Abducted ComVal miner tests amparo

Dec. 14, 2007

Compostela Valley Province A kin of Valentin B. Lapus, Jr. who was abducted by the elements of the 25th Infantry Battalion in Purok Mangga, Sitio Baloy, Brgy. Magcagong, Maragusan, Compostela Valley Province last April 24, 2007 filed a petition for the Writ of Amparo today December 12, 2007 at Regional Trial Court, Branch 3, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province.

Aided by human rights group KARAPATAN, Gina E. Mejo wife and Jovita Mabagod sister filed the petition to compel authorities to surface and release Lapus in the hands of the captors.

Last April 24, 2007, at around 7:00 in the morning Valentin B. Lapus, Jr., 24 years old and his other two companions, while on their way from the mining area of Sitio Dasuran, Brgy. Panamin, Maco, Compostela Valley Province going to their dwelling at Brgy. Magcagong, Maragusan, Compostela Valley Province, were held by undetermined number of fully armed men members of the 25th IB with full combat gear at Vic Lantawan, Brgy. Magcagong, Maragusan, Compostela Valley Province.

Valentin B. Lapus, Jr. and his other companions were then interrogated, mauled, tied with nylon ropes and blinded with black handkerchiefs, and while his other companions were allowed to leave, Valentin B. Lapus, Jr. was left behind and was brought by soldiers heading to Barangay Mahayahay, Maragusan, Compostela Valley Province.

On May 2, 2007, two (2) uniformed men, one identified as Lt. Michael Candole went to the house of Valentin B. Lapus, Jr, where the latter`s common-law-wife Gina E. Mejo, who had just given birth to their second child, was residing, to look for the situation of his family and once there and were able to assess the situation, said Lt. Michael Candole told Gina E. Mejo in vernacular Kalooy sa imong kahimtang misis, nana imong bana mga tulo ka adlaw gikan karon, paulion namo imong bana or which means: I pity you Mrs., your husband will be here three (3) days from now, we will let him come home, but, up to this date, Valentin B. Lapus, Jr. is missing and nothing was heard about him anymore.

Kelly Delgado secretary general of KARAPATAN said Valentin B. Lapus, Jr. is purely civilian and not a member of CPP/NPA and he is working as a small scale miner at Vic Dasuran, Brgy. Panamin, Maco, Compostela Valley Province and a bonafide resident of Barangay Magcagong, Maragusan, Comval as certified by Brgy. Captain Avelito M. Bacatcat. The victim was held without due process

This is the second case here in Southern Mindanao Region in filing the petition for the Writ of Amparo and concrete proof that the Arroyo Administration has no political will in resolving Extra-judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in the country. Delgado added.

Major Gen. Ernesto Boac, 10th Infantry Division Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Florante Martinez, Commanding Officer of 1001st Brigade, Maj. Rolando Rodil, Commanding Officer of the 25th Infantry Batallion, Lt. Michael Candole, 25th Infantry Batallion, army soldiers Marquez, Palillo, Mayata and 26 other JOHN DOES as respondents of the case. Delgado said.

This case is assisted by Union of Peoples Lawyers in Mindanao, Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Davao City Chapter and Alternative Law Groups (ALG) Delgado said.

This is again blatant violation on the rights of the victim. The elements of the 25th IB has done nothing in respect for human rights where ever they are assigned. They are spreading terror in the hinterland in Davao del Sur where 3 cases of massacres were recorded, the killing of Rogelio Lagaro in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat and now the Valentin Lapus case. We Challenge the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the 25th IB to fully respect human rights of the civilians and release Lapus now. Delgado concluded.

For Reference:

Kelly M. Delgado Secretary General Mobile Number: 0920-3500-069

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