February 5, 2016
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580
Manilakbayan 2015 participant killed
AFP-Iriberri’s ‘clearing of Davao-Caraga regions means killing civilians
“AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri’s statement to ‘declare remaining 12 provinces’, mostly Davao and Caraga provinces, as ‘peaceful and ready for development’ literally means death to the civilians in these regions,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said. Right after this year’s first command conference of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it has gone on a killing bonanza, “with four victims of extrajudicial killing in the Davao and Compostela provinces alone.”
On January 30, Teresita Navacilla, 60, died after three days at a hospital in Tagum City. On January 27, Navacilla was shot in the nape while tending her store in Purok Bardown, Sitio Gumayam, Bgy. Kingking, Pantukan, Compostela Valley. Earlier that day, she visited her neighbor Giovanni Gutierez, who was illegally jailed because the 46th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army accused him of being a member of the New People’s Army. Navacilla was the purok chairman of Purok Bardown. She was one of the convenors of the Save Pantukan Movement, a network opposed to large-scale mining, particularly of NADECOR-St. Augustine mining company. She also opposed the grave human rights violations committed by the 46th IBPA.
On January 18, Christopher Matibay, a leader of Barug Katawhanin the municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental, was shot by a man aboard a motorcycle. At around 4 p.m., Matibay was with his wife at a waiting shed when they spotted “Mike”, whom Matibay referred to as an intelligence officer of the Philippine Army who had been tailing him. Matibay told her to move out ahead of him. After a few steps, Matibay’s wife heard gunshots and saw “Mike” driving away while her husband was already slumped on the ground. Matibay died on the spot with three gunshot wounds. Matibay, a typhoon Pablo survivor, participated in 2015 Manilakbayan.
A day before Matibay’s killing, a 15-year old lumad student Alibando Tingkas in Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, was killed by Joven Salangani, a member of the Alamara paramilitary group. Tingkas was shot twice in the chest. The gunman was from Sitio Barobo, where the 68th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army has a detachment. Another peasant leader, Ricky Peñaranda from Mati City, was shot dead last January 11. He was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men in Central village in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
In Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Jover Lumisod, 61, was shot by Binodela Mance using M203 rifle. De la Mance was with members of Alamara and Magahat paramilitary groups and some members of the 8thIB-PA. Last January 5, at 5 p.m, Lumisod was in their farm at Sitio Kilap-agan, Can-ayan feeding his chicken. He was with his grandson Rofil when the armed men suddenly fired at him. Jover Lumisod died instantly. Rofil’s father, Robert, immediately grabbed his son when he heard the gunshots and escaped.
Meanwhile, Gen. Aurelio Baladad, Eastern Mindanao Command chief, deployed another 500-strong army battalion from Mindoro to Surigao del Sur. The 16th IB-PA was deployed in mineral-rich area of the Andap Valley, which has been a target of numerous foreign mining companies. The 16th IB-PA was earlier led by Gen. Baladad during his stint in Rizal province and when the illegal arrest of the 43 health workers happened in 2010. The 16th IB was also responsible for the massacre of three peasants in Montalban, Rizal in 2010, the first documented massacre under the Aquino regime.
“The fascist and mercenary minds of the AFP and their boss BS Aquino think that they can quell the armed revolution by mercilessly killing civilians. Their brains cannot comprehend that the more they kill, the more people are compelled to fight back. This has become a never-ending cycle which can only be ended when a government that truly represents the needs of the poor majority is in place,” Palabay said.
Karapatan reiterated its call to pull-out military troops in Mindanao, specifically in the Caraga and Davao regions which has become a killing zone of BS Aquino’s AFP.
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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.