Subject:  Killing of farmers in Compostela Valley part of Oplan Bayanihan – Karapatan

Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:26:22 +0800

Press Statement
October 17, 2014

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831

Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580

Killing of farmers in Compostela Valley part of Oplan Bayanihan – Karapatan

“The killing of farmer Rolando Dagansan and his son Juda by the 66th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) is not a simple accident. The killing is meant to send a chilling message to the residents that they are among the Armed Forces’ targets,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said.

Dagansan, 43, and his son,15-year old Juda, came from their farm in Kabityan, New Bataan, Compostela Valley when they were attacked by soldiers of the 66th IBPA Alpha company last October 12 at around 3a.m. According to news reports, their bodies were badly disfigured with so many gunshot wounds, their heads were defaced while Rolando’s arm was cut off.

“It is hard to believe that the soldiers did not intend to kill the victims, considering the grave injuries inflicted on them which resulted to their deaths. This is not the first time either that the 66th IB has killed civilians,” Palabay said. She cited initial report by Karapatan-Southern Mindanao that Gregorio Galacio Sr. was also killed by the 66th IBPA in his house last July 19 in New Bataan town. “If it was an accident, the bodies of the Dagansans would not have been peppered by bullets,” Palabay said.

Karapatan condemned the killing of the Dagansans. “The extrajudicial killing is reduced to a mere common crime of homicide taking away the political motive of the incident,” Palabay said.

“We believe that the killing of the Dagansans is part of the Oplan Bayanihan, in the same way that the 215 incidents of extrajudicial killings and 213 cases of frustrated extrajudicial killings under Aquino are not accidents but planned operations to kill perceived supporters of the New People’s Army. Army General Eduardo Año and BS Aquino should also be held accountable to this killing and other human rights violations done in this region,” Palabay said.

Karapatan demanded “Justice for the Dagansans, justice for all victims of human rights violators.”###


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.