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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