Press Statement

October 17, 2015

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831

Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580

Killings continue as the case of Tentorio and Capion remain in the dustbin

http://www.karapatan.org/Killings+continue+as+the+case+of+Tentorio+and+Capion+remain+in+the+dustbin

“Four years after Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed on October 17, 2011, the schools he helped build for the Lumad are now the targets of military operations and are targets for closure. Three years after the Capion massacre on October 18, four more massacres followed. Meanwhile, the cases filed against the perpetrators of the killing and the massacre are not moving. Worse, the AFP-backed paramilitary forces continue to multiply and spread like plague in Lumad communities,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

“This is what the Aquino regime means when it said it is ‘working tirelessly to ensure their (Lumad) safety and to protect them from unnecessary acts of violence’ as a response to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The BS Aquino government has provided the Lumad communities with “peace and development”, a euphemism for deaths, disruption of livelihood and intrusion in the children’s schooling,” Palabay chided Malacanang.

Three years after the murder of Fr. Tentorio, on February 4, 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the Special Investigating Team for Unsolved Cases (SITU) under Administrative Order 35 to wrap up its investigations within 30 days. However, the final SITU report was submitted only in May 26, 2015, 15 months later.

“The SITU report recommended the filing of charges against Jimmy and Robert Ato and Jan Corbala, alias Kumader Iring (cat) of the Bagani paramilitary group. on several occasions, Iring attempted to kill Fr. Tentorio. Despite victimizing countless others after Fr. Tentorio, the Bagani group is still on a rampage,” said Palabay.

In October, the Fr. Pops Tentorio Memorial School run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. when the Brgy. Captain in White Culaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon threatened to close down the school, upon the prodding of the 8th and 23rd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army.

A year after the killing of Fr. Tentorio, five-month pregnant, Juvy Capion, and her two sons were massacred when elements of the 27th IB sprayed bullets at their hut. The soldiers were in pursuit of Daguil Capion, Juvy’s husband who was among the leaders of the Blaan tribe in their resistance against the incursion of the SMI-XStrata Inc.’s mining project in their ancestral land. A year later, Daguil’s brother Kitari was also killed.

In 2013, Office of the Provincial Prosecutor found no probable cause against soldiers Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo, Lt. Dante Jimenez and 14 members of the 27th IB for the murder of Capion and sons. Later, the DOJ conducted the investigation and filed charges against 13 soldiers, but they exonerated Bravo and Jimenez from any command responsibility, despite their roles as commanders . The DOJ told the Provincial Prosecutor to file information for three counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder and violation of International Humanitarian Law. No arrests have been made, as per Karapatan’s information.

On July 16, 2015, Daguil Capion was arrested for charges of multiple murder, frustrated murder and robbery. He is now detained in the Tampakan Municipal Police.

“The impudence of the military and paramilitaries despite calls for pullout and disbandment stems from the pervading injustice and climate of impunity in this country, perpetrated by no other than their commander in chief,” Palabay said.

“This US-Aquino regime is mistaken to even think that killing Lumad, their supporters, and anti-mining activists will stop the Lumad from fighting for their rights and land. The people are more tireless in waging the struggle against the tuwid na daan, and in paving the road to justice and peace,” Palabay ended. ###

———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
———————————————————————

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.