Press Release
November 5, 2018

Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580

October ends with a new set of rights violations in Compostela Valley

“The people of Compostela Valley in Mindanao is consistently being met with State repression as the Duterte regime continues to terrorize the communities and residents who are defending their rights. Peasant activists are considered threats by a government who wants to preserve itself amid widespread clamor for justice and systemic change,” said Karapatan secretary Cristina Palabay, mentioning the recent cases of political killing and disappearance in the said province.

Karapatan has documented 196 extrajudicial killings in line with the counterinsurgency program of the Duterte regime. At least 157 victims are peasants. “The Duterte regime keeps adding to this list of violations, aggravated by martial law in Mindanao,” Palabay added.

At around 6pm on October 29, 2018, Dannyboy Bautista, 31, a banana plantation worker at Sumifru Philippines Corporation and an active member of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA), an affiliate of labor union Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), was shot three times by two assailants at the Compostela public market in Compostela Valley. Bautista was among the farmworkers who staged a strike against the multinational company on October 1, 2018, following the latter’s denial of workers’ rights and continued practice of contractualization schemes.

Also in Compostela Valley, Imelda Hayahay, 53, was abducted by eight armed men believed to be elements of the 71st IBPA on October 15, 2018, while at her residence in Purok 1, Star Apple, Brgy. Pindasan, Mabini, Compostela Valley. Hayahay is a member of Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Walog Compostela (HUMAWAC), an affiliate of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). She is also a parent-leader of the government’s 4Ps program and serves as a health worker at the barangay. Hayahay’s daughter is a teacher at the Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center (STTICLC), a community school that caters to the Lumad.

According to witnesses, armed men wearing bonnets forcibly entered Hayahay’s residence, held her at gunpoint and took her away. She was accused as a revolutionary tax collector of the New People’s Army (NPA). Hayahay’s family is continuously being subjected to various forms of harassment. Her daughter who teaches at a Lumad school was asked to “surrender” in exchange for her mother’s release. Hayahay continues to be missing, presumably at the custody of her abductors. The incident occurred days before November 2, the International Day of the Disappeared.

“The violations keep adding up, with past crimes still without justice. The Duterte regime is not only aggravating the climate of impunity, but is actively and deliberately taking this onslaught on people’s rights at an unprecedented scale. This has become more pronounced in Mindanao. The legitimate demands of the peasants are met with State terrorism, justified by an enraging set of lies and malicious accusations hurled at victims and their families. No solutions are provided to the socio-economic problems raised by the victims, just bullets to their heads and bodies and a ready-made narrative in an attempt to delegitimize their struggles,” Palabay said.

“The unbridled violations in the entire of Mindanao show that martial law is merely an instrument that deepens the repression of communities who have long been plagued with landgrabbing, killings, mining and logging concessions, agribusiness plantations, and other forms of systematic oppression. We call for justice for Dannyboy Bautista, and we demand that the 71st IBPA surface Imelda Hayahay. We likewise call for an end to martial law in Mindanao,” ended Palabay.

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
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

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.