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Monkayo, Compostela Valley:
Katribu Partylist and NUPL secure the release
of 13 residents illegally arrested, detained and tortured
Posted Arpil 2, 2010
The Katribu Party-list denounced the arrest and detention for more than 36 hours of 13 farmers--mostly, Lumads--by soldiers of the 25th Infantry Battallion-10th Infantry Division in Monkayo town, Compostela Valley. The Indigenous people's sectoral partylist group and the Union of Peoples Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) secured the release and custody of the victims Thursday.
13 members of Nagkahiusang
Katawhan sa Diwal-wal (NAGKADIWA-KMP) namely: Nilo Sinao,48; Alfonso
Mangubat,45; Edmund Cutor,19; Francisco Linantod,19; Emilio Villaniso Jr.
18; Junrex Linantod,21; Baden Mangubat,35; Mary Jane Yurong,23; Anastacia
Villaniso,59; Boicy Villaniso,23; Roy Villaniso,20; Mary Grace
Villaniso,15; and Christina Arances,15, laborer and farmers, and a
residents from Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province was illegally arrested
and detained by elements of the 25th Infantry Battalion based in Monkayo
last March 7, 2010. All were accused by the soldiers as members of the New
People Army (NPA) in the area.
|Photos courtesy of Karapatan - SMR|
13 lumads released after 36 hours of detention
Davao City - The Katribu Party-list denounced the arrest and detention for more than 36 hours of 13 farmers--mostly, Lumads--by soldiers of the 25th Infantry Battallion-10th Infantry Division in Monkayo town, Compostela Valley. The Indigenous people's sectoral partylist group and the Union of Peoples Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) secured the release and custody of the victims Thursday.
Now in the custody of their relatives and rights groups, the victims narrated how they were wrongfully accused as members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) and how, worse. they were physically and mentally tortured by their captors.
The 13 --- namely Nilo Sinao, 48 yo, Alfonso Mangubat, 45 yo, Edmund Cutor, 19 yo; Francisco Linantod, 19 yo; Emilio Villaniso Jr., 18 yo; Junrex Linantod, 21 yo; Baden Mangubat, 37 yo; and Roy Villaniso, 20 yo and Mary Jane Yurong, 23 yo, Anastacia Villaniso, 59 yo; and Boicy Villaniso, 23 yo, and two (2) 15 year old girls (minors) -- were accosted last March 7 by elements of the 25th IB who accused them as members of the New People's Army. They were brought to the Philippine National Police station, where, save for the two minors, all eleven were kept behind bars for more than 36 hours without charges filed against them.
“We condemn this blatant transgression of human rights of hapless civilians and Lumad communities. Time and again, the military has targetted the Lumads in its counter-insurgency operations, now intensified under the Oplan Bantay Laya 2,” said Kerlan Fanagel, Katribu Partylist nominee.
The victims recounted how they were all forced to admit that they were NPA members under pain of death. The three Villanisos were all subjected to physical torture. Their heads were wrapped with plastic cellophanes to suffocate them. They were asked to squat under the heat of the sun for several hours while the 25th IB elements placed piles of rocks or pots on their stretched arms and pointed knives on their necks.
Late charges filed at the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Comval and statements from Monkayo Police Chief Inspector Maj. Rodericko Roy pointed to the victims as suspects in the case of frustrated murder, murder and illegal possession of explosives, linked to a recent skirmish between the NPA and the military where one soldier died and 2 others were wounded.
Katribu said prior to the 13 victims of torture and illegal detention, 7 lumads and farmers from Sta. Cruz who are also Katribu and Anakpawis leaders and members have been slapped with trumped-up charges by the 39th IB, which is also under the 10th Infantry Division.
Katribu said it won’t back out against its detractors, be it Mrs. Arroyo herself, Defense Chief Gonzales or 10thID Chief Holganza.
Counter cases set to be filed against the 25th IB - 10th ID are being prepared by UPLM lawyers together with the victims.
Thirteen (13) residents of Compostela
Valley, Philippines tortured and illegally arrested by soldiers
Alleged Perpetrator(s): around 60
combined elements of the 25th IB-PA and Scout Rangers
At around 12:00 noon of the same day,
the Villaniso's sister Baden was with her husband Alfonso Mangubat cutting
trees a kilometer away from where her brothers were. With them were her
daughter Mary Grace, widowed mother Anastacia, Edmund Cutor and Nilo Sinao.
They were all preparing to leave when another group of about 30 soldiers
stumbled upon them. The soldiers ordered them to stay put, they agreed out
of fear. Then they started questioning them on the whereabouts on the NPA
and where they buried the guns. They told them that they did not know
where the NPAs are and that they they don't have guns. The soldiers did
not believe them. They were ordered to follow the soldiers to the hilly
part of the place about a kilometer away from the hut. Nilo was left
behind. When they arrived at the place, they were separated from each
other and were subjected to intense interrogation. They were accused of
being members of the underground movement which they all denied. Then they
were brought back to the hut. The soldiers told them to stay overnight.
Again they the acceded out of fear.
13 Residents: Soldiers forced us to admit we were NPA members
THIRTEEN residents of Monkayo, Compostela Valley have accused the military of forcing them to admit that they were members of the Sentro De Gravidad Front committee 20 of the New People’s Army.
Alfonso Mangubat, 50, farmer and one of the residents, said many of them were cutting wood when members of the 25 Infantry Battalion chanced upon in the forest of Monkayo.
He said the soldiers invited them to come along, Mangubat said they were surprised when they reached in Monkayo, the soldiers already tagged them rebels.
Mangubat said it is a normal occurrence for them to see rebels in the forest. “Maagian man gyud na sa armado tungod kay kalasangan didto,” he said in a press briefing called for by the progressive organizations Karapatan, Katribu and Bayan.
He said when the soldiers arrived that day; there were no sightings of the rebel in the area.
Mangubat told the soldiers that he was working for the JB Timber Management based in Monkayo.
He asserted they were not members of the rebel movement but simply woodcutters.
Mangubat said the soldiers manhandled the younger ones among the 13 of them while the elderly were spared.
Francisco Linantod Jr., 19, seemed clueless about the firearms allegedly recovered by the military from the possession. “Wala ko kabalo na naay armas didto,” he said.
Mary Jane Yurong, 23, recalled seeing their companions being hustled by the soldiers during their investigation. “Ginaputos ilang mga ulo ug cellophane, gipuspusan, gitiunan ug kutsilyo unya gi-bastrok,” she said.
Yurong said she did not know about the guns and the military uniforms, which the soldiers were supposed to have recovered. She said the chainsaw was owned by his uncle, Alfonso Mangubat.
Members of the 25th Infantry Battalion filed cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, murder and frustrated murder against the residents after they were allegedly apprehended in the forest area of Barangay Calaberahan, Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province, on March 7, two days after the soldiers clashed with the NPA in Barangay Salvacion, leaving one soldier killed and two others wounded.
They Soldiers claimed to have recovered a shotgun, a caliber .357 revolver, amuunitions, military uniforms and propaganda materials from the accused.
Provincial Prosecutors’ Office of Compostela Valley Province ordered Thursday the release of the 13 accused after their legal counsel, lawyer, Goerge Rapista, asserted not to allow them to undergo in inquest proceedings since they were in the custody of the military for four days before they were formally sued.
He told Radio Mindanao Network that the detention of the accused was illegal as they were jailed for four days without formal complaint.
“They cannot fall under inquest proceedings because they were apprehended in March 7 and the case was only filed March 11, approximately four days. Under the law, no matter how strong the complaint, the case must be filed within 36 hours,” Rapista said.
He said the case must be appreciated through regular filing, where the respondents will be made to respond to the complaint, in which they must not be detained. JGD
Note: Lumabas ito after the Press Conference conducted last march 12. sa Mindanao Times ito lumabas a local news paper.
|Resident lumads sue military for detention and torture|
Children’s Rehabilitation Center
Southern Mindanao Regional Office
18 March 2010
2 children victims of Monkayo 13 are psychologically distressed – children’s rights group
Children’s rights advocacy group expressed today their condemnation on the worsening violations of children’s rights in Southern Mindanao due to the Arroyo government’s intensified counter-insurgency campaign.
“Under the Arroyo government’s Oplan Bantay Laya, children suffered as their parents suffered from various forms of human rights violations. Now they are even made targets themselves by the State security forces”, said Children’s Rehabilitation Center Southern Mindanao Regional Director Girley Layaguin.
Layaguin cited the March 7 incident in Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province where 13 innocent civilians, mostly farmers, including 2 minors, were illegally arrested and tortured by the elements of 25th Infantry Battalion under the 10th Infantry Division. The 2 girl-children, Ivy and Tere (not their real name), both are 15 years old, were coerced and psychologically tortured to admit that they are “NPA child soldiers”. But, these allegations of the military were proved wrong by the families and relatives of the victims.
“The two girl-minors were illegally arrested together with the adult victims who are their relatives. They were illegally detained inside the military camp before were transferred to Monkayo Police Station”, said Layaguin.
CRC facilitated the psychosocial therapy session with the 2 children-victims on March 14 and it found out psychological distress manifested by anxieties, repeated nightmares, fear of seeing men in uniform, and tensions.
“These are clear violations of children’s rights. The military violated Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection to Filipino Children, Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Children), United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)”, she added.
“The problem with the military is they target civilians during their operations. They have been raiding rural communities, capturing children, misrepresenting them as NPA “child soldiers”, detaining them for intimidation, humiliation and propaganda purposes, hostaging them and preventing their families and relatives from claiming them for long periods. This is worst than martial law because even the children are not spared from brutal and multiple violations of their rights”, stressed Layaguin.###
Ms. Girley Layaguin, RSW
Regional Program Director
Children’s Rehabilitation Center-
Southern Mindanao Regional Office (CRC-SMRO)
Contact No. (082) 222-5191
Davao City- Victims of Monkayo 13 filed a case at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region 11 against the elements of the 25th Infantry Battalion for Illegal Arrest, Illegal Detention and Torture last March 12, 2010.
Picket rally vs the 10th Infantry Division at Camp Panacan
Photos courtesy of Kabiba Alliance
Davao City- Xix days after they were
released, the Monkayo 13 held a protest rally
together with KARAPATAN, BAYAN and Hustisya Southern Mindanao Region in
front of the 10th Infantry Division camp in Panacan, Davao City.
Medical records show torture of Monkayo 13; victims to file charges vs. 25th IB military
DAVAO CITY- Contrary to earlier military claims that they were unharmed, the 13 victims detained last week were tortured according to Karapatan.
Previously, military officials claimed that the 13 residents of Monkayo were NPA supporters and members and that they were brought to a doctor for medical check-up. This claim was denied by the victims.
"Dr. Ivy Boyose-Nolasco of Urban Integrated Health Services, Incorporated said that the findings are consistent with the victims’ statements that they were subjected to physical torture. This is the basis of a case filed by the victims against the elements of the 25th IB who were responsible for the illegal arrest, illegal detention and torture," said Karapatan Regional Secretary General Kelly Delgado.
According to the sworn statements of the victims gathered by Karapatan, last March 7 at around 11:00 am in the logging area of Kalaberahan, Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, the victims were busy preparing for their lunch when the soldiers arrived. They were then ordered to group outside their house and were asked "where they hid their guns because they are members of the New People’s Army."
After several hours, each of them was separated from the group and was subjected to various forms of torture. One of the victims, Boicy Villaniso, 23 years old, was forced to eat a scalding sweet potato. He was hit with the butt of a rifle at his forehead and belly while his captors pointed a knife at his side and shoulder. His fingers were pounded with a cooking pot and his nape was hit with an abaca reed. His head was later covered with a cooking pot (kaldero). His medical findings indicated 1.5 centimeters mark of abrasion, laceration and contusion at the back of his head and neck.
“Their heads were also covered with plastic cellophane. Women were not even spared when one of the victims, Mary Jane Yurong, was threatened to be beheaded if she will not tell where the guns were buried,” Delgado said.
Another victim, Roy Villaniso, 21 years old, recounted how his head was covered with cellophane and suffered the same fate as that of his brother. His captors pressed his bolo against his neck.
His medical findings indicated contusions and abrasions on his side, shoulder and back.
“This clearly shows that the civilians, women and children especially, bear the brunt of the military’s abuses because of the latter’s anti-insurgency campaign,” he added.
Delgado said that the military has violated Republic Act 9745 also known as the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 and Republic Act 985 also known as the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity
For reference: KELLY M. DELGADO, Secretary General
Mobile No. 09203500069
13 civilians sue military for torture, detention
THIRTEEN civilians from Compostela Valley filed cases of illegal detention and torture against the Philippine Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion (IB) on Friday.
The 13, mostly lumads, were allegedly held by elements of the 25th IB on March 7 in their homes in Barangay Diwalwal in Compostela Valley.
On March 8 and 9, the civilians said they were also detained inside the 25th IB barracks at Monkayo, where they were repeatedly tortured in allegations that they are members of New People's Army (NPA).
They said on March 10, they were moved to the jails of Monkayo Philippine National Police (PNP) station, expect for two minors who were brought to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Upon the insistence of their relatives and assistance of Monkayo parish priest Fr. Raymond Suela, the 11 were released while the two minors arrived in the city Friday.
The 13 are related but live in two villages. Seven of them -- Nilo Sinao, 48; Alfonso Mangubat, 45; Edmund Cutor, 19; Francisco Linantod, 19; Emilio Villaniso Jr., 18; Junrex Linantod, 21; and Baden Mangubat, 37 -- were from Purok 19.
The others -- Roy Villaniso, 20; Mary Jane Yurong, 23; Anastacia Villaniso, 59; Boicy Villaniso, 23; and two 15 year old girls -- were from Purok 21.
Now in the custody of their relatives and progressive groups Katribu Partylist (Katribu), Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region (Karapatan), and Bayan-Southern Mindanao Region (Bayan), the 13 civilians narrated stories of human rights violations.
"Wala man mi naka-eskwela pero kabalo mi nga dili to maayo ang ilang gibuhat sa amoa (We have not gone to school but we know what they did was a violation to us)," said Baden
Mangubat in a press conference at UCCP Haran house.
The victims also recounted how they were all forced to admit that they were NPA members under pain of death.
The three Villanisos were subjected to physical torture, while the others suffered intimidation.
"Ang among ulo gibalot ug silopin para dili makaginhawa. Gipalingkod mi nga walay lingkuranan sa ilalom sa init sa adlaw pila ka oras unya butangan ang among mga kamot mga bato. Gitutukan ang among liog ug kutsilyo ug dili na namo mahinumdum kung kapila mi gipangsumbag. (Our heads were wrapped in cellophane to suffocate us. We were made to sit under the heat of the sun for several hours while they placed rocks on our hands. They pointed knives at our necks and we can no longer remember how many times we were punched)," said Boicy Villaniso.
"Ginasultian ko nilag 'NPA ka no? NPA ka no? Pag sulti na mo kundi naa gyuy mamatay sa inyoha.' Ana ko 'Kakita ka aning mga bukod nako. Kaya ba ni makadala ug baril?' Ginapicture-piktyuran pa gyud ko nila. (They kept on saying 'You're an NPA. Admit or else someone among you will die.' I said 'Do you see these bones. You think these can carry guns?' They were even taking pictures of me)," said Anastacia Villaniso, 59, who couldn't stop tears.
The complainants filed the cases to Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Davao Region around 2 p.m. Friday. They also are planning to file cases at the Office of the Ombudsman and the United Nations.
Bayan spokesperson John Birondo said on March 5, there was an encounter between the NPA and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Monkayo, leaving a soldier dead and two others wounded.
"What they do when they lose a soldier is they take revenge on the civilians, especially when there are people's organizations" Birondo said, referring to the military.
Katribu secretary general Kerlan Fanagel said the 13 civilians belong to Nagkadiwa: Nagkahiusang Katawhan sa Diwalwal (United People of Diwalwal), which is composed of lumad, Christian, and Muslim members.
Karapatan secretary general Kelly Delgado, for his part, said the acts were clear violations of Republic Act 9851.
Elements of the military, according to one civilian, went to the houses in two puroks late in the afternoon of March 7.
Alfonso Mangubat said soldiers ate dinner at their hut after offering noodles, while Boicy Villaniso said the soldiers immediately accused them of being NPA rebels.
Baden Mangubat said they told the soldiers they were going down from the mountains to Monkayo as they were running out of food. The soldiers offered them food, so long as they don't go.
"They told us it's getting late so we shouldn't go down. They cooked their food and we ate with them. Around 4 a.m., they were cooking already so we had an early breakfast. Around 6 a.m., we were walking already. We were bringing with us our tupperwares and (Alfonso Mangubat and Nilo Sinao) were carrying a chainsaw and machinery," Baden said in vernacular.
Boicy Villaniso said when the soldiers came in their homes, the men were immediately subjected to physical assaults and intimidation.
His wife, Mary Jane Yurong, said the soldiers ate dinner at their house and also had them cook early breakfast.
"Our house and vegetable garden is so clean but they messed it up. They punched my husband so many times and pointed knives at them. They lashed at his feet. It was horrible," said Yurong, saying the soldiers had them leave their homes around 6 a.m. on March 8.
Baden said the sun was up and hot above their heads when the two groups met along the way. The soldiers separated the two groups.
The sun was setting when the groups reached a military depot. There, Baden said, the soldiers had them rest but without dinner.
"Muadto lang sa ta sa barracks kay istoryahon mo sa among dako-dako. (We'll go to the barracks first because our boss wants to talk to you)," Baden quoted one of the soldiers as saying.
At 10 p.m., the groups entered the AFP's barracks at Monkayo in Compostela Valley and their nightmare began.
Baden said the younger men received much beating while the women and elderly received intimidation.
"Ang isa sa amoa nakalibang sa sobrang sakit. (One of us defecated because of pain)," Baden said.
The torture and intimidation continued on March 9, but they would not admit to a crime which they did not know, Boicy said.
Asked whether they are afraid of the soldiers, Mary Jane said they are not.
"Nganong mahadlok man mi wa man mi gibuhat nga mali? Sila ang dapat mahadlok sa ilang gibuhat sa amoa. (Why would we be afraid when we did nothing wrong? They should be the ones to be scared of the consequences of what they did)," Mary Jane said.
On March 10, the 13 civilians were moved to the PNP station in Monkayo.
"They just told us that we have to go because there are a lot of mosquitoes in there. We thought we were free to go home but they transferred us to the jail in the police station," Baden said.
Delgado said the 25th IB filed charges to the Provincial Prosecutor's Office on March 10, but these were not recognized as the 13 were detained more than 36 hours before they filed charges.
"We plan to file cases against those who filed those affidavits and the head of the 25th IB," Delgado said.
Delgado recalled human rights violations in the past years that progressive groups blame on the 25th IB.
"On March 13, 2002 in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur, Orlando Nerosa, Rolando Bacus, and Ronel Bacus were massacred. May 2, 2002 in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, Mostello Gabay and Ricardo Dulay were killed. February 8, 2005 in Matanao, Davao del Sur, Franklin Bulane, Parilla Bulane, and Promencio Bulane were massacred. Sila ito yung Bulane brothers na pinagbabaril,” he said.
He added: "On November 1, 2006 in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, Domingo Spak Layal who headed the movement against mining in their area was killed. April 19, 2007 in Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province, Aquiles C. Tungal and his 11-year-old son were in their hut when soldiers strafed them. Luckily that son escaped death. And on April 24, 2007 in Maragusan, Compostela Valley, the enforced disappearance of Valentin Lapuz Jr."
"They are putting their blame on the civilians especially now that they are failing in the Arroyo-mandated policy of Oplan Bantay Laya 2," Fanagel said in vernacular.
Fanagel added that prior to the 13 victims of torture and illegal detention, seven lumads and farmers from Sta. Cruz, who are also Katribu and Anakpawis leaders and members, were slapped with trumped-up charges by the 39th IB, which is also under the 10th Infantry Division. (JCZ)
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