Multiple cases of human rights violations filed against army’s 10th ID

May. 28, 2009

DAVAO CITY — Victims of various human rights violations and their relatives filed cases before the Commission of Human Rights Region XI office against members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)

Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Osmiguel – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Namaos-KMU), board of director Danny Blase and Namaos chairperson Cerila Anding filed cases of harassment against the 66th Infantry Batallion – 10th Infantry Division (ID) under the command of Lt. Col. Manuel Sequitin.

According to Blas , he was tailed by motorcycle-riding men from December 24-31, 2008, a pattern that has been associated with the killings of members of progressive organizations. Prior to being tailed, elements of the 66th IB were looking for Blas and telling people that they were going to compel him to leave Namaos and instead join the military-organized workers’ union Wiper (Workers Industrial for Peace and Economic Reforms).

Anding has also experienced being tailed and was forced, together with other workers, to attend a forum conducted by the 66th IB. According to Anding, they were told to withdraw their membership with KMU and instead join the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). “We were also told to stop our demands for wage increase and we prevented from joining the May 1 and November 30 protest actions”, Anding said.

KMU-Southern Mindanao chairperson Romualdo Basilio said there is a clear participation of the elements of the AFP to impede the struggle of the workers for their economic needs. “We denounce this continuous and systematic violations of the political and economic rights of the workers committed by the members of the AFP”.

Meanwhile, datu Subuwan Butud, father Kapis Butud, filed a complaint against the 60th IB, PA for the killing of his son. Young Butud was 20 years old was from Sitio Melansag, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. He was a member of Salugpungan Kainugan Yutang Kabilin sa mga Lumad, a member organization of Pasaka confederation. Kapis was a victim of extra-judicial killing gunned down by 20 elements of the 60th IB, PA last April 13, 2009 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning because he was suspected as a member of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA).

Pasaka – SMR spokesperson Kerlan Fanagel said that their organization expresses condemnation of the killing of Kapis Butud. “Butud is not the first Lumad who was killed by the elements of the AFP, their narrow-mindedness, concluding immediately that people living in the mountains specifically the indigenous peoples are NPA members is a clear manifestation that the elements of the state are the primary promoters of discrimination of the indigenous peoples”, Fanagel added.

With the complainants was Genevieve Guinoo, sister of Catherine Guinoo-Cacdac, one of the three NPA members abducted on January 26, 2009 in Compostela, Compostela Valley Province. Guinoo filed complaints of abduction, illegal arrest and arbitrary detention against the 66th IB, Philippine Army (PA), Scout Rangers and Military Intelligence Group (Mig) under the 10th Infantry (Agila) Division and the Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) Compostela Valley Province.

“We are determined to file charges against the perpetrators of the abduction, illegal arrest and arbitrary detention of my sister Catherine”, Guinoo said. “What they did to my sister and her companions are gross violations of their rights as human and as hors de combat, as clearly stated in Part IV, Art. 2 & 3 of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (Carhrihl), Guinoo added.

Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region secretary-general Kelly Delgado said that the extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations are gross misconducts of the elements of the 10th ID AFP who claim to be human rights’ defenders. “It is very disgraceful for the elements of the state to be the primary perpetrators of human rights violations in the region. The counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) 2 of the Arroyo regime is indeed victimizing the civilians as a state policy. Harassments on the part of the union leaders are very alarming because the AFP takes an active participation from preventing the workers in their economic struggle to be able to attain their economic needs”, Delgado added.

“Karapatan calls on the Commission on Human Rights headed by the Hon. Leila de Lima to have the public inquiries conducted in the city tackle not just summary executions. The commission should also take a look on the active participation of the elements of the AFP on the killings in the region; and probe on the civil, political and economic rights violations specifically of the workers”, Delgado ended.

For reference:

Kelly M. Delgado
Mobile Number: 09203500069

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