Kabataan exposes military harassment in Bicol, Philippines

May. 19, 2007

MANILA — Kabataan Party-list strongly condemned the numerous cases of
poll-related terror and violence that is marking the 2007 elections.

The youth party-list made the statement following the brutal murders
of Jun Bagasbas, 20 years old, and Ronilo Vallevare, 16 years old,
both Kabataan organizers and poll watchers in Camarines Norte.

Bagasbas and Vallevare were found dead of multiple gunshot wounds
after they were abducted by suspected military elements last May 15.
The AFP in Bicol quickly attributed their deaths to an alleged
encounter between the New Peoples’ Army and the military in the

“We do not believe it for one minute and we are disgusted by this
obvious attempt by the military to cover-up. This malicious and false
finger-pointing is similar to the school-burning incident in Batangas
which was reportedly carried out by NPA rebels but turned out to be
the doings of none other than police forces,” said Raymond Palatino,
national president and nominee.

Palatino held the Arroyo government accountable for failure to stem
poll-related terrorism and violence.

He added, for instance, that cases of military harassment against
members and organizers of progressive party-lists escalated in the
Bicol region since election campaign period kicked in. (see attached

“These killings and cases of political harassment against the youth
are the worst forms of electoral fraud. They are setting a dangerous
climate of election-time terror. They plunder our votes, prosecute
innocents and put to death young defenders of democracy,” Palatino
said. ###

Raymond Palatino
National President/Nominee

Capalonga, Camarines Norte

Jun Bagasbas, 20 years old, of Ulipanan Jose Panganiban; and Ronilo
Vallevare, 16 years old, of Brgy. Old Camp Capalonga, both Kabataan
organizers and poll watchers, were abducted by suspected soldiers on
May 15.

The two were on their way home after delivering food to Kabataan
Party-list volunteers when they were abducted by uniformed men near
the Brgy. Old Camp Capalong polling place.

They next day, May 16, they were found dead along the boundaries of
Brgys. Mataqui and Catabaguangan, Capalonga, Camarines Norte.

On the same day, the military issued a statement that Bagasbas and
Vallevare were civilian casualties of an encounter between the New
People’s Army and the AFP on May 15.

Brgy. Pinaghaluban, Barcelona, Sorsogon

Bayan Muna Partylist poll watchers were denied entry to precincts by
the BEIs citing a military briefing branding Bayan Muna, Gabriela,
Anakpawis, Kabataan, Suara as communist fronts.

Bulan, Sorsogon

Canvass watchers were forced to leave the canvassing center due to
intimidation by known military intelligence operatives in the vicinity
of the canvass center.

Gubat, Sorsogon

Gunsalo Escolano alias Piket, a member of the AFP intelligence
division, together with his two companions conducted an illegal body
search on Bong Olivares, a poll watcher of the five progressive
partylists, while the latter was buying E-load outside the canvassing

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