Lumad Community Leader Killed in Davao Oriental

45th KILL Ricky Basig (in orange pants) recounts the abuses of the 67th IB. (Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)
45TH KILL Felix Basig (in orange pants) recounts the abuses of the 67th IB. (Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)

JUNE 27, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

ERRATUM: The previous version of this alert named the victim as “Ricky Basig”. We apologize for the mistake.

 

DAVAO CITY- The 45th victim of extrajudicial-killings in Southern Mindanao region under the Aquino administration was tallied yesterday, as a Typhoon Pablo survivor was shot down by military forces.

Felix Basig, of Mandaya tribe of Sitio Kaputian, Brgy. Mahan-ub, Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental Province, was sitting in his veranda 6 PM of June 25, 2015, when elements from the 67th Infantry Battalion led by a certain “PFC. Maca” fired several shots that killed Basig.

Felix was a member of Barug Katawhan (People Rise), an organization of Typhoon Pablo survivors who are active in demanding for the complete post-catastrophe aid from the government.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region, said that Basig was interviewed by human rights groups in a humanitarian peace mission conducted last May 29-June 1 this year in Sitio Kasunugan, Brgy. Mahan-ub in Bagangga.

“Basig reported three series of incidents where he was vilified by the military. He was accused as a member of the New People’s Army”. Suazo added that Basig was accused by the army soldiers of 67th IB as the one who notified the New People’s Army (NPA) about the miltary’s combat operations in the area, which led to an ambush by the NPA last May 22 .

The encounter led to two casualties on the side of 67th IB.

“Basig was repeatedly warned by elements of the 67th IB to watch out, because if they were to be ambushed one more time, he (Basig) would be hurt, as form of retaliation,” Suazo said.

In the fact-finding report drafted after the mission by Karapatan-SMR, it was shown that the presence of military forces within the communities proved to add difficulties to the residents.

The mission team documented cases of hamletting, different forms of harassments, coercion, vilification, military encampments and attacks on IP-community schools.

The military ruled the area, and community residents were afraid to assert their rights.

The residents, Suazo said, were still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Pablo, but were further burdened by the social calamity brought about by the terror acts of the 67th IB.

Suazo condemned the killing of Basig, along with the recent string of attacks against IP’s and peasants especially those who are actively defending the human rights.

“From Paquibato to Compostela, and now in Davao Oriental, the deadly flight of Año’s 10th ID ‘Agila’ casts the shadow of death, preying over the weak and proving to be a pestilence to peasants and lumads, who are striving for their basic rights, welfare, and genuine peace and development. “ she said.

Suazo reiterated the demand to pull-out the military troops in communities and schools following massive human rights abuses brought by heavy military operations.

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URGENT ALERT: Typhoon Pablo survivor and community leader killed by elements of 67th IBPA at around 6pm on June 25, 2015 in Sitio Kaputian, Brgy. Mahan-ub, Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental

 

Ricky Basig, in a dialogue with barangay officials, on the atrocities of the military.(Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)
Felix Basig, in a dialogue with barangay officials, on the atrocities of the military.(Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)

ERRATUM: The previous version of this alert named the victim as “Ricky Basig”. We apologize for the mistake.

 

Felix Basig, a member of Barug Katawhan (People Rise), an organization of Typhoon Pablo survivors in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, was shot by elements of the 67th IB led by a certain PFC. Maca that caused his untimely death. PFC. Maca is the team leader of the Peace and Development Operation Program (PDOP) team in Sitio Kaputian, where Basig resides.

According to initial accounts, Basig was shot at around 6 PM of June 25, while sitting in the veranda of his home.

Basig had been active in initiatives for rebuilding in Sitio Kaputian after Typhoon Pablo struck the area. He took part in projects to build water lines for drinking and formation of farming cooperatives for food production.

Months before, a certain “Gatchalian” from the 67th IB summoned Basig, and vilified him as a member of the NPA.

Less than a month ago, a fact-finding mission initiated by Exodus for Justice and Peace participated by Karapatan-SMR documented human rights violations by the military against the civilian population. Basig reported three instances where he had been harassed by the 67th IB, and was also asked to serve as guide for the said military unit.

Basig participated in the dialogue with barangay officials after the mission, to report the atrocities of the military in their area. He was also the purok leader of Sitio Kaputian and a lumad from the Mandaya tribe.

 

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Mission Statement of “An Hour of Hell in Paradise”, the Report of the Findings in the National Fact-finding Mission in Paquibato

Photo of Aida Seisa’s Residence (ASR), in Purok 7, Brgy. Paradise Embac, Paquibato, Davao City, where the Paquibato Massacre occurred.
Photo of Aida Seisa’s Residence (ASR), in Purok 7, Brgy. Paradise Embac, Paquibato, Davao City, where the Paquibato Massacre occurred. (c) Laz Olalo

The National Fact-finding Mission in Paquibato was a response to the need to ascertain the details of events that transpired early dawn of June 14, 2015, in Purok 7, Barangay Paradise Embac, Paquibato District, Davao City. The house of Aida Seisa, secretary-general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR) and vice-chairperson of SABOKAHAN Confederation of Lumad Women, was indiscriminately fired by elements of the 69th Infantry Battalion. This killed three civilians, maimed a child, and then displaced other individuals who were present in Seisa’s home.

After data have been gathered, recorded, checked, processed, and reviewed once again, the participating organizations stand by mission report, asserting the following:

1) Aida Seisa, and the victims of massacre, namely: Datu Ruben Enlog, Randy Carnasa, and Oligario Quimbo, referred as the “Paquibato 3 Massacre” are of civilian status. Seisa, Enlog, and Carnasa have been active members of people’s organization particularly Paquibato District Peasant Alliance (PADIPA) vehement in their opposition to the militarization of Paquibato, which had resulted to various human rights violations before the strafing incident last June 14;

2) Contrary to the claims of the military, Seisa and her deceased companions are not members of the armed group New People’s Army, nor the firearms and explosives recovered by the police in the area of the incident owned by the three deceased;

3) Seisa and Enlog have been previous victims of harassment, vilification, surveillance, and attempts to life by the military and suspected state agents. Their clamor for an end to these atrocities committed against them have culminated to various dialogues with the LGU of Davao City, particularly a one-on-one discussion with City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte April of this year;

4) That Aida Seisa, her family, and the Paquibato 3, have been subjected to a long recurring phenomenon of surveillance, harassments and vilification campaigns by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. This is due to their opposition to rampant militarization of civilian communities, along with the planned entry of foreign corporations interested in the plunder of national resources, resulting to the displacement of peasants and indigenous peoples from their lands. This is the highlight of the Aquino administration’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.

With these, we recommend the following:

1. Further inquiry into the matter by police and local government units, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Justice (DOJ), human rights committee of the House of Representatives, concurrent with the filing of cases against a certain “1st Lt. Santos” of the 69th IB, who led the persons who committed the Paquibato Massacre, and of Lt. Col. Rodney Intal, who oversaw the killings; and other officers and elements of 69th IBPA responsible of the crime including their paramilitaries, military assets, agents and operatives;

2. Pull-out of the 69th IB in Paquibato, and of all other military units in the civilian communities in Paquibato District, who are conducting military offensives in all forms against civilians;

3. End of the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, and prosecution of all human rights violators especially in the AFP and its agents;

4. For Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III, with less than a year left in his administration, to show sincerity in the Resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
With this in mind, we submit this report, in effort to bring justice to the Paquibato 3, Seisa’s family, and all other human rights defenders and communities being targeted by the state.

FOR REFERENCE:

KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – SMR
PASAKA Regional Lumad Confederation

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Fact-finding Report on PQ Massacre Released; Endorses Action against AFP

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, shows to the public the report of the fact-finding mision. (c) SK Recentes
Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, shows to the public the report of the fact-finding mision. (Photo by SK Recentes, caption by Laz Olalo)

JUNE 25, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

DAVAO CITY- HR group Karapatan-SMR released today “An Hour of Hell in Paradise”, a 37-page report presenting the results of the fact-finding mission to the Paquibato Massacre that happened last June 14.

The fact-finding body, composed of 75 individuals dubbed as “people’s investigators”, went to the area of incident and conducted their own probe, using in-depth interviews and rudimentary crime scene investigating techniques last June 20, six days after the strafing incident that left three civilians dead and one child wounded.

The report concluded that the attack to IP-peasant leader Aida Seisa and her companions were attacks against them as “active members of people’s organizations vehement in their opposition to the militarization of Paquibato, which had resulted to various human rights violations before the strafing incident last June 14.”

Furthermore, the report stated “That Aida Seisa, her family, and the Paquibato 3, have been subjected to a long recurring phenomenon of surveillance, harassments and vilification by the Armed Forces of the Philippines”.

This targeting by the state, the report said, was a highlight item under the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan, which is hell-bent to allowing the entry of foreign corporations into ancestral domains of indigenous peoples, thus the resistance of individuals like Seisa and her companions.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, read the recommendations of the study, which encouraged further inquiry by police and LGU’s, and other concerned government institution into the matter, as well as filing of cases against “a certain ‘1st Lt. Santos’ of the 69th IB, who led the persons who committed the Paquibato Massacre, and of Lt. Col. Rodney Intal, who oversaw the killings and other military officers and elements involved in the incident including paramilitary, state agents and operatives”.

Suazo encouraged other victims of human rights violations of the military to speak out and take similar action.

“It is high time that we file cases against these state agents, who are pretending to be helping the people, but in reality are terrorists,” Suazo said.

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Army No Show in SP Inquiry on Paquibato Massacre

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JUNE 25, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

DAVAO CITY-  Armed Forces of the Philippines did not attend the SP committee hearing called by the SP committee on civil, political and human rights set to hear matters about the Paquibato massacre.

The SP committee hearing held yesterday, was attended by representatives of PNP-SOCO, CIDG XI, Philippine National Police, Commission on Human Rights and families including survivors of the incident.

The hearing was facilitated by SP committee chair on Civil, Political and Human Rights, lawyers, Karlo Bello and Leah Librado.

The families of Paquibato 3 reiterated that their slain kin were civilians and what transpired last June 14 in Purok 7, Paradise Embac, Paquibato District was not a legitimate encounter but a ‘massacre’ of innocent civilians.

The report of the National Fact-finding Mission in Paquibato presented the initial findings of the mission in the hearing.

Karapatan expressed gratitude to the initiative led by the city council in conducting the hearing, as this was one venue to act to unravel the truth in the matter.

Karapatan-SMR called for the immediate pull-out of 69th IB in Paquibato.

(All photos and captions by Laz Olalo)

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National Fact-finding Mission in Paquibato

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75 participants from several organizations participated in the call to shed light on the events during the Paquibato Massacre.

Shown above are the efforts of the “people’s investigators” in ascertaining the truth, by rudimentary methods exercised with rigor, embodying the experience of the people’s struggle to expel the ill concoctions of the AFP against the real turn of events last June 14.

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(Photos contributed by: Laz Olalo, Sue Anne, Malaya Genotiva, and Lam Banuag. Captions by Samuel dela Cruz)

Home of Peasant Leader Strafed by Military

(Attack happens week after Paquibato Massacre)

ANOTHER PEASANT LEADER ATTACKED Sabello Tindasan, drawing a map of areas in Brgy. Ngan, Compostela Valley, affected by the militarization of the 66th IB in the area. (Photo by Hanimay Suazo,caption by Laz Olalo, Karapatan-SMR)
ANOTHER PEASANT LEADER ATTACKED Sabello Tindasan, drawing a map of areas in Brgy. Ngan, Compostela Valley, affected by the militarization of the 66th IB in the area. (Photo by Hanimay Suazo,caption by Laz Olalo, Karapatan-SMR)

JUNE 22, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

DAVAO CITY- A week since the attack on IP-peasant leader Aida Seisa, another land rights activist and typhoon Pablo survivor was attacked, this time in Compostela Valley Province.

Unidentified military personnel from the 66th IB strafed the residence of Sabello “Tatay Bello” Tindasan, 60 years old, chairperson of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), 2:30 PM of June 21 (yesterday).

The said military force had an encampment only 80 meters from Tindasan’s home and right across the street in Sitio Mambusao, Brgy. Ngan, Municipality of Compostela, Compostela Valley.

Tatay Bello was attending a meeting of CFA in a separate location that day.

Survivors of frustrated massacre were his wife Alice, 60; their grandchild Toto (not their real name), 3; their adopted son Gerry (not real name), 14; and his friends:Zed and Kokoy (not their real names) both 14 years old. Toto’s feet was wounded, as he stepped o the shards of jalousie windows broken by the bullets as they scampered away during the incident.

Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region’s secretary-general Hanimay Suazo condemned this latest incident, saying that it was another manifestation of the Oplan Bayanihan’s war against the civilian population.

Suazo said that the strafing is linked with the intensifying forms of protest by the CFA against the Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corporation (AGPET), a large-scale mining company owned by the Cojuangcos, which had applied for mining permits for 12,444 hectares of land in Compostela, and community residents’ opposition to military encampments perpetrated by the 66th IBPA.

“Tindasan and other members of the CFA had just concluded the barricade protest they conducted against the incoming heavy equipment of AGPET. Truly, the attempts to life by military forces are directed against peasant leaders who are in staunch opposition to various land-grabbing ventures supported by the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan, as manifested in this incident.”

Suazo added that Tindasan had been a target of the 66th IB since early 2015.

“In a fact-finding mission held by Karapatan-SMR last March 20-21 this year, Tatay Bello reported that he was being followed by suspected military agents, even accused as a member of the New People’s Army. Some other CFA leaders were also vilified by the 66th IBPA.”

Suazo condemned the recent string of attacks against peasant leaders and human rights defenders in the region by military forces commanded by Palparan-trained generals, 10th ID’s Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año and EastMinCom’s Lt.Gen. Aurelio Baladad.

“A week ago, it was Aida Seisa from Paquibato. Now, it is Tatay Bello of Compostela. This is a cowardly act from the AFP, as hapless civilians become their easy targets. Worst of all, they easily cover-up their crimes by accusing victims as members or supporters of the NPAs,” Suazo conluded. ###

On Paquibato Massacre: “Facts speak for itself”- Cong. Zarate

SAVING SEISA Cong. Karlos Zarate (fifth from left, wearing blue shirt) and other participants of the National Fact Finding Mission in Paquibato pose for the camera while holding their streamer. The mission was spearheaded by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-SMR, along with other progressive groups. (Photo and caption by Laz Olalo)
SAVING SEISA Cong. Karlos Zarate (fourth from left, wearing blue shirt) and other participants of the National Fact Finding Mission in Paquibato pose for the camera while holding their streamer. The mission was spearheaded by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-SMR, along with other progressive groups. (Photo and caption by Laz Olalo, Karapatan-SMR)

JUNE 20, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

 

DAVAO CITY- Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate today vowed to initiate a congressional inquiry on the “brutal slaying” of three (3) civilians by the military in Paquibato last June 14.

Rep. Zarate, who joined the recently conducted independent probe to investigate the “Paquibato massacre” , labeled as “full of falsehood” the military’s claim of alleged encounter that resulted to the death of lumad leader Datu Ruben Enlog, Randy Carnasa and Oligario Quimbo.

Rep. Zarate, along with 76 other participants, concluded the National Fact-Finding Mission in Paquibato, to shed light on the military strafing on the residence of IP-peasant leader Aida Seisa, who survived the incident together with her mother, husband and child.

The massacre killed three civilians, and prompted Seisa and her family to flee.

The military then claimed that the three dead were allegedly NPA’s who fought back in the course of serving a warrant of arrest “in the middle of the night” for supposed NPA leaders in the area.

Rep. Zarate called the military’s account of the incident “very illogical and unbelievable” after hearing the testimonies of the neighbors and kin of the victims residing near Seisa’s residence.

Zarate believed that the alleged “landmines” found near the victims’ dead bodies were planted in order for the military to claim them as NPA members.

“It’s a big lie. The victims’ neighbors could attest that they are civilians,” Rep. Zarate said.

Zarate lamented that that abuses committed by the military remains unpunished, resulting to the continuing violations of human rights, particularly of hapless civilians.

“This is why the military continues to speak lies: because the state of impunity continue to reign under this administration of Pres. Aquino.”

Karapatan-SMR secretary-general Hanimay Suazo, on the other hand, said that they are determined to pursue justice for the victims

“We will push the wheels of justice to pursue those responsible for this dastardly act, make them accountable for their crimes in all possible arenas.” Suazo said.

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“Baladad’s then Morong 43, now Paquibato 3”- Karapatan SMR

FROM CAVITE TO PAQUIBATO Lt.Gen Aurelio Baladad is known for commanding military units known for their human rights violations. (Photo by Juan Escandor Jr./ Bicol Mail. Lifted from https://sanfranchrp.wordpress.com)
FROM CAVITE TO PAQUIBATO Lt.Gen Aurelio Baladad is known for commanding military units known for their human rights violations. (Photo by Juan Escandor Jr./ Bicol Mail. Lifted from https://sanfranchrp.wordpress.com)

DAVAO CITY- Amid news of the CHR’s decision on the illegal arrest and torture of 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal from four years ago, a human rights group says that the mastermind of such inhumane action is now involved in yet another massive rights violation.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, said that now Lt.Gen.  Aurelio Baladad, chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, oversaw the ordeal of the Morong 43, and is now terrorizing the area of eastern Mindanao.

Suazo said that Baladad’s tactics are long known, and has repeated itself again in this week’s Paquibato massacre.

“The Morong 43 were falsely accused as members of the NPA. Likewise, the three civilian casualties in the Paquibato Massacre have also been labeled as members of this armed group. The pattern is the same, and it is condemnable that Aurelio Baladad continues to terrorize people by randomly picking them and presenting them as NPA’s” Suazo said.

Suazo lamented that Baladad had been promoted, despite his record of human rights violations.

“This is what Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan means: human rights violators are awarded for their atrocities, thus resulting to this recent massacre in Paquibato.”

Suazo voiced out that similar to the case of the Morong 43, the Paquibato 3 would most likely be decided by the CHR as victims of military atrocities, in a time that may be too late.

“The decision of the CHR about them (Morong 43) comes too late. It could be the same case for the Paquibato 3, unless the CHR manages to work itself efficiently out.” Karapatan-SMR is due to conduct a fact-finding mission in Brgy. Paradise Embac, scene of the Paquibato Massacre, this June 20. ###

“Año and Baladad have to be held accountable”- Karapatan-SMR

“ANO AND BALADAD ARE ACCOUNTABLE” Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, said that Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano and Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad are both responsible for the deaths of the Paquibato Massacre, as they are the ones who oversee the works of the military forces stationed in this side of Mindanao. Karapatan-SMR and other groups conducted a condemnation protest at the Eastern Mindanao Command in Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City. (PHOTO AND CAPTION BY LAZ OLALO, KARAPATAN-SMR)

JUNE 17, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

DAVAO CITY- Human rights group Karapatan-SMR demanded the accountability of ranking officials in the AFP over the civilian victims of the Paquibato Massacre.

Secretary-general Hanimay Suazo stipulated Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año of the 10th ID, to which the 69th IB is part of, and Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad of the Eastern Mindanao Command, who oversees the operations of the units in the mentioned area.

“As the people to whom the 69th IB looks up to, these individuals have played a role in the massacre of the Paquibato 3. It is from their orders that the soldiers in their respective act upon,” said Suazo.

Both generals, Suazo said, already have records of human rights violations long before they were operating in Mindanao.

“Ano has been implicated in the disappearance of farmer activist Jonas Burgos, while Baladad has been involved in the illegal detention and torture of the Morong 43.”

Suazo bemoans that the prediction by various concerned groups in the promotion and transfer of Baladad and Ano had come true, with the string of atrocities from the military ever since the two said officials took office in Mindanao.

“Back in 2013, the promotion of four AFP officials, Eduardo Año and Aurelio Baladad, sparked anger amongst various groups. It meant that human rights violators were given higher ground to committing more violations, and would come on unhindered in that task,” Suazo said.

“This is the result of the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan: terrorists from the AFP are promoted, and civilians massacred then falsely claimed as members of the New People’s Army. This is a clear definition of the state of impunity in the Philippines.” Suazo concluded.

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