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ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-105-2015

07 September 2015

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PHILIPPINES : Military assaults and detains civilians and implicates them in false cases in two separate incidents

ISSUES: Torture; threat and intimidation; arbitrary arrest and detention; fabrication of charges
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission regrets to inform you that eight persons were arbitrarily arrested while three men were tortured in separate incidents in Mindanao . All the victims were detained on the basis of fabricated charges. They were also accused of being rebels and members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights (KARAPATAN))

Case 1
On 5 April 2015, at 8 p.m. Jovito Sr. and Emely Anlagan left for Cagayan de Oro City, together with their children aged 17, 15, 13, 11 and 6. The family were aboard a Nissan Terrano driven by their relative Charito Eslao, who was giving them a free ride. There were five other passengers on board: Charlito’s brother Charito, his nephew Crisabel Eslao, Arden Jay Valendez, Daniel Ped-Ac and Jovito Jr.

While on the national highway, their car was flagged down at a checkpoint by elements of the 104th Maneuver Battalion of the Philippine National Police at Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. They were accused of being in possession of one caliber.45 pistol, one KG-9 sub-machine gun, live ammunitions, and three issues of “Ang Bayan,” a publication of the Communist Party of the Philippines .

Earlier that day, at 10 a.m., Lt. Col. Nasser Lidasan, Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, facilitated a barangay (village) meeting in Sil-ipon, Libona, Bukidnon. Jovito Anlagan Jr. attended the said meeting. He heard Lt. Col. Lidasan accuse the members of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) as “supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA)” and the local organization of indigenous people, Kalumbay Lumad as “NPA front.” Lt. Col. Lidasan also accused some residents of Sil-ipon of being “NPA supporters.” He offered cash rewards to those who will surrender firearms to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Lt. Col. Lidasan even warned there are residents of Sil-ipon who have standing cases in court with pending warrants of arrest. Little did Jovito Jr. know that Col. Lidasan was referring to his family, until they were arrested that night.

On his way home, Jovito Jr. noticed six soldiers in civilian clothes tailing him. When he arrived home, Jovito Jr. was confronted by the military, alleging he is a NPA member and convincing him to surrender. Jovito Jr. refuted their accusations. Jovito Sr. confronted the military, which ended in an argument. One of the soldiers punched Jovito Sr. in the abdomen.

That evening, the Anlagan family was on the road to Cagayan de Oro City to escape from the military harassment.

After their car was stopped by the military, the eight individuals were detained and falsely charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and later tagged as “captured rebels”. The five minors were turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development after three days of detention.

Case 2
At 8 a.m. on 14 March 2015, Henry Omandam, 19, Vergil Pitogo, 23, and Johnrey Flores, 18, were gathering “giyong” (shrubs used as soft broom) and making charcoal while waiting for the next planting season. They were farmers cultivating a piece of land in Sitio Minalong, Barangay Kahusayan, Kitaotao, Bukidnon, owned by their grandparents. When they got tired, they rested in nearby aunt’s house. Some 30 elements of the Philippine Army led by Cpl. Maynard Silvestre and Cpl. Louis arrived and arrested them. They were accused of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).The military claimed the three were involved in an ambush against the military on March 10.

Henry and Johnrey were hogtied facing the ground and left under the heat of the sun for an hour. They were later interrogated separately. Vergil was made to lie down facing the ground. A soldier stomped on his stomach and slapped his face.

The three men were brought to Kipolot Army Patrol base and later turned over to the Quezon Municipal Police station. On March 16, they were again transferred to the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (PDRC) in Malaybalay City , facing fabricated charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and Special Rapporteur on the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

To support this case, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ………………..,

PHILIPPINES: Military assaults civilians and implicates them in false cases in two separate incidents

Case 1:
Name of the victims:
1. Jovito Anlagan Sr.
2. Emely Anlagan
3. Charito Eslao
4. Charlito Eslao, brother of Charito
5. Crisabel Eslao, nephew of Charito
6. Arden Jay Valendez and
7. Daniel Ped-Ac.
8. Jovito Anlagan Jr.
9. Five minor children
Alleged Perpetrators: 104th Maneuver Battalion of the Philippine
National Police Date of incident: 05 April 2015, at 8pm
Place of incident: Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Case 2:
Name of tortured victims:
1. Henry Omandam, 19
2. Vergil Pitogo, 23
3. Johnrey Flores, 18
Alleged Perpetrators: Some 30 elements of the Philippine Army led by Cpl. Maynard Silvestre and Cpl. Louis
Date of incident: March 14, 2015 at 8am
Place of incident: Sitio Minalong, Barangay Kahusayan, Kitaotao, Bukidnon

I am writing to raise my concern on two incidents of persons arrested, detained and tortured on false premises in Mindanao .

Firstly, on 5 April 2015, the car carrying Jovito Sr. and Emely Anlagan, on their way to Cagayan de Oro City together with their children aged 17, 15, 13, 11 and 6 and five other persons was flagged down at a national highway checkpoint by elements of the 104th Maneuver Battalion of the Philippine National Police at Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. The car passengers were accused of being in possession of one caliber.45 pistol, one KG-9 sub-machine gun, live ammunitions, and three issues of “Ang Bayan,” a publication of the Communist Party of the Philippines .

Earlier that day, at 10 am, Lt. Col. Nasser Lidasan, Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, facilitated a barangay (village) meeting in Sil-ipon, Libona, Bukidnon. Jovito Anlagan Jr. attended the said meeting. He heard Lt. Col. Lidasan accuse the members of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) as “supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA)” and the local organization of indigenous people, Kalumbay Lumad as “NPA front.” Lt. Col. Lidasan also accused some residents of Sil-ipon of being “NPA supporters.” He offered cash rewards to those who will surrender firearms to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Lt. Col. Lidasan even warned there are residents of Sil-ipon who have standing cases in court with pending warrants of arrest. Little did Jovito Jr. know that Col. Lidasan was referring to his family, until they were arrested that night.

On his way home, Jovito Jr. noticed six soldiers in civilian clothes tailing him. When he arrived home, Jovito Jr. was confronted by the military, alleging he is a NPA member and convincing him to surrender. Jovito Jr. refuted their accusations. Jovito Sr. confronted the military, which ended in an argument. One of the soldiers punched Jovito Sr. in the abdomen.

That evening, the Anlagan family was on the road to Cagayan de Oro City to escape from the military harassment.

After their car was stopped, the military officers detained all eight adults and the children, and falsely charged them with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. They were later tagged as “captured rebels”. The five minors were turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development after three days of detention.

In the second incident on 14 March 2015, Henry Omandam, 19, Vergil Pitogo, 23, and Johnrey Flores, 18, were gathering “giyong” (shrubs used as soft broom) and making charcoal while waiting for the next planting season. They were farmers cultivating a piece of land in Sitio Minalong, Barangay Kahusayan, Kitaotao, Bukidnon, owned by their grandparents. Some 30 elements of the Philippine Army led by Cpl. Maynard Silvestre and Cpl. Louis arrived and arrested them. They were accused of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).The military claimed the three were involved in an ambush against the military on March 10.

Henry and Johnrey were hogtied facing the ground and left under the heat of the sun for an hour. They were later interrogated separately. Vergil was made to lie down facing the ground. A soldier stomped on his stomach and slapped his face.

The three men were brought to Kipolot Army Patrol base and later turned over to the Quezon Municipal Police station. On March 16, they were again transferred to the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (PDRC) in Malaybalay City , facing fabricated charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives.

I urge you to investigate these two cases promptly. The allegations of torture should be looked into as per the Anti-Torture Act of 2009. I am aware that the victims fear reprisals in making a complaint; I thus urge you to ensure that they are provided with adequate protection to guarantee that their complaint is heard. If proven that the evidence was taken by way of torture, the criminal charges must be withdrawn without delay.

Lastly, the military officers involved must be investigated and held responsible if found guilty of offence.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights (CHR),
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Police Director Ricardo Marquez
Chief
Philippine National Police (PNP),
Camp General Rafael Crame,
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax +632 7248763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

4. Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
E-mail: soj@doj.gov.ph

Thank you.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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