From: AHRC Urgent Appeals [mailto:listadmin@ahrchk.net]
Sent: Thursday, 14 March 2013 6:54 p.m. To: cafca@chch.planet.org.nz Subject: UPDATE ( Philippines ): Investigation reveals the boy killed on a rooftop during a demolition was shot

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Update: AHRC-UAU-005-2013

14 March 2013

[RE: AHRC-UAC-181-2012: PHILIPPINES : Killing of a 14-year-old boy due to live ammunition used during forced evictions in Tarlac City ] ———————————————————————

PHILIPPINES : Investigation reveals the boy killed on a rooftop during a demolition was shot

ISSUES: Extrajudicial killing; land rights ———————————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that a murder case has been filed against members of a demolition team who killed a boy. The result of investigation conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also revealed evidence of violation of rights, not only with regard to the killing of the boy but also the breach of rules by the court sheriff and the team who carried out the demolition.

UPDATED APPEAL:

In October 12, 2012 (AHRC-UAC-181-2012), we issued an appeal asking for an investigation on the killing of John Khali Lagrimas, a boy who was killed in a demolition in 2 October, 2012 at 9:30am in San Roque village, Tarlac City .

In a letter dated 22 February 2013, Loretta Ann Rosales, chairperson of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, has informed that;

“As noted in the report, “it is evident that there were violations of human rights committed, based on facts and pieces of evidence.”

In the investigation report, four persons, namely Eduardo Reyes (59), Marco Millena (29) and others whose identity has yet to be ascertained, have been charged with “Murder (article 248) in relation to R.A. 7610,” a law which provides Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination.

The charges were filed against Reyes and Millena’s after the four witnesses “identify the suspects who belong to the demolition team during a police line-up.”

The testimony of Mark Ernest Lagrimas, brother of the victim, also revealed that he;

“…saw the alleged leader of the demolition tea, fired his gun towards them (Mark and John) and on the third time of firing, he (Mark) jumped together with John to the other rooftop. Moments later, John Khalie Lagrimas was seen with gunshot wounds.”

In conclusion, the report held:

“Based on facts and pieces of evidence gathered, it is evident that there were violations of human rights committed.

Foremost, the procedures to be followed during actual demolition and or eviction were not complied with as one of the demolition crews was armed, a blatant violation of Section 28 of R.A. 7279.

The Sheriff who was tasked to implement the Writ of Demolition committed administrative lapses as an armed member of the demolition team caused the death of minor John Khalie Lagrimas.”

The AHRC welcomes the investigation report; however, we have reservation on the lack of information as to whether charges have been filed or action taken against the Sheriff who “committed administrative charges.” The report did not mention whether the Sheriff was also a respondent for criminal or administrative offense.

Furthermore, the CHR’s recommendation only “to interview the mother of the victim and to monitor the case filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office of Tarlac” was insufficient and very simplistic. For violation likes this, we could not understand why it did not recommend compensation to the victim’s family; or, notify other to agencies involved in demolitions to strictly observe rules to prevent such situation.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia) 

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