March 5, 2010
Protest rally and vigil marks first anniversary of Rebelyn's death, Ka
Parago calls for revolutionary justice
Davao City — Eight Thousand farmers, lumad, urban poor, teachers, women
and youth flocked from Freedom Park to Rizal Park today (March 5) to
demand justice for the murder of Rebelyn Pitao and all victims of
Rebelyn, daughter of known NPA commander, Leoncio ‘Ka Parago’ Pitao, was
abducted, raped and brutally murdered March 5 last year by suspected
intelligence agents belonging to the 10th Infantry Division of the AFP.
The protest rally led by KARAPATAN, Hustisya and Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (BAYAN-SMR) expressed outrage over the inutility of Task Force
Rebelyn formed by the Davao City Police Office last year to investigate
the gruesome murder.
“Like the more than one thousand cases of political killings in the
country, justice remains elusive to the families of the victims because we
strongly believe that the Arroyo administration and its military men thru
the framework of its Oplan Bantay Laya are behind the killings,” said
Kelly Delgado, Secretary General of KARAPATAN-SMR.
Delgado added, “The false charges, harassment and other crimes perpetrated
against activists, their families and innocent civilians are even more
rising and we see no hope with this government.”
The mother of Rebelyn, Evangeline Pitao expressed that her quest for
justice for her daughter extends to all families of victims of human
She recalled some sleepless nights reminiscing the memories with her
daughter whom she described as “meek, caring and compassionate daughter.”
Pitao now serves as the spokesperson of Hustisya in Southern Mindanao.
Pitao welcomed the recently approved Resolution of the Sangguniang
Panglungsod of Davao City which recognized their plight and upheld the
International Humanitarian Law--a law that respects the rights of
noncombatants during armed conflict, including the families of known
revolutionary leaders like Ka Parago.
“We commend the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Davao City for upholding the
human rights thru this resolution, and respects the rights of the victims
of human rights abuses. This is not only for my daughter but also for all
freedom and human rights defenders,” said Evangeline.
A vigil for Rebelyn was also held yesterday night at Bankerohan. The event
was attended by two thousand contingents where activist solons and
Nacionalista-Makabayan senatoriable candidates Ka Satur Ocampo and Liza
Maza both expressed condemnation and demand justice for Rebelyn's murder.
Both Ocampo and Maza are authors of the Anti-Torture Law.
In a protest rally in Rizal Park, Rebelyn Pitao’s father, NPA commander
Leoncio “Ka Parago Pitao, in a phone patch urged the military not to harm
the civilians. He said “ dili hilabtan ang mga sibilyan, kung gusto nila
naa ra mi diri sa bukid, dili lang nila hilabtan ang mga sibilyan”.
Ka Parago added “ Kinahanglan ihatag ang rebolusyunaryong hustisya sa
The phone patch was applauded by thousands of rallyists who were shouting
“HUSTISYA alang sa tanang biktima! Hustisya kang Rebelyn Pitao.##
Secretary general KARAPATAN-SMR
March 4, 2010
We, from Hustisya, Karapatan and Exodus for Justice and Peace remain
dauntless in pursuing and winning the fights for the respect and
protection of human rights. It can be recalled that exactly a year ago,
march 5, 2009, we were shocked with the news about the gruesome death of
Rebelyn Pitao, the daughter of NPA commander Leoncio Pitao a.k.a.
“Kumander Parago”. The killing was not a simple murder case. It was brutal
and unpardonable in the sense that she was crushed mentally, emotionally,
and physically to death. As the autopsy of her dead body would prove, she
was raped and tortured before she was killed.
What could be the reasons for the killing of Rebelyn Pitao are the truths
we rightfully have to know. There were allegations and denials made in our
search for truth. In as far the results of the investigations conducted by
DCPO’s Task Force Rebelyn, the case was a simple crime which up to now
remains unresolved. Much has been heard, yet, nothing has been done. The
agonies of Rebelyn’s family, friends, and co-teachers are prolonging. To
this day, we mourn for the death of the justice system in our country. We
condemn the culture of impunity which our own government have perpetuated.
We fear that thousands more innocent civilians will be made to suffer from
the brunt of violence and state-sponsored injustices.
Our conviction is firm and we see no other intention for the killing of
Rebelyn Pitao. She was killed because her father is a revolutionary. A
situation out of her control, neither a life she has chosen for herself.
For sure, if options were real, she would have wanted to live a normal
life with her family and co-exist in a society where there is justice and
equality. But so saddening, all her dreams were wasted and the justice,
which at the very least her family deserves, is denied of them up to now.
We fear all the more for ourselves and for every civilian of our country
seeing how dangerous the state of human rights is worsening in our midst.
There are laws that uphold basic human rights, yet, they are blatantly
violated and such have become systemic.
We take the risk of fighting against state violence in our society, of
siding with the truth, and standing up for the oppressed and defenceless.
We shall be untiring and brave to claim for justice for the death of
Rebelyn Pitao and all victims of political killings and harassments. We
urge the members of the City Council of Davao, the local government units,
and all human rights advocates to unite for a commitment to uphold the
International Humanitarian Law, Republic Act No. 9851 or the “Philippine
Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other
Crimes Against Humanity”, and all enabling laws for the respect and
protection of human rights.
Above all, we call on every Davaoeńo to be vigilant and to respect our
right to a peaceful life and pursue justice.
Justice for Rebelyn Pitao!
Justice for all the victims of political killings and harassment!
Uphold International Humanitarian Law!
Uphold Republic Act No. 9851!