ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-031-2018

SEND AN APPEAL LETTER

MAY 24, 2018
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PHILIPPINES: Civilians tagged as rebels and killed in two separate alleged encounters

ISSUES: Extrajudicial Killing; Impunity
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Dear Friends,
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you about the killing of civilians in two separate encounters by the military. Three civilians were killed in Camarines Sur, while one teenager was killed in North Cotabato, with the military claiming him to be a child soldier.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Based on the documentation by the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (KARAPATAN)
CASE 1: “They are not combatants”

On 10 April 2018, an alleged encounter happened between the 83rd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army and the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) in Payak, Bato, Camarines Sur, where the military claimed three rebels were killed and five were arrested, including a minor. However, residents refuted the soldiers claim that the victims are combatants. Victims Orlando San Jose Jr., 47, Ana Nias San Jose, 25, and Noli Colico, 26, are civilians. Orlando and his daughter, Ana, were killed when soldiers strafed their house. The military even refused to tender their remains to their families.
CASE 2: “My son is not a rebel”

On 21 April 2018, Jhun Mark Acto, a 15-year-old student of Ricardo L. Ipong National High School in Old Bulatukan, Makilala, North Cotabato was killed and tagged as a rebel soldier. He was temporarily residing with his relatives in Astorga, Sta. Cruz, North Cotabato, for the summer vacation, to help his parents earn money by harvesting coconut. Jhun Mark was with his two cousins when they heard loud explosions and waves of gunshots directed towards their location. They were separated after the three scampered away for cover. His relatives received word that a lifeless body of a child was found near a tree in Sitio Bayungon. The next day, Jhun Mark’s relatives positively identified him. He was wearing a black shirt bearing the NPA logo, and beside him were a backpack, firearms and explosives. Elements of the 39th IBPA and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion alleged that Jhun Mark is an NPA child soldier and killed in an encounter.
According to Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, the military tried to bribe the child’s mother, to make her go along with their lies; Jhun Mark’s mother courageously refused their shameful acts. This is a classic military move to escape accountability for the killing of a minor.
SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the two killings.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
To support this case, please click here: SEND AN APPEAL LETTER

SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear ___________,
PHILIPPINES: Civilians tagged as rebels and killed in separate alleged encounters
CASE 1

Name of victims:
1. Orlando San Jose Jr., 47
2. Ana Nias San Jose, 25
3. Noli Colico, 26

Names of alleged perpetrators: 83rd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army

Date of incident: 10 April 2018

Place of incident: Payak, Bato, Camarines Sur
CASE 2

Name of victims: Jhun Mark Acto, 15-year-old. He is a student of Ricardo L. Ipong National High School in Old Bulatukan, Makilala, North Cotabato

Names of alleged perpetrators: Elements of the 39th IBPA and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion

Date of incident: 21 April 2018

Place of incident: Old Bulatukan, Makilala, North Cotabato

I am writing to voice my grave concern regarding the killing of four people in two separate alleged encounters.
Firstly, on 10 April 2018, an alleged encounter happened between the 83rd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army and the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) in Payak, Bato, Camarines Sur, where the military claimed three rebels were killed and five were arrested, including a minor. However, residents refuted the soldiers claim that the victims are combatants. Victims Orlando San Jose Jr., 47, Ana Nias San Jose, 25, and Noli Colico, 26, are civilians. Orlando and his daughter, Ana, were killed when soldiers strafed their house. The military even refused to tender their remains to their families.
Second, on 21 April 2018, Jhun Mark Acto, a 15-year-old student of Ricardo L. Ipong National High School in Old Bulatukan, Makilala, North Cotabato was killed and tagged as a rebel soldier. He was temporarily residing with his relatives in Astorga, Sta. Cruz, North Cotabato, for the summer vacation, to help his parents earn money by harvesting coconut. Jhun Mark was with his two cousins when they heard loud explosions and waves of gunshots directed towards their location. They were separated after the three scampered away for cover. His relatives received word that a lifeless body of a child was found near a tree in Sitio Bayungon. The next day, Jhun Mark’s relatives positively identified him. He was wearing a black shirt bearing the NPA logo, and beside him were a backpack, firearms and explosives. Elements of the 39th IBPA and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion alleged that Jhun Mark is an NPA child soldier and killed in an encounter.
I urge you to ensure that these two incidents are properly investigated and to ensure that those involved are held responsible without delay. Also, ensure that the witnesses and families of the murdered victims are given adequate protection promptly should they decide to prosecute the case.
I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.
Yours Sincerely,
……………….
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, 1005
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: op-proper@gov.ph
2. Mr. Menardo Guevarra
Secretary
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila, 1004
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email: communications@doj.gov.ph
3. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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