JUNE 27, 2015
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
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.