ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-048-2016

18 May 2016
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PHILIPPINES : Police officers arbitrarily shoot victim

ISSUES: Extrajudicial Killing, Police violence, Rule of law
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you that a man was killed in Surigao del Norte. The victim was shot by the police in front of his wife and children when they came to serve an arrest warrant to him.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC))

In March 2014, Police Inspector Chiren Apdian, the Surigao del Norte Chief of Police, and Senior Police Officer 2 Henry Sujian came to the Dumanjog residence in Alipao, Alegria, Surigao Del Norte to serve a warrant of arrest to a person named Rogelio G. Dumanjog for allegedly committing the crime of illegal possession of firearms, pending before the Regional Trial Court of Bislig City, Surigao.

Diecena Dumanjog tried to stop the arrest of her husband, whose name is Jesus not Rogelio, but the police did not listen to her and insisted on the arrest. Jesus Dumanjog was brought to Alegria police station and interrogated. The police then learned that Rogelio and Jesus are two different persons, but they still continued to take pictures of Jesus from different angles.

Jesus simply kept silent and went with the demands of the police. Shortly thereafter, one of the arresting police officers
told Jesus to sign a blank sheet in their blotter book, saying that he would be freed once he signed it, but he refused to sign the sheet.

After Jesus’ release from the police station with deteriorating health conditions, he stayed with his siblings and relatives in Libertad village, Santa Monica , Surigao Del Norte, the place where he was born, to recuperate.

On 13 March 2015 at 3:30 am, Diecena was waiting for Jesus’ nephew, Dionesio Sumilihig Jr. “Jun-Jun” to come and take her to Del Carmen Port , Surigao City . Diecena heard voices outside her nephew’s house and mistook the sounds to be of her nephew. Three plain-clothed police officers went inside the gate without permission. One of them pointed a gun and threatened Jun-Jun. Diecena was alerted to the police presence. She heard the angry voice of SPO2 Henry Sujian, saying “Asa si Dodong Instik?” “Where is Dodong Intsik?” When Diecena turned, she was shocked to see officers in civilian attire armed with a long firearm pointing at her. Diecena asked them of their purpose and one of them told her that they are police officers from the provincial office and they are there to implement an arrest order against her husband. She asked for a copy of the warrant of arrest, but they replied rudely.

Diecena’s son Ian, together with his minor younger brother were sleeping, but woke up panicked and frightened upon seeing the plain-clothes police officers with long firearms. Diecena followed her younger son towards the kitchen. She saw in the kitchen lights from a flashlight moving and seemingly positioning around. She heard persons shout “dia ra, dia ra!” “there, there!” and then gunshots.

Diecena ran outside thinking that it was her husband whom they fired at.

Upon turning to the corner of the house just below the height of the window, she saw her husband Jesus on the ground with blood, while surrounded by the three plain-clothed police officers.

Diecena shouted to the large built officer whose identity was later known as Police Senior Inspector (PSI) Julius L. Mojica, saying “tama na, tama na Dong! Dong tama na!” “Stop! stop sir!, sir stop!”. Even though Jesus was already on the ground, they still clubbed him with the butt of their long firearms, hitting his face and other parts of his body.
Diecena immediately rushed to Jesus and hugged him, intending for the police officers to calm down and instead just handcuff him.

But PSI Mojica forcibly held Diecena’s shoulder and dragged her away from her husband. Then one of the officers said, “buhi pa oh,” “He’s still alive”, then the former immediately stepped on Jesus’ nape and fired two shots to the back of his body.

Diecena felt extreme fear for her life and the lives of her children as well. Her children were very frightened and begging the police officers to stop. The police officers surrounding Jesus did not listen, while the other police officers were just maintaining their positions around the house.

With mixed emotions Diecena tried to embrace her husband, saying “tama na walang kalaban laban ang akong bana. walay armas!” “stop my husband cannot fight, he doesn’t have gun!”

But the police took Diecena away from Jesus and said, “You stubborn woman, I told you to leave”. Diecena knelt crying in front of the three police, saying “Enough sir!”, but PSI Mojica said, “he is still alive”, then he fired with his short firearm at Jesus’ head and two shots on the back of his body.

Afterwards Diecena was forcibly taken away from her husband and forbidden from going near him. She then looked at her husband and sensed he is dead because he was no longer breathing.

Inside the house, Ian was shaking in fear and crying. SPO2 Sujian, whom he knew in person pointed a gun at him, with a word to kill him if he tries to protect his father.

Seven armed police officers prohibited Diecena from going inside the house, while two plain-clothed police officers searched their house.

Together with the children, Diecena went to Jesus’ niece’s house. She returned minutes later to get her mobile phone, but when she looked at her husband she was shocked to see a gun placed near his hand; while he had been shot, he was not armed with a gun.

Some hours later, two uniformed policemen approached Diecena, together with Libertad village Chief Romualdo, and told Diecena to receive the arrest warrant. She refused, saying, “Sa purmirio pa untana inyo na gipakita para ako mismo magpasurrender saeyaha”. “If you show the warrant of arrest the first time, I should have asked him to surrender.”

SUGGESTED ACTION:

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

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

To support this case, please click here

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Police arbitrarily shoot victim

Name of killed victim:
1. Jesus Dumanjog, 47 years old and married. He is a farmer. He is residing in Alipao Alegria Surigao Del Norte.

Names of harassed victims:
1. Dionesio Sumilihig Jr. “Jun-Jun”, Jesus Dumanjog’s nephew.
2. Diecena Dumanjog, wife of Jesus Dumanjog.
3. Ian Dumanjog, eldest son of Diecena
4. Minor son of Diecena

Alleged Perpetrators:
1. PSI Julius Mojica team leader
2. SPO4 Anglo Ambid
3. SPO3 Cristituto Vallespin
4. SPO2 Henry Sujian
5. SPO1 Richard Ensomo
6. PO3 Francisco Gijal
7. PO1 Alain Andam Baylado

Date of incident: 13 March 2015
Place of incident: Libertad village, Santa Monica , Surigao Del Norte.

I am writing to raise my grave concern on the killing of Jesus Dumanjog.

On 13 March 2015 at 3:30 am, seven police from Surigao provincial police office, both in uniform and plain clothes, led by Police Senior Inspector Julius Mojica, came to Jesus Dumanjog’s relative’s house.

Diecena Dumanjog, Jesus’ wife was alert upon seeing one police officer pointing a gun and threatening Dionesio Sumilihig Jr. “Jun-Jun”, Jesus’ nephew. She heard the voice of SPO2 Henry Sujian, whom Diecena formerly knew. When she turned back she saw he was in civilian attire and armed with a long firearm pointing at her.

Ian and his minor brother, Jesus and Diecena’s sons, who were both sleeping, got panicked and frightened upon seeing civilian police with long firearms. Diecena followed her younger son towards the kitchen. She could see a flashlight moving and seemingly positioning around, and heard persons shouted “dia ra, dia ra!” “there, there!” and then gunshots.

Diecena saw her husband on the ground with blood, while being surrounded by three civilian police. He was clubbed with the butt of long firearms hitting his face and other parts of his body even though he was already on the ground.

She hugged her husband to calm down the police and instead handcuff him, but she was forcibly dragged away by Police Senior Inspector Julius Mojica. PSI Mojica immediately stepped on Jesus’ nape and fired two shots to the back of his body.

Diecena and her children begged the police to stop, but they did not listen. She knelt in front of three police. PSI Mojica recognized that Jesus is still alive and fired at his head and at the back of his body.

While Diecena and her children went to the house of Jesus’ niece for a few minutes, a gun was placed near Jesus’ hand.
Jesus’ family filed a murder complaint against the alleged perpetrators in 2015, but until now, the case is still pending at the prosecutor’s office.

A complaint was also filed at the Commission on Human Rights, but no action has been taken yet.

I urge you to conduct an impartial investigation into Jesus’ death, and suspend the involved officers during this time. Also, please ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable if proven guilty. The witnesses and families of the murdered victim should be given adequate protection promptly.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in these cases.

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
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. Mr. Emmanuel Caparas
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Telefax: +632 523-9548

Thank you.

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