ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-181-2012

12 October 2012
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PHILIPPINES : Killing of a 14-year-old boy due to live ammunition used during forced evictions in Tarlac City

ISSUES: Extrajudicial killing; land rights
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NEW REPORT:
Special Report: The Philippines ‘ hollow human rights system
http://www.article2.org/pdf/v11n0203.pdf
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you that a 14 year-old-boy, one of the affected villagers in a demolition, has been killed after he was hit by a stray bullet in Tarlac City during a forced eviction. The police demolition team fired at the protesting villagers using live ammunition which hit the victim as he was standing on a roof. This is yet another incident where settlers, particularly children, are killed during forced evictions.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on documentation by the Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights (KARAPATAN))

On 2 October, 2012 at 9:30am, John Khali Lagrimas, a 14 year old-boy, was killed when he was hit by a stray bullet as he was standing on top of the roof of a furniture shop when the demolition team fired at the protesting villagers as they were about to demolish houses in San Roque village, Tarlac City. He was taken to the Ramos General Hospital but declared dead of arrival.

According to witnesses, the bullet that killed John was allegedly fired by Eduardo Reyes, the leader of the demolition team.

The demolition team, composed of about 100 policemen, eight of whom were members of the PNP Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) in Tarlac City , were armed with M16 Armalite rifles, baby Armalites, handguns and shields, when they arrived in the village. They were also wearing battle gear and bullet-proof vests. Two fire trucks also dosed the protesting residents with water cannon.

About 70 residents blocked the demolition team attempting to prevent them from entering and to protect their homes from being demolished by the City Government of Tarlac. The villager resisted because their claims over the land, where the resident are occupying, have not been resolve and are still pending in court .

Thus, legally Sheriff Julius Guiang of Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 63 should not have pushed through with the demolition. Nevertheless he ignored this legal obligation and proceeded with the demolition without a court order.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the concerned authorities listed below expressing your concern about these case.

The AHRC has also written a separate letters to the UN Special Rapporteurs on extra-judicial, summary, or arbitrary executions and on adequate housing for their immediate intervention.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Killing of a 14-year-old boy due to live ammunitions used during forced evictions

Name of the victim killed: John Khali Lagrimas, 14 year old-boy, resident of San Roque village, Tarlac City
Numbers of other affected residents: About 70 in San Roque village, Tarlac City
Security forces involved: 100 policemen and 8 the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Weapon and Tactics agent (SWAT)
Name of alleged perpetrators: Eduardo Reyes, leader of the demolition team; members of the Tarlac City Police Office and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT)
Date of incident: 2 October, 2012 at 9:30am
Place of incident: San Roque village, Tarlac City

I am writing to draw your attention about the case of John Khali Lagrimas, a 14-year-old boy of San Roque, Tarlac City who was killed on 2 October, 2012. John was standing on top of a roof of a furniture shop when he was hit by a stray bullet that the police and leader of a demolition team, Eduardo Reyes, allegedly fired at the protesting villagers. He was declared dead on arrival at the Ramos General Hospital .

A demolition team composed of 100 policemen and eight members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) were involved in the demolition. They were armed with M16 rifles, baby Armalites and bullet-proof vests, and two fire trucks also dosed the protesting residents with water cannon.

About 70 villagers of San Roque village had to put up a barricade in their desperate effort to protect their homes from being demolished by the City Government of Tarlac. The villagers were opposing the demolition or force evictions because their claim over the land has not yet been resolve by court.

Thus, legally Sheriff Julius Guiang of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 63 should have not pushed with the demolition. However, he ignored this process and proceeded with the demolition that resulted in the death of this victim; and the forcible eviction of the villagers in the community.

I urge you to ensure that the killing of John Khali is properly investigated. Those responsible must be held to account without delay. Deaths due to evictions; however, usually end up not being investigated thoroughly allowing policemen to escape responsibility.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in these cases.

Yours sincerely,
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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Director General Nicanor Bartolome
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2724 8763
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
E-mail: ruth_cossid@yahoo.com

4. Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
E-mail: soj@doj.gov.ph

5. Mr. Jejomar Binay
Vice President and Chairman of HUDCC
Republic of the Philippines/Housing and Urban Development Council
President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard
Pasay City
PHILIPPINES
Fax No. +63 2 831 6676
E-mail: vp@ovp.gov.ph, vpbinay@gmail.com

Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia)
AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines
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