Press Statement

February 11 , 2015

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

Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580

Election fanfare drowns killing frenzy in Southern Mindanao

“The 46th and 71st Infantry Battalion waged a terror campaign against the residents of Compostela Valley as the election 2016 circus opens. Two killings, one a vendor and the other a small-scale miner were reported yesterday, February 9, in separate villages in Compostela Valley as cannons were mounted in four communities, two of which were bombed twice—all in a day,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.

Palabay said a quick-response team led by Karapatan-Southern Mindanao is now in Pantukan to complete the reports and document other incidents of violations.

Initial reports from the field said that Jennifer E. Albacite, a vendor was gunned down midday, yesterday at Poblacion, Compostela, Compostela Valley province. She died instantly. She was the sister of Jeannirose Porras, a staff member of the Compostela Farmers’ Association. Porras suspects she was the real target of the assassination.

Also killed was Ronnel Paas, 35, a small scale miner in Sitio Diat, Post 4, Brgy. Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley. Paas was hit in the abdomen area when soldiers of the 46th IB-PA bombed the village and indiscriminately fired at the houses. Paas would have possibly survived if he and others who were injured were not held for an hour in the 46th IB camp at Brgy.Tibagan.

Among those injured was a 14-year-old boy who was later announced by the soldiers as an NPA child soldier. The boy was arrested and brought to the headquarters of the Eastern Mindanao Command today in Camp Panacan, Davao City.

There were also reported incidents of torture of small-scale miners when soldiers of the 46th IB-PA forcibly entered the mine tunnels. Later, the soldiers ordered the miners to stop their operations.

Also, in Sitio Kidaran of Brgy. Mascareg, Mabini was bombed twice by the 46th and 71st IB at around 5:30 pm. Cannons were also mounted in the villages of Anitapan, Panamin and Candinuyan in the town of Mabini. There are also mounted cannons in the villages of Palo and Lugpaton in Brgy. Kingking, Pantukan.

“Terror surrounds Compostela Valley, one of the targets of the AFP’s counterinsurgency operations. The AFP, specifically the EastMinCom, is on a pacification campaign through terror. It seems the military is in a haste to meet its quota of civilians killed before the BS Aquino regime ends,”Palabay said.

“Last month, four victims of extrajudicial killings were documented in Davao and Compostela provinces alone. The killings happened after the AFP’s command conference where Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri said they are working to make the Davao provinces and Caraga region ‘peaceful and ready for development’, which essentially means worse fascist attacks against the people,” she added.

“If killing civilians and attacking communities is the BS Aquino and AFP’s way to crush the armed rebellion in the Philippines, it will not work as history taught us. The terror should stop now! The army should pull out its troops immediately,” Palabay concluded. ###


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

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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.