Two relief workers and two other peasant leaders killed in August

Press Statement –

August 29, 2014

“There is no let-up in the extrajudicial killings with BS Aquino’s Oplan
Bayanihan. The killing of typhoon relief workers and peasant leaders
further exposes the contempt of this regime against those who are
genuinely working for poor communities,” said Cristina Palabay,
secretary general of Karapatan.

An average of one person is killed every week as shown in the documented
cases of extrajudicial killing this August.

Jefferson A. Custodio, 25, a member of the Municipal Farmers Association
in Carigara (MUFAC) was shot dead in August 23 at Brgy. Punong,
Carigara, Leyte by two men on motorcycle. The perpetrators wore bonnets.

Custodio was at Brgy. Punong to deliver farm tools to the
farmer-beneficiaries in upland barangays of Carigara when two men,
riding a new blue XRM without a plate number shot and hit him in the arm
and chest. He died on the spot.

The MUFAC is involved in the rehabilitation of communities affected by
typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, providing farmers with shelter materials, seeds
and seedlings, and farm tools.

In July 2, when soldiers from the 78th Infantry Battalion and police
from the Regional Mobile Group arrived in Capoocan, Leyte, they
immediately sought out members of the MUFAC. While these soldiers
encamped in the barangay hall, tanod outpost and chapel, they also held
meetings with the residents and prohibited them from joining rallies.

Earlier, another relief worker, Gildegardo Hernandez, was gunned down in
August 6, along the Candelaria-San Juan Diversion Road in Candelaria,
Quezon province.

Hernandez was waiting for a ride when a man got off his motorcycle and
shot him. Another man who served as backup was onboard another
motorcycle. Hernandez fell on the ground but the assailant fired more
shots. Hernandez, who died on the spot, sustained gunshot wounds on his
head, chest and face.

Like Custodio, Hernandez, was working on the preparations for the Relief
Delivery Operation (RDO) for the survivors of typhoon Glenda. The RDO
was scheduled on the following day, August 7, by the Southern Tagalog
People Corpse (STPC) and Kalipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog
Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) in cooperation with the Pamatid- CQ, a peasant
organization led by Hernandez.

In August 26, Bayan Muna coordinator in Baao, Camarines Sur, Librado
Adoptante Sr. was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men in bonnets.
Adoptante came from the hospital for a check-up was on his way home with
his wife, Gemma and 12-year old daughter Sally when the men stopped them.

The gunman shot Librado who fell on the ground. Not contented, the
gunman went fired two more shots on Librado’s head.

Librado died on the spot, sustaining gunshot wound on his chest, right
temple and on the crown of the head. The police arrived 30 minutes later
with members of the village council. The police, upon seeing Adoptante,
exclaimed, ‘Ah si Ka MAYON!’, insinuating that Adoptante used an alias.
“Ka” is a short form of “kasama” or comrade.

Since 2006, members of the 42nd IB-PA and CAFGU had been to the house of
the Adoptante family, looking for Librado Sr. The military wanted
Adoptante to “clear” his name as he was suspected to be a member of the NPA.

Earlier, in August 14, Marcel Lambon, a council member of a Lumad
organization in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon was shot by a member of the
Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) under the Army’s 8th Infantry
Battalion. Lambon was an active campaigner against the expansion of an
oil palm plantation in their town.

Like Adoptante, Lambon also had his share of frequent “visits” from the
military; like Custodio, he was also summoned by the military for
questioning. All three victims were suspected as members or supporters
of the New People’s Army. ###

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580


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

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.