organizations and media personnel who were killed during the year.

George and Maricel Vigo were waylaid by two unidentified men riding a blue KMX motorcycle and were shot dead using a .45 caliber pistol at close range last June 19, 2006 at around 5:00pm while on their way home to Phase 2, Apo Sandawa Homes, Kidapawan City.

table2George suffered gunshot wounds in the neck, stomach and different parts of his body while Macel endured two gunshot wounds. The gunshots caused the immediate death of the couple.

According to the tricycle drivers who witnessed the incident, the two unidentified men tailed the couple and overtook their motorcycle. The driver wore a helmet and the back rider placed a towel over his head to cover his face. They saw the culprits exited in Phase 3, Apo Sandawa Homes towards the direction of River Park, Kidapawan City.

The findings of Duyog Panaw on their mission statement after they conducted a Fact Finding Mission Last September 19, 2006, states that the swift investigations on the Vigo couple killing were apparently more of a cover up than of an effort to pursue justice and arrive at a sound and logical case conclusion. Manifestations of whitewashing were observed such as the attempt to drag the family of the victims to subscribe to the report of the Task Force Vigo that the primary suspect of the killing is a certain Dionisio Madanguit.

There is a question to the credibility of the Task Force Vigo handling the investigations of the killing. The family of the victims has expressed apprehensions with the possible influence of the provincial LGU to the TF Vigo. Close friends of the Vigo couple and some of its relatives and family members are looking at an angle that a high ranking official of the provincial government could have a hand or is behind the killing.

Table 3Table 3aRegions, Provinces and Cities identified by the AFP as priority areas in the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) and the deployment of troops registered the most number of extrajudicial killings.Table 4Table 4aThe AFP and PNP out rightly denied their involvement in the killings. But there were cases which clear point to the involvement of state agents.

Alvin Placencia a Municipal Chairman of Anakpawis was murdered in Sta Monica, Brgy. Nuevo Iloco, Mawab, Compostela Valley Province by seven (7) armed men in fatigue uniform on September 4, 2006. They were on their way with his brother-in-law Ariston Carnicer and neighbor Alvin Polinio to work at National Irrigation Administration (NIA), when seven (7) armed men in fatigue uniform pointing their high powered firearms at Placencia, Carnicer and Polinio, stopped them and immediately asked for Alvins identity. When Alvin confirmed, one bonneted armed man with UZ1 and calibre .45 pistol immediately searched for Placencias cellphone in his pocket and took Placencias bag.

Immediately, after the confrontation, they heard a string of gunshots. They saw the bonneted armed men shooting Placencia using the UZ1 and caliber .45 pistol, m-14 armalite, garand rifle and m.203 (HPR), and immediately ran off towards Nuevo Iloco.

The witnesses saw that Placencia sustained nine (9) gunshot wounds in the chest and the head portion of the victims body.
Salvador Dante, Jr. An active member of Farmers Mortuary Association was shot in Kisante, Makilala on February 3. On the same day, bonnet-clad men widely believed to be members of the 39th IB and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) strafed the house of and killed Alvin Tacadao, a member of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Nabundasan in Tulunan. Two days later in Malasila, Makilala, three armed men in bonnets and combat boots forcibly entered the house of AnakPawis Party-list volunteer Jay Allunar and shot him at close range that caused his immediate death.
Narciso Boy Cenon an active member of Bayan Muna was shot to death by two unidentified stout men wearing bonnet and black jacket riding a green KMX motorcycle last February 23 at around 6:30 in the morning. The incident happened in Purok 6-B, Poblacion, Barangay Limbaan New Corella, Davao del Norte, 600 meters from the 72nd Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA) detachment. Yet, nobody from the detachment responded to the gunshot sounds

This year, KARAPATAN documented 2 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings. They had survived the attack but continue to live with the trauma and fear.

Survivors Jobani Tacadao, BAYAN spokesperson and Roderick Abalde Anakpawis Volunteer both in North Cotabato linked the bombing to the May 1 incident when they forcibly took a Digital Camera from a certain Manuel Camahalan. This was after Mr. Camahalan was caught taking video footage while the survivors were conducting their rekorida for the May 1 Labor Day commemoration. It was immediately reported to the police station and was confirmed by the officer in charge that the said Manuel Camahalan is an agent for the Intelligence Service for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

Continue reading: 2. Alarming increase abduction and enforced disappearance

comments powered by Disqus