JUNE 25, 2015
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
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.