Lumad leader faces another trumped-up criminal charge

Press Statement –

21 April 2015

Mindanao indigenous leader Jomorito Goaynon faces another trumped-up
criminal case for the murder of his cousin Dorlito Goaynon dela Mance on
March 28, 2015.

Goaynon, Chairperson of Kalumbay, a regional organization of Lumad in
Northern Mindanao, was named in a complaint filed by Jenita dela Mance,
Dorlito’s wife, at the Malaybalay City police station. Also named
respondents in the murder charge were seven of Jomorito’s siblings. The
complainant claimed the Goaynon brothers were members of the Rexan Perez
Command-New People’s Army.

“This is the second time Jomorito Goaynon was falsely charged with
criminal offense since he figured in prominently in the
anti-militarization campaign in Mindanao, specifically the recent
evacuation of the more than 1,000 residents from 14 communities to
Balit, Agusan del Sur due to the continuous military operations in the
villages, which victimized civilians,” said Karapatan Secretary General
Cristina Palabay.

Tortured “complainant”

A month earlier, on March 23, Jomorito Goaynon and seven other leaders
of people’s organizations and human rights workers received a copy of a
petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Writ Amparo filed by the 4th
Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (IDPA) in the name of Tedy
Ostos in February 23. Ostos accused the respondents of illegal detention
of his son Rene Ostos and family. Rene was among those who stayed at
the evacuation center in Bgy. Balit.

The Court of Appeals however, in a resolution dated March 5, 2015,
pointed out defects in the petition and ordered the petitioner to
correct them within five days.

But when sought out by some of the respondents, Tedy Ostos said he was
tortured by soldiers of the 26th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine
Army (IBPA) in a CAFGU detachment and was detained; that forced him to
execute the complaint affidavit.

On April 1, Tedy Ostos, through Atty. Hilarion P. Clapiz Jr., executed
an affidavit recanting his testimony against the respondents.

Unsubstantiated statement

“The case of the dela Mance killing may be another case of trumped-up
criminal charge after the first case against Jomorito Goaynon et al
failed. The military is determined, at all cost, to jail Goaynon and
others leaders of people’s organizations who actively expose the
escalation of the dirty war instigated by the BS Aquino regime in
Mindanao. What happened to Goaynon is one of the numerous violations
committed against civilians in many remote communities,” said Palabay.

By her own account, dela Mance’s wife based her complaint on the
perpetrators’ statement that they were members of the New People’s Army
when they shouted, “Igna ang nagpatay sa imong bana mga NPA. Igna ang
mga dela Mance nga panghut-don namo silang tanan kay mga dautang
binuhatan! (Tell them the NPA killed your husband. Tell them we will
finish off all the dela Mances because of their wrongdoings!).

Dorlito dela Mance was killed in the presence of his wife and three
children, including two minors. He was shot several times, hitting him
on the left side of his mouth, neck and then in the different parts of
his body. The attending physician declared him dead on arrival.

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.