Launching of Panaw Kalinaw (Exodus for Peace)

a multisectoral alliance calling for peace in Gingoog City countryside

 

Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish in the city.

 

July 16, 2009  Posted July 24, 2009

 

 

 

 

Jocelyn Suarez decided to stay in their house and refused to join the evacuees who fled the hinterlands of Gingoog City because of the offensives being done by the composite forces of AFP’s 29th Infantry Battalion, 403rd Brigade and the Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF) against the New People’s Army (NPA). Jocelyn has difficulty evacuating, she just gave birth. On that day of April 9, 2009, bullets killed Jocelyn—and her husband, and her four children.

Lt. Col. Benedict Arevalo of the 29th IB immediately blamed the massacre to the NPA. But residents of Sitio Silangan of the village of Kamanikan witnessed how elements of BULIF sprayed bullets into the house of the Suarez family.

 

Photos: Top right, Rep. Erin Tanada, chair of the House Committee on Human Rights and Atty Beverly Musni of Karapatan NMR

 

   
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Photos courtesy of PANAW KALINAW
           
           

 

Congress Human Rights Committee to look into NorthMin HRV

Jocelyn Suarez decided to stay in their house and refused to join the evacuees who fled the hinterlands of Gingoog City because of the offensives being done by the composite forces of AFP’s 29th Infantry Battalion, 403rd Brigade and the Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF) against the New People’s Army (NPA). Jocelyn has difficulty evacuating, she just gave birth. On that day of April 9, 2009, bullets killed Jocelyn—and her husband, and her four children.

Lt. Col. Benedict Arevalo of the 29th IB immediately blamed the massacre to the NPA. But residents of Sitio Silangan of the village of Kamanikan witnessed how elements of BULIF sprayed bullets into the house of the Suarez family.

The massacre of the Suarez family topped the list of violations of human rights and the international human law which will be included in the committee report of Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III, chair of the Human Rights Committee of the lower house. Representative Tanada received the copies of factsheets and complaints handed to him by convenors of Panaw Kalinaw (Exodus for Peace), a multisectoral alliance calling for peace in Gingoog City countryside in their forum-launching held on July 16, 2009 at the rooftop of Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish in the city.

Representative Tanada vowed to look into the escalating human rights violations in Northern Mindanao that includes four cases of extra-judicial killings which claimed the lives of nine individuals from January to April this year alone—the highest in the entire country. Karapatan-Northern Mindanao’s Atty. Beverly Selim-Musni, in her Mindanao human rights report presented to over a hundred audience of church people, lawyers, local government units and people’s organizations in the sphere, noted that in the first quarter of this year in the region, violations of the rights to life including torture reached 16 cases; grave physical injuries, 4; and frustrated killing, 4.

Musni said that most of the cases recorded are an offshoot of the militarization of the countryside in the region. “If the rebel insurgents are the target of the military offensives, then why are the civilian rural poor populace bore the brunt of these escalating attacks?” Musni emphasized. In Karapatan-NMR’s record, 4,246 individuals have been displaced since January due to militarization that included aerial bombardment of the rural communities of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and the nearby hinterland boundaries of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

Forum participants signed a Manifesto of Unity that pointed out the “state’s propensity to use its iron fist against its people,” and lambasted the policy of “Oplan Bantay Laya 2, the brute strength of the Armed Forces that is trained on its people, particularly on sectors and leaders who stand for their rights.”

Panaw Kalinaw is an alliance of concerned individuals and organizations in solidarity with the rural poor populace that calls for the end of militarization, carry out justice for its victims and asserts for the return and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons. It also seeks to support and advocate for the rights of the people amidst the culture of violence and impunity. The same alliance was established in Bukidnon in April this year where armed confrontations between the AFP and rebel insurgents have become recurrent.

Panaw Kalinaw in Gingoog City is mainly convened by the local formations of Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM), Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), Kapatirang Simbahan para sa Bayan (Kasimbayan), Karapatan and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).###


Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR)
Postal Address:
Gonzales Res., Purok Lourdes, Tubod
9200 Iligan City, Philippines
Tel. No.: (063) 221-7807
Email: rmp_nmr@yahoo.com.ph

     
           
           

 

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Representative Tanada vowed to look into the escalating human rights violations in Northern Mindanao that includes four cases of extra-judicial killings which claimed the lives of nine individuals from January to April this year alone—the highest in the entire country.

 

 Karapatan-Northern Mindanao’s Atty. Beverly Selim-Musni, in her Mindanao human rights report presented to over a hundred audience of church people, lawyers, local government units and people’s organizations in the sphere, noted that in the first quarter of this year in the region, violations of the rights to life including torture reached 16 cases; grave physical injuries, 4; and frustrated killing, 4.

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