Press Statement

October 26, 2014

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Killings and disappearances, AFP’s gauge of Oplan Bayanihan’s success

http://www.karapatan.org/Killings+and+disappearances%2C+AFP%E2%80%99s+gauge+of+Oplan+Bayanihan%E2%80%99s+success+Surigao+del+Sur+killings+evacuation  [copy and paste]

“The brutal tradition of Gen. Palparan and his protégé, former 4th Infantry Division Major Gen. Ricardo Visaya, continues as units under the 4th ID rampages on communities of indigenous peoples in Surigao del Sur. The military operation resulted in the death of two Lumad and the disappearance of two others on October 24 and the subsequent evacuation of some 240 families in Lianga, Surigao del Sur on October 27,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

The combined units under the 4th ID, now headed by Visaya’s successor Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao, and its paramilitary groups “tainted the mountain communities of the Caraga region with the blood of the Manobos, all in a day”.

“In a command conference of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Oplan Bayanihan, AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang announced the deployment of two more army brigades to Mindanao . Before this, there are already, at least, 55 combat battalions operating in areas considered as NPA stronghold. Expectedly, a rise in the cases of human rights violations follows. The Commanding Officer of the 4th ID, Maj. Gen. Lactao is no different from his predecessor as he also promised to continue Visaya’s Palparan-style of terror,” said Palabay.

On October 24, two Manobo leaders, Henry Alameda and Aldren Dumaguit where killed in two separate incidents, while six were victims of frustrated killing when units under the 24th ID conducted combat operations in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and in San Lorenzo, Agusan del Sur. The specific units involved in the combat operations were the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion based in St. Christine, Lianga, Surigao del Sur under Lt.Col. Jesus Durante, the 36th Infantry Battalion, the 3rd Special Forces Battalion under the 401stBrigade, members of the Citizens’ Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu), and of the paramilitary group of Calpit Egua, a Manobo leader.

Alameda had just finished his breakfast when three men carrying M14 and M16 rifles went in their house. The men dragged Henry outside towards the forested area. Refusing to go with the armed men, Alameda held on to one of the posts when they passed by a waiting shed. Henry was shot twice on the chest and once in the head. Henry’s wife and children witnessed the killing.

He was an active council member of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), a Lumad organization in Surigao province. He campaigned against the entry of mining corporations in the Andap Valley complex, against military operations in their ancestral lands, and recently in the campaign against the pork barrel system.

On October 23, Jojo Tejero and Elde Martinez went to their farm in the mountain area of Sitio Kapatagan, San Roque, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur to harvest abaca. That was the last time they were seen. A day before, the same military units were seen in these communities. Families of Tejero and Martinez believe that either the operating troops forced the two to guide the military in their operation or they were killed.

The six victims of frustrated killing on October 24 were: Bgy. Captain Alejandro Dumaguit, Elejen Dumaguit, Alfredo Undayon, Victor Undayon, Enggoy and Lynlyn. Enggoy and Lynlyn are both minors.

Members of the CAFGU and Calpit Egua’s group accompanied the troops. Egua’s group earlier warned they were going to launch a tribal war against communities perceived as supporters of the NPA. They claimed to have a list of the individuals targeted for killing.

The first documented case of enforced disappearance under the BS Aquino government was also perpetrated by the 36th IB-PA in August 2010 at Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur. Agustito Lader and Renato Deliguer were left behind by their families when the community evacuated during a military operation. When their families came back, Lader and Deliguer were already missing. Witnesses said they were taken by 36th IBPA. They are still missing since then. ###

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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
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Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts. , Central District

Diliman, Quezon City , PHILIPPINES 1101

Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

Web: http://www.karapatan.org

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.