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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