General Baladad, Año’s 69th IB-PA responsible for Paquibato massacre of Lumad, peasant leaders

publicinfo: Jun 17 11:23AM +0800

Press Statement
June 17, 2015

Contact Person:

Cristina Palabay, secretary general (+639173162831)

Angge Santos, media laiason (+639189790580)

General Baladad, Año’s 69th IB-PA responsible for Paquibato massacre of Lumad, peasant leaders

Karapatan today staged an indignation rally at the gate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo on the Paqquibato massacre, killing three civilians and wounding a 12-year old child.

“The terror should stop now. The 69th Infantry Battalion- of the Philippine Army (IBPA) should immediately pull out from the community and answer for the massacre of peasant and Lumad leaders. As if killing is not enough, the Año’s men tried to cover up their crime by lying and calling those killed as rebels and planted firearms and grenade beside the remains of the three. Such heinous act!” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said.

The 69th IB-PA is under the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division headed by Gen. Eduardo Año, a protegḗ of The Butcher retired general Jovito Palparan; while the 10th ID is under Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, another Palparan-trained general.

Those killed were tribal chieftain Datu Ruben Enlog, Randy Lavarcon Carnasa and Oligario Quimbo. Datu Ruben was a community leader and the chairperson of Nagkahiusang Lumad sa Paquibato (United Lumad of Paquibato), while Carnasa and Quimbo were farmer-members of the Paquibato District Peasant Alliance (PADIPA). A woman Lumad leader Aida Seisa and her husband are still missing as of this writing. Seisa is the spokesperson of PADIPA.

The three were killed midnight of June 14 when soldiers from the 69th IB strafed Aida Seisa’s house. At the time, there were still guests who joined the birthday celebration of Seisa’s daughter. The gunfire lasted for 30 minutes. Contrary to the military’s claim, there were no exchange of fires, survivors of the incident recalled. The gunfire only came from the direction of the military. Seisa, her husband and three daughters were able to run away from the scene although her daughter Chingching, the birthday celebrator, was wounded.

“The army was quick in coming out with its cover-up by planting three landmines, weighing three kilos each, one grenade, an M14 rifle, and an M1 Garand at the scene to justify its claim that those killed were members of the New People’s Army,” Palabay said.

“Kinsa ang ginailad sa mga sundalo? Kinsa gud ang magbitbit ug landmine nga tig-3 ka kilo kung gi-straping na mo? Gahimo-himo ra gyud sila ug estorya.Unsaon pa paggunit ni Papa sa duha ka landmine nga nabungkag na iyang ilok!” (The military thinks they can still fool us. Can my father still think of carrying landmines of about 3 kilos each during the strafing? They just made up that story. How can my father carry the two landmines when his armpit had been blown-up!),” Felipe Carnasa, son of Randy, said upon seeing
his father’s dead body covered with blood.

The 69th IB used to be under the 7th Infantry Division commanded by Gen. Palparan when he was assigned in Central Luzon. In 2006, elements of the 69th IB, then headed by Gen. Ricardo Visaya, were involved in the abduction and torture of brothers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo, now witness to the kidnapping case of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. On the same year, the 69th IB soldiers were involved in the massacre of the striking workers in the Cojuanco-Aquino owned Hacienda Luisita.

During Gen. Ano’s appointment as 10th ID chief, he said, “The kind of approach I would like to do is to concentrate in the community. I want to reach out to the people…”

“Año’s ‘approach’ meant massacres, bombings, and indiscriminate firing in the Lumad communities in the Davao region. This is how he reaches out to the people. BS Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan in the communities meant terror.

The military should pull-out, now!” Palabay ended. ###

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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.