DAVAO CITY — Thirteen farmers filed human rights complaints against the 25th Infantry Battalion for illegal detention and torture.
They included Alfonso Mangubat and wife Baden; Anastacia Villaniso and her sons Emilio, Boicy and Roy and 15-year old grandchildren Mary Grace Minor and Christina Aranceo-Minor; Edmund Cutor, Mary Jane Yurong and brothers Francisco and Junrex Linantod.
The farmers also complained the military accused them of taking part of the March 5 ambush by the New People’s Army in Barangay Salvacion in Monkayo which killed four soldiers belonging to the 25th Infantry Battalion.
One of the farmers, Emilio Villaniso, 18, told Davao Today he was taking a rest, listening to the radio in a hut in the forest when he saw around 60 soldiers coming.
Villaniso said they had been in the forest for a week, cutting wood, and were about to go home when the soldiers came and asked for their firearms. He said that except for two chainsaws, they did not have anything else.
“The soldier told me that if I will not admit where our firearms are, I should admit that I am an NPA because they will help me,” he said.
Villaniso said he was made to squat while piles of woods as heavy as six kilos were placed on his arms. He said that when he got tired and took a rest, two soldiers simultaneously hit his stomach with a wood about two-feet long. When he shielded himself against the blow, his arms got hit instead.
He also said the soldiers pounded the extremities of his fingers with a casserole. The soldiers struck him with the butt of an armalite.
Villaniso also said he could hear the soldiers beating up his other colleagues.
The soldiers brought the 13 farmers to the 25th IB’s headquarters in Monkayo the next morning where the farmers stayed for two days.