CANADA-PHILIPPINES SOLIDARITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (CPSHR)

1-5687 West Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia V6M 3W7

Email: cps_hr@yahoo.ca

01 September 2015

AN OPEN LETTER

To His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III

RE: School executive, IP leader and a civilian killed

Paramilitary group massacres 3 in Lumad School in Surigao Sur

Date of incident: 01 September 2015

Place of incident: Lianga, Surigao del Sur

Mr. President,

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) joins the Filipino human rights defenders, educators, people’s organizations and international rights groups in strongly condemning the barbaric and inhuman act of killing of

Emerito Samarca, executive director of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), a self-initiated school for the Lumad. He was found dead on September 1, with a stab wound inside one of the classrooms in the school compound in Han-ayan, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Also killed in Km. 16, some three kilometres from Han-ayan, were

Dionel Campos, chairperson of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) and his cousin, Bello Sinzo. The two were shot by members of the Magahat/Bagani force in the presence of their community members in Km. 16.

According to the report we received from KARAPATAN, two days prior to the killing, the Magahat/Bagani Force and elements of the 36th IB encamped at the ALCADEV school compound and occupied the function hall and parts of the school grounds. During the encampment, the Magahat group threatened the school faculty members, staff and community members that they will massacre the community if the people will not leave in two days.

On August 31, the MAGAHAT group burned down the community cooperative store of MAPASU while indiscriminately firing around the community. Emerito Samarca, according to the report was held and detained by some armed members of Magahat before he was killed. He was last seen tied around the neck, his hands and feet were also tied. He was brought to one of the classrooms.

On the evening of August 31, the ALCADEV faculty and most of the residents in Han-ayan went to Km. 16 for safety. At around

4 a.m., Magahat Forces went from house to house in Km. 16 and ordered the residents to get out of their houses and go to the center of the community. That was when Campos and Sinzo were met by a volley of gunfire from brothers Loloy and Bobby Tejero of the Magahat/Bagani Force.

Magahat members also confiscated all cellphones and cameras from the residents and ALCADEV staff and remaining visitors in the community.

According to KARAPATAN, the Bagani paramilitary and the 36th IB has long been accusing self-help Lumad school ALCADEV as NPA school, killing the teachers and organizers in the community, consequently depriving the Lumad of their education.

Mr. President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we ask that you order an immediate pull-out of the 36th Infantry Battalion in Lumad communities in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and the dismantling of paramilitary groups in this dirty war against the Filipino people.

We further urge your administration:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights to look into these incidents of human rights violations; and, to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

2. To observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that the Philippine government is a party and signatory to.

Finally we call on your administration and all its institutions to uphold the basic human rights of the citizens whom you have sworn to serve.

The Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights

Copy furnished:

1. Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488

Fax:+63(2) 911 6213

Email: osnd@philonline.com

2. Atty. Leila De Lima

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines

Direct Line 521-1908

Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.211/214

Fax: (+632) 523-9548

Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com

3. Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, (+632) 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

E-mail: comsec@chr.gov.ph

Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)

http://www.canadaphilippinessolidarity.org/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada-Philippines-Solidarity-for-Human-Rights/

Member: International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-Canada)/ Stop the Killings Network (STKN-Canada)/ International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Canada)/ International Women’s Alliance (IWA)/ Coalition for Migrant Workers Justice (C4MWJ)/ Mining Justice Alliance (MJA)

Associate Member: International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA)

Proud Supporter of Bayan-Canada and Migrante-Canada

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Attachment(s) from International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines | View attachments on the web

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Open Letter to BSA on massacre at Alcadev Lumad School 2015.pdf