ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-036-2014

20 March 2014
————————————————————————————————-
PHILIPPINES : One farmer killed, three others wounded after they were shot for harvesting crops they cultivated on disputed land

ISSUES: Extrajudicial killing; Human rights defenders
————————————————————————————————-

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regrets to inform you that a local peasant in Pampanga was shot dead in a violent confrontation on a piece of disputed land in Central Luzon . He and his colleagues were on their way to harvest their crops but were denied entry by the security guards of LLL Holdings.

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

On 12 January 2014 at 4:55 am, Arman Lumibao Padino, (34), a member of Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN), a local organization of farmers in Pampanga was shot dead and his companions were severely wounded during a violent confrontation with the security personnel assigned at a disputed land in Porac, Pampanga.Witnesses identified the perpetrator as Felizardo Clark, one of the private security guards of the LLL Holdings.

According to Oricolo Padino, the brother of Arman, on 12 January, 2014, at 4:55 am, they received news that farmers had been stopped by security guards of LLL Holdings at the underpass of the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) located in Sitio Balukbok. The said farmers were on their way to harvest their vegetables and fruits crops, but were prohibited to enter the contested land.

Oricolo together with village chieftain, Antonio Tolentino, and Rex Lapid, Ronald de Jesus and Virgillio Padino, immediately went to the area to monitor and check on the situation.

At the site, Oricolo and his companions saw farmers Arman Padino, Noel Tumali, Bet Baltazar and his wife, Meng Baltazar, who are all members of the “Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN)”–a local farmers organization pushing for agrarian reform. Around twelve security guards were also seen within the vicinity including Larry Sabado and Felizardo Clark.

The security personnel were pointing their weapons at the group approaching the barricade. Their weapons included shotguns and pistols.

Oricolo’s group was stunned when they saw security guard Sabado pull the trigger of his gun. However, it failed to fire. At the time the weapon was aimed at chieftain Tolentino. At this point, chieftain Tolentino defended himself by grabbing the gun. Sabado resisted, pulled the gun away and struck Tolentino on his left eyebrow. Sabado then threw the gun to security guard Clark.

During the struggle, Oricolo saw the security guard, Clark , fire towards Arman. Arman suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of the head. Oricolo’s companion De Jesus also saw another security guard shoot Tumali in the buttock. Oricolo rushed Arman to the Siongco Lapid District Hospital located at Babo Sakan, Porac. However, due to the lack of facilities Arman was transferred to the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in San Fernando . Arman died from his wounds on January 13, 2014.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

A series of harassments have already been experienced by farmers and their families from employees and security personnel of LLL Holdings Incorporated and FL Properties. Cases of harassment usually happened inside a 700 hectare contested land by the farmers and said the companies.

The conflict started when the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued an order exempting the LLL and FL landholdings from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) coverage in 2005. LLL Holdings Inc. claimed about 298 hectares of the land, while FL claimed the other 456 hectares.

In September 2013, farmers were prohibited to farm inside the supposed company property. Their crops were destroyed. Trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms were filed against members of the indigenous group. There were also incidents of verbal abuse against farmer residents.

The houses of residents were demolished, allegedly by goons hired by the company. The Farmers claimed that they were threatened when they refused to reconcile and agree to the terms offered by LLL Holdings. Company personnel allegedly stole farmer’s livestock (chicken and ducks) and destroyed their crops such as papaya, banana, bitter fruit, cassava wood crop, chili, eggplant, rambutan, guyabano and avocado.

The conflict intensified when the claimant, FL Properties (now Terrafirma Holdings, Inc.) and LLL Holdings, Inc., forcibly evicted eight families from their homes, and started to put up borders and fences on July 14, 2013.

The farmer residents asserted that they are in actual possession and cultivation of the large tract of land before the contested land was exempted from CARP coverage. The Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN), representing the farmer claimants formally petitioned the DAR on June 7, 2011, to revoke the Exemption Order dated 15 March, 2006 on the grounds that: (a) the subject areas are being actively cultivated, planted with various crops by tillers who were born and raised in Hacienda Dolores whose parents and their grandparents passed on to them their land; and, (b) the landholdings covered are mostly plain, while there are hilly portions (18% slope), the same constitute a minor part of the landholding, and are agriculturally productive.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the concerned authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the human rights defenders, on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and on right to food.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: One farmer killed, three others wounded after they were shot for harvesting crops they cultivate in a disputed land

Name of victim killed:
1. Arman Lumibao Padino, 34 years old, a resident of Barangay Hacienda Dolores, Porac, Pampanga. He is a member of Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN), a local organization of farmers in Pampanga. He was shot on the left side of his head.
Name of wounded victims:
1. Noel Tumali
2. Bet Baltazar
3. Meng Baltazar
All members of the Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN)
Antonio Tolentino village chieftain
Alleged Perpetrators:
Felizardo Clark
Larry Sabado
and other security personnel of LLL Holdings Incorporated
Date of incident: January 12, 2014
Place of incident: Sitio Balukbok, Barangay Hacienda Dolores, Porac, Pampanga

I am writing to raise my grave concern regarding the killing of Arman Lumibao Padino, 34 years old, member of Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN), a local organization of farmers in Pampanga was shot dead on his head while his companions were severely wounded during a violent confrontation with the security personnel assigned at a disputed land in Porac, Pampanga.Witnesses identified the perpetrator as Felizardo Clark, one of the private security guards of the LLL Holdings.

According to Oricolo Padino, brother of Arman, on January 12, 2014, at 4:55am, they received news that farmers were blocked by security guards of LLL Holdings at the underpass of the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) located in Sitio Balukbok. The said farmers were supposedly on their way to harvest their vegetables and fruits crops, but were prohibited to enter the contested land.

Oricolo together with village chieftain Antonio Tolentino, Rex Lapid, Ronald de Jesus and Virgillio Padino, immediately went to the area to monitor and check on the situation.

At the site, Oricolo and company saw farmers Arman Padino, Noel Tumali, Bet Baltazar and wife Meng Baltazar who are all members of the “Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN)”–a local farmers organization pushing for agrarian reform. Around twelve security guards were also seen within the vicinity including Larry Sabado and Felizardo Clark.

The security personnel were pointing their weapons at the group approaching the barricade. Their weapons included shotguns and pistols. Oricolo’s group was stunned when they saw security guard Sabado pull the trigger of his gun. However, it failed to fire. At the time the weapon was aimed at chieftain Tolentino. At this point, chieftain Tolentino defended himself by grabbing the gun. Sabado resisted, pulled the gun away and struck Tolentino on his left eyebrow. Sabado then threw the gun to security guard Clark.

During the struggle, Oricolo saw the security guard, Clark , fire towards Arman. Arman suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of the head. Oricolo’s companion De Jesus also saw another security guard shoot Tumali in the buttock. Oricolo rushed Arman to the Siongco Lapid District Hospital located at Babo Sakan, Porac. However, due to the lack of facilities Arman was transferred to the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in San Fernando . Arman died from his wounds on January 13, 2014.
I urge you to conduct an effective investigation in order to hold to account those responsible in the killing on Arman Padino, and wounding of three other victims; and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.

Yours sincerely,

———————————————–
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. Police Director Alan LM Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City , Philippines
Fax +632 7248763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

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

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