Melo Commission Report: Case Studies

Feb. 23, 2007

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A. Profile of Victims

The majority of the victims of the extrajudicial killings were members of the so-called left-wing organizations primarily Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Karapatan and KPD (Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya) and other cause-oriented groups like, for example, Task Force Mapalad and UNORKA (Ugnayan ng mga Nagsasariling Organisasyon sa Kanayunan) working for agrarian reform and other social justice issues.

The Commission was given by Task Force Usig the files relating to fourteen (14) cases of extrajudicial killing of activists or militants which are supposed to be typical or representative of the cases under investigation by Task Force Usig.

The records of said cases show a common pattern in the methodology of the attacks, the leftist profile of the victims or at least membership in a cause-oriented group, and the lack of progress in the investigation or prosecution of the case.

The attacks in half of the cases were carried out by unidentified men riding on motorcycles and wearing bonnet masks (Sotero Llamas, Jose Doton, Noel Capulong, Victorina Gomez, Paquito Diaz, Elena Mendiola and Enrico Cabanit)

On the leftist profile of the victims: The victims were members of Bayan Muna (Ruben Apolinario, Expedito Albarillo, Sotero Llamas, Noel Capulong, Elena Mendiola, Juanito Mesias, Jose Doton), Anakpawis (Tito Macabitas), and other cause-oriented groups, namely, Kapisanan Para Sa Pambansang Demokrasya (Analiza S. Abanador), Binodgan Peoples Organization, an active advocate against large-scale mining in Kalinga (Rafael Bangit), Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees, a militant organization fighting for equal rights, better benefits and opportunities in government work places (Paquito Diaz), and UNORCA, an organization active in the implementation of the agrarian reform law (Enrico Cabanit).

The cases have remained unsolved (Ruben Apolinar, Expedito Albarillo, Rafael Bangit, Noel Capulong, Victorina Gomez, Paquito Diaz). In five (5) of the cases, although criminal complaints against the suspects have been filed with the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the identification of the suspects is at best dubious (Annaliza Abanador, Sotero Llamas, Tito Macabitas, Elena Mendiola. With respect to the particular case of Enrico Cabanit, the alleged two eyewitnesses supposedly identified a certain Enrique Solon who, at the time of the identification, was already dead; the identification, to say the least, is highly questionable.

The investigation in many of the cases has met a blank wall (Ruben Apolinar, Expedito Albarillo, Rafael Bangit, Noel Capulong, Victorina Gomez, Paquito Diaz). With respect to the cases pending preliminary investigation, the suspects are still at large (Annaliza Abanador, Sotero Llamas, Tito Macabitas, Elena Mendiola).

It is only in one case (Jose Doton) where the accused has been arrested but there is no indication in the police file as to the status of the case.

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