ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-020-2014

21 February 2014
—————————————————————————————————————-
PHILIPPINES : Another urban poor leader was shot dead after attending a meeting on housing in Metro Manila

ISSUES: Extrajudicial killing, Human rights defenders, Impunity
—————————————————————————————————————
Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the killing of an urban poor leader after he attended a meeting on housing for informal settlers on 15 February, 2014 in Malabon City , Metro Manila . He died after being shot repeatedly in a crowded public market.

CASE NARRATIVE: (Based on the documentation by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines -TFDP-)

Sixto V. Bagasala Jr., also known as Ka Jun, President of the Samahan ng Mamamayang Maralita sa Malabon (Local Association of Urban Poor Communities in Malabon) died after suffering from fatal gunshot wounds. The incident happened on 15 February, 2014, at around 5:15pm in a flea market located in a crowded informal settlement area between Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tonsuya Malabon City .

According to witnesses who requested anonymity, before the incident happened they noticed two men who they identified as ‘Jasper and Babyface’ roaming the vicinity apparently and waiting for someone. Moments later Jasper and Babyface vanished when the victim, Bagasala, appeared on the scene. At that time they saw two other persons named, Reynaldo Suela alias ‘Ipot’ and Allan.

Suela and Allan approached Bagasala and opened fire at close range. Bagasala suffered gunshot wounds to his right leg, shoulder, chest and head.

Before he succumbed to his injuries Bagasala tried to get away from his attackers and warned bystanders, including a 13-year-old girl to take cover. But the assassins pursued him and fired more shots. When they stopped, witnesses heard Suela saying, “there will be more after you”.

Bagasala’s colleagues claimed that Jasper, Babyface, Suela and Allan are allegedly henchmen allegedly of a certain JR Tacio who is associated with Ben Galauran, the claimant of a few hectares of land where Bagasala and his members reside.

Bagasala received numerous death threats that are perceived to be connected to his involvement as a community leader who fought for the right of informal settlers to secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing.

Bagasala died on his way home in the adjacent settlement in Phase 5 in Catmon from a meeting held in barangay Tonsuya where the leaders of the informal settlers’ associations decided to pursue an on-site housing plan through the formation of a housing cooperative.

Bagasala together with members of local organizations were at the forefront of an effort for the construction of medium-rise buildings to be financed through the High Density Housing (HDH) Program of the Social Housing Finance Corporation. The project is part of a P50 billion shelter fund of the national government for informal settlers living along waterways and other danger zones.

Bagasala believed that the program could disrupt the interests of others who profit from informal settlers and from the anomalous implementation of several socialized housing schemes.

Bagasala organized associations of informal settlers, facilitated dialogues between the settlers and the government, mediated potentially violent conflicts, and did everything else for the realisation of the settlers’ dreams of having a decent living.

To support this appeal, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-020-2014

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write a letter to the following authorities, calling on them to initiate inquiries into the case of the brutal murder of Sixto V. Bagasala Jr. Please also urge concerned agencies to immediately resolve the land conflict.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

PHILIPPINES: Another urban poor leader was shot dead after attending a meeting on housing in Metro Manila

Name of victim: Sixto V. Bagasala Jr.
Names of alleged perpetrators: Persons known as Reynaldo Suela, Jasper, Babyface and Allan
Date of incident: 15 February, 2014 at 5:15pm
Place of incident: The Flea Market located between Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tonsuya, Malabon City

I am writing to draw your attention to the assassination of a community leader after he attended a meeting on socialized housing for informal settlers.

Sixto V. Bagasala Jr., also known as Ka Jun, President of the Samahan ng Mamamayang Maralita sa Malabon (Local Association of Urban Poor Communities in Malabon) died after suffering from fatal gunshot wounds. The incident happened on 15 February, 2014, at around 5:15pm in a flea market located in a crowded informal settlement between Barangay Catmon and Barangay Tonsuya Malabon City .

According to the report I have received before the incident happened, witnesses noticed two men who they identified as certain Jasper and Babyface roaming around the vicinity apparently waiting for someone. Moments later Jasper and Babyface vanished when Bagasala appeared at the scene. At that time they saw two other persons named, Reynaldo Suela alias ‘Ipot’ and Allan.

Suela and Allan approached Bagasala and opened fire at close range. Bagasala suffered gunshot wounds to his right leg, shoulder, chest and head.

I have also learned that Jasper, Babyface, Suela and Allan are allegedly henchmen of a certain JR Tacio who is associated with Ben Galauran, the claimant of a few hectares of land where Bagasala and his members reside.

It was also brought to my attention that Bagasala received numerous death threats that can be perceived as connected with his involvement as a community leader, who fought for the right of informal settlers to secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing.

According to his colleagues, Bagasala was at the forefront of an effort for the construction of medium-rise buildings to be financed through the High Density Housing (HDH) Program of the Social Housing Finance Corporation. The project is part of a P50 billion shelter fund of the national government for informal settlers living along waterways and other danger zones.

Bagasala believed that the program could disrupt the interests of others who profit from informal settlers and from the anomalous implementation of several socialized housing schemes.

Therefore, I urge you to initiate a probe into the murder of Sixto V. Bagasala Jr. and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Also please ensure that there is no repeat of the incident and that the government provides immediate protection for Bagasala’s family members against possible physical and emotional harm.

Furthermore, kindly look into the possible participation of interest groups including a certain JR Tacio and Ben Galauran.

I look forward to your urgent action is this case.

Yours sincerely,

————————————————
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
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
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Vice President Jejomar C. Binay
Chairperson
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
BDO Plaza , 8737 Paseo De Roxas St , Makati City
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 811 4158
Tel: +63 2 812 8870 / +63 2 811 4168
Email: info@hudcc.gov.ph

3. Atty. Chito M. Cruz
General Manager
National Housing Authority (NHA)
Elliptical Road, Diliman, 1100, Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 921 2530
Tel: +632 921 7828 / +63 2 922 2460
Website: www.nha.gov.ph

4. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City , Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

Thank you.

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

AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines

Follow us on:
Facebook: ahrc pilipinas
Twitter: @ahrcphilippines
Podcast: AHRC Philippines Rights Cast

Visit our new website with more features at www.humanrights.asia.

You can make a difference. Please support our work and make a donation here.

—————————–

Asian Human Rights Commission

Unit 1 & 2, 12/F.,

Hopeful Factory Centre,

10-16 Wo Shing Street Fotan,

New Territories Hongkong S.A.R.

Tel: +(852) 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) 2698-6367

Web: humanrights.asia

twitter/youtube/facebook: humanrightsasia