Scientists group condemns DOJ's whitewash

of the military's culpability in the killing of the Kananga 3

 

January 22, 2011

 

 

■    Press Conference

 

■    Text and Photos of Fact Finding Missin Report refute DOJ Whitewash report

 

■    Video clips of press conference

 

■    News reports

 

■    Bonus (Rewind) Tracks

 

 

 

   

GO TO WEBSITE: https://sites.google.com/a/agham.org/justice-for-leonard-co/

 

   
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Press Conference at Tree Haus
           
     

 

Scientists group condemns DoJ whitewash of botanist death
January 20, 2011


A whitewash-- this is how the scientist group AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People called the findings of the Department of Justice fact-finding panel that cleared the military of any wrongdoing on the death of Leonard Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortez and farmer Julius Borromeo last November 15 in Kananga, Leyte.

“The DOJ panel totally ignored the testimony of the witnesses that attest to the culpability of the military on the death of the Kananga 3”, said Dr. Tapang, chairperson of AGHAM and convenor of the Justice for Leonard Co Movement.

“We also wonder why the DoJ turned a blind eye to the physical evidence that the trees in the killing site show?”, Dr. Tapang asked. AGHAM led a fact-finding mission in Kananga, Leyte last November 26, 2010 that showed that there were no indications of any crossfire in the area. The trees were shot only from the side of the military towards where Co and his team were standing.

AGHAM further pointed out that even if Leonard Co's employer, the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) will be found culpable as their report states, it was still the soldiers from the 19th Infantry Battalion that fired the fatal shots. Leonard and his team were working near the confines of the heavily guarded EDC complex.

“What about the failure to bring immediate medical attention to Julius Borromeo? It was the military troops’ delay to bring him down that contributed to his death”, Tapang said in reference to Borromeo who was shot once in the chest. Borromeo could have lived had immediate medical attention been administered to him.

“Sec. Leila de Lima should review the results of the DOJ panel and reverse their findings to include the military's obvious culpability in the deaths of the Kananga 3. If not, this whitewash does not bode well to this administration. The impunity that is happening is no different from what was there in previous regimes,” said Dr. Tapang

 

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PRESS STATEMENT
22 January 2011

REFERENCE:
Dr. Giovanni Tapang
09275736714

Jumps in logic, omissions of fact, and twisted statements:
DOJ should junk and review its report clearing AFP in Leonard Co's death

The Justice for Leonard Co Movement calls on Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima to junk and review the report of the DOJ's fact-finding team, which inexplicably cleared the 19th Infantry Battallion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the November 15 killing of reknowned ethno-botanist Leonard Co, forest guide Sofronio Cortez and farmer Julius Borromeo in Kananga, Leyte.

The DOJ report released is riddled with jumps in logic, omissions of fact, and twisted statements. It has employed selective means and double standards to deduce conclusions from the witnesses' statements and the evidence made available by the military.

The report disregarded the fact that the military was the only armed group seen by survivors in the area at the time of the killing. Instead, it gave undue credence to the military's claim that there was a crossfire; concluding that there were indeed New People's Army (NPA) members in the area and there wa a firefight without independently verifying these claims.

The DOJ report's double standard is also evident in its unsound analysis of the bullet marks left on the trees in the site. It said that “thirty three (33) trees had bullet marks on their trunks...with more than thirty (30) bullet trajectories” coming from the higher vantage position of the military and only “four (4) bullet trajectories from the lower grounds up to the higher grounds.” The DOJ panel cleared the military despite the fact that it was the 19th IB troops who had a higher probability of hitting Co's group due to the sheer number of bullets which they have fired.

Furthermore, the AGHAM-led independent fact finding mission last November 26 to 28 did not see any trajectory from the lower ground to the higher vantage point of the military. The volume of fire from the ridge area was directed mainly towards the direction where Leonard Co and his group was standing. The trees bear witness that they were shot from the military side, as there was no bullet marks from the alleged NPA side. The direction of the gunfire from the alleged NPA side is not supported by the testimony of the survivors. If their testimonies are to be scrutinized, their testimonies will indicate that the firing came from the direction of the military.

The DOJ team should have exerted more effort in ascertaining that the firearms turned over to them are the ones that were actually used. There should have been an inventory of the firearms assigned to each of the member of the platoon involved in the incident.

The report is silent on the fact that the military had the opportunity to clear and control the site for a full19 hours after the shooting. The PNP SOCO team was able to gain access to the site only at 8 a.m. of the following day. The burden is on the military to show that nothing happened to the evidence during this intervening time. Where are the rest of the 245 bullets that the military has fired from their own admission?

The DOJ report has only yielded more questions than answers. It seems to have one-sidedly taken the military's word and took the other evidence to fit this story.

In the interest of justice and truth, this report must be junked.
--
Make science and technology serve the people!
ADVOCATES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PEOPLE (AGHAM)
P.O. Box 268 Araneta Center 1135 Cubao
Quezon City Philippines
T: +63 2 4343173
F: +63 2 9209099
URL: www.agham.org

 

     
     
           

JOIN THE PROTEST ACTION

9AM TOMORROW, JANUARY 24 AT THE DoJ!
 

The family, colleagues and friends of Leonard and supporters of Justice for Leonard Co Movement will hold an action in front of the Dept.of Justice (P.Faura, Malate, Manila) to protest and call for junking of the recently released DoJ investigation findings tomorrow, January, 24, 2011, Monday@9AM. Let's be vigilant and prevent another whitewash! End impunity NOW! Enjoin others to participate...


Please wear your Justice...shirt!

Bring placards and posters calling for junking of DoJ report, pursue genuine investigation and justice, prosecution of all perpetrators, end impunity, no whitewash.

Bring umbrella or raincoat, for protection in case of rain 

 

     

 

News Release
January 21, 2011

DOJ-NBI report clearing AFP in botanist death slammed

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today slammed the DOJ-NBI report clearing the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the death of top botanist Leonard Co and his companions Sofronio Cortez and Julio Borromeo.

“The DOJ-NBI report reeks of unsubstantiated conclusions, sloppy investigative work resulting to fantastic claims. Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima should not approve the findings and recommendations and should look deeper into the case,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The DOJ-NBI report conveniently ignores the testimonies of the 2 survivors, none of whom said they saw any NPA members in the area at the time of the incident. Instead, the panel report apparently relied extensively on the testimonies and reports provided by the AFP,” Reyes said.

Bayan said that there were many inconsistencies in the report of the DOJ-NBI panel, some of which twisted the facts and testimonies of the survivors.

The panel report said that when survivor Ronino Gibe was approached by the military after the shooting, he was asked where his armed companions were. This alone, according to the report, was proof that the military was running after the NPA.

“That claim is stupid. Contrary to the report, the military’s question was in fact proof that Leonard Co and his group were the targets all along. Gibe was asked where his ‘armed companions’ were because the military thought he WAS an NPA member. He was even asked why he was in the forest and with a map and GPS device. It was only after showing his identification that he was recognized as an EDC employee,” Reyes said.

“The DOJ-NBI interpretation of these events goes against conventional wisdom and plain logic,” Reyes added.

According to the panel report, the AFP was occupying higher ground, the alleged “enemy position” was at the lower ground, and somewhere in between was the team of Leonard Co.

The DOJ report said that 33 trees had bullet marks with 30 bullet trajectories coming from higher ground to lower ground. It also says there were two bullet trajectories allegedly from lower ground to the position of the victims and four bullet trajectories from the lower ground to the position of the AFP.

“The DOJ-NBI team did not show how they determined the trajectories of the bullets. It is also strange that while the vast majority of the bullet trajectories came from the higher ground, the DOJ-NBI ruled out the possibility that the shots that killed Co and his companions came from the AFP position,” Reyes said.

“The report says that the military spent 245 rounds of high-caliber ammunition during the incident yet it concludes that it was not possible for even a single shot from the military to hit the EDC team. Amazing!” Reyes said.

The independent reports also documented bullet marks at the trees where Co and his companions hid. One tree had at least 3 bullet marks while another tree had at least 6 bullet marks. The trajectories appeared to come from higher ground.

As for the bullet fragments found in Co not matching any of the guns turned over by the military, Bayan said this was no longer surprising. “We never expected the AFP to turn over the actual weapons used during the operations. Surely they will cover up their tracks to sabotage the ballistics tests,” Reyes said.

Even the AFP storyline on how they stumbled on the alleged NPA position is fantastic.

“The military says after discovering the NPA, the soldiers positioned themselves on higher ground as they observed the alleged rebels for 30 minutes. The military occupied higher ground had the tactical advantage and element of surprise, but amazingly they say that it was the NPA who fired the first shots when the NPA ‘sensed’ their presence,” Reyes said. ###

Venue of press conference have trees and plants all around
           
Text and photos from the Fact Finding Mission report
     

 

DOJ’s Conclusion on Co Killing a ‘Whitewash’ — Scientist Group

“The DOJ panel totally ignored the testimony of the witnesses that attest to the culpability of the military on the death of the Kananga 3”, said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, chairperson of AGHAM and convenor of the Justice for Leonard Co Movement.

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Indignation and outrage abounded after the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the findings of its fact-finding panel on the brutal killing of botanist Prof. Leonard Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortez and farmer Julius Borromeo last November 15 in Kananga, Leyte. The panel concluded that there was an exchange of gunfire between the military and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and that it was the latter who killed the three.

The scientist group AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People said the findings of the DOJ panel was a “whitewash”.

“The DOJ panel totally ignored the testimony of the witnesses that attest to the culpability of the military on the death of the Kananga 3”, said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, chairperson of AGHAM and convenor of the Justice for Leonard Co Movement.

Tapang expressed exasperation over the findings, “Why did the DoJ turn a blind eye to the physical evidence that the trees in the killing site show?” AGHAM has also held a fact-finding mission in Kananga, Leyte last November 26, 2010, and its own findings revealed that there were no indications of any crossfire in the area. The bullet marks on the trees indicate that shots were fired only from the direction of the military toward where Co and his team were standing.

AGHAM further pointed out that even if Leonard Co’s employer the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) could be held liable, as the DOJ panel report recommended, it was still the soldiers from the 19th Infantry Battalion who fired the fatal shots. Leonard and his team were working near the confines of the heavily guarded EDC complex.

“What about the failure to seek immediate medical attention for Julius Borromeo? Soldiers caused the delay in bringing him to the hospital, which contributed to his death”, Tapang said. Even with a bullet wound in the chest, Borromeo could have survived if immediate medical attention was provided.

Tapang said DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima should review the findings of the DOJ panel. The report, Tapang said, should reveal the obvious: the military’s culpability in the deaths of the Kananga 3.

“If not, this whitewash does not bode well. The impunity that is happening now is no different from that under the previous administration,” he said.

The DOJ’s claim that there was an exchange of gunfire between the soldiers and the NPA is not supported by the testimony of a survivor who said there was no exchange of gunfire at all and that shots were fired from only one direction.

Earlier last week, Co’s family and their lawyer pleaded with Pres. Benigno Aquino III to order the military to produce the necessary documents needed in the investigations being conducted by various agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the DOJ. This is necessary, said Co’s family, to determine the appropriate charges that could be filed against members of the military and officials of the EDC, who were involved in the shooting incident. Evalyn Ursua, the Co family’s lawyer, pointed out that as Commander in Chief of the AFP, Aquino can and should order the military to produce the documents.

Tapang pointed out that despite national and international condemnation of the shooting, Aquino has remained stock silent on the issue. “It is interesting to contrast this seeming foot-dragging with the quick responses of the President to different tragedies that have happened since. Aside from losing one of the few ethno-botanists in the Philippines and two innocent law-abiding citizens, the circumstances of their death make it more urgent for Aquino and the government to act on the matter,” he said.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary-general Renato Reyes, in the meantime, asked if the DOJ was clearing the AFP in Co’s killing as a preemptive move. The AFP is set to face a CHR probe in Leyte this coming weekend. “It appears that the DOJ-NBI panel took at face value everything the AFP said, then invoked ‘national security’ in withholding information,” he said. (http://bulatlat.com)

 

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PRESS RELEASE
Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
January 21, 2011
 

NDF-EV condemns whitewash of 19th IB massacre
 

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today assailed the Department Of Justice for clearing the 19th IB of responsibility for the massacre of botanist Leonardo Co and two others last Nov. 15 in Kananga, Leyte. "The DOJ ruling absolving the 19th IB and shifting the blame to the New People's Army is pure hogwash because there was no NPA unit anywhere near the massacre site," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. "Furthermore, the DOJ ruling stands in solitary contradiction to the physical evidence and eyewitness testimonies uncovered by concerned organizations, that the line of fire came from the military and there was no answering fire whatsoever. It is deplorable that the so-called DOJ "fact-finding" consisted of swallowing the military's alibi of a "crossfire" and then spewing a whitewash on the public."

Fr. Salas said the DOJ ruling sent a clear signal to the public that the military's impunity for human rights violations is alive and well under the Aquino regime. "The 19th IB committed two massacres under the Arroyo regime for which it was never brought to account. By absolving the 19th IB yet again for the massacre of Leonardo Co, Sofronio Cortez, and Julius Borromeo committed under Oplan Bantay Laya, the Aquino regime failed in its promise of change and virtually encourages the continued impunity of the state security forces under their new Oplan Bayanihan."

The NDF-EV spokesperson said that the DOJ ruling is an outrage to the people, and urged them to press for justice for Leonardo Co and his companions and all other victims of the 19th IB and fascist state terrorism. "We hope that the peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP in February will address concerns such as this massacre in Leyte, especially with the reconvening of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, which has so woefully been trampled by the military. There can be no peace without justice for the human rights violations suffered by Co and so many of the people under fascist state terrorism. Let us continue the fight for justice for Leonardo Co and all other victims of human rights violations."#

Reference:
Roy Santos
NDF-EV Media Liaison Officer
Cellphone No. +639196199369
E-mail: ndfevis@gmail.com

 

     
           
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Slain botanist’s family plans to sue government

By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:01:00 01/22/2011
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20110122-315996/Slain-botanists-family-plans-to-sue-government


MANILA, Philippines—The family of well-known botanist Leonardo Co plans to file charges against the government and the military for his death in local as well as international courts.

Giovanni Tapang of the “Justice for Leonard Co” movement said the family was thinking of bringing the case to the United Nations and other international human rights groups after a Department of Justice fact-finding panel ruled that Co did not die from bullets fired by soldiers but from communist rebels who engaged government forces in a skirmish in a forest in Kananga, Leyte, last November 15.

“Dr. Co is known in the international scientific community so taking his death to the international community to get justice for his death is possible,” Tapang told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He said Co’s family was discussing with their lawyer, Evalyn Ursua, the possibility of filing a case in the local courts.

Tapang also blasted the DoJ panel for its findings, saying its conclusions should be junked because of “jumps in logic.”

He said the panel disregarded statements made by survivors of the shooting and charged that the panel “twisted” the statements to absolve government troops of any liability for Co’s death.

The survivors had said earlier that the firing had come from only one direction and that there was no firing from the other side so that they could not have been caught in any crossfire as the soldiers had claimed.

“The DoJ erred because they did not consider the reports we submitted to them,” Tapang said, referring to a fact-finding mission a group of scientists conducted to determine how Co was killed.

According to Tapang, the bullet marks they found “indicate they came from the position of the military. Even if there were bullets from the opposite side there were no bullet marks to tell us that.”

The DoJ panel ruled that the bullets that killed Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortes and farmer Julio Borromeo could not have come from soldiers on patrol, who were on top of a ridge, but from a lower position, which the military said was the position taken by guerrillas of the New People’s Army.

“We did not observe any return fire bullet marks from the area behind the position of Dr. Co going to the ridge,” Tapang said.

Tapang said their findings were bolstered by the testimony of two survivors.

Renato Reyes, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said the DoJ panel seemed to have a conclusion already “even before they studied the case.”

“No proof or indication has ever been presented to show there was another armed group in the area besides the military. The only armed group there was soldiers from the Armed Forces. This is a glaring omission by the DoJ,” Reyes said.

--
Make science and technology serve the people!

ADVOCATES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PEOPLE (AGHAM)
P.O. Box 268 Araneta Center 1135 Cubao
Quezon City Philippines
T: +63 2 4343173
F: +63 2 9209099
URL: www.agham.org

 

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     

 

KALIKASAN PEOPLE’S NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org


Press Release
22 January 2011

Green activist group condemns whitewash of botanist’s death, calls for end of impunity

Environmental activist-group Kalikasan PNE joins the clamor for a thorough review of the preliminary report of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the deaths of top botanist Leonardo Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortez and farmer Julio Borromeo in Kananga, Leyte. The group is also calling for an immediate reinvestigation of the killings that happened on November 15, 2010.

“As fellow environmental workers and advocates, we are dismayed on the DOJ’s report clearing the military of culpability on the said killings in spite of the survivors’ testimonies. These testimonies are further supported by facts and evidences resulting from the investigations made by independent groups and colleagues of Leonard Co. There was no crossfire between rebel groups and the military, and the incident is more likely a case of mistaken identity,” said Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

Moreover, environmental advocates fear that the climate of impunity perpetuated during the Arroyo regime will continue in the current administration of President Noynoy Aquino.

The Philippines has been a dangerous place for environmental defenders fighting against powerful plunderers of the country’s rich natural resources. During Arroyo’s regime, 34 environmental activists were killed, 2 were enforcedly disappeared and 2 others barely escaped assassination. Majority of the suspects are state military forces. Until now, not a single case has been solved. The culprits remain at large and unpunished.

“Serious signs of the climate of impunity on the deaths of environmental defenders have already appeared during PNoy’s term. The attempt to whitewash the deaths of Co and his two assistants is a glaring indication of this,” explains Bautista.

Kalikasan PNE calls for the immediate and thorough review of the DOJ’s report and a reinvestigation of the killings. “We demand swift justice for Leonard Co and for all environmental defenders slain in their fight to protect the environment. We demand an end to the climate of impunity!” said Bautista. ###

Reference: Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator, Kalikasan PNE, 09228449787
--
CLEMENTE BAUTISTA
National Coordinator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
Email: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org

 

     
           
     
     

 

ACT TEACHERS Party-List
Office address Rm. 618 South Wing, House of Representatives, Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Philippines 1126
Tel. +632-9316193 · +632-9315001 loc. 7317
Email tinio.dal@congress.gov.ph · rep.antonio.tinio@gmail.com

News Release
January 21, 2011
Reference: Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-9220817)

ACT Teachers representative denounces DOJ whitewash of Leonardo Co killing

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio today denounced a Department of Justice (DOJ) report clearing the military of any liability in the killing of noted botanist Leonardo Co and two others in Kananga, Leyte last November.

The report, prepared by a three-person team convened by DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima, blamed New People’s Army guerrillas for the killing of Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortez, and farmer Julius Borromeo, and held the their employer, the Energy Development Corporation, liable for their deaths due to “reckless imprudence.”

“The DOJ report blatantly whitewashes the role of the military in the killing of Co and his companions,” said Tinio. “The whole report is riddled with glaring contradictions, logical fallacies, selective appreciation of eyewitness testimony and physical evidence. Its conclusions are based on assertions unsubstantiated by fact. It’s all too clear that the report bends backwards to accommodate the military’s self-serving account of the incident.”

Tinio cited the report’s “conclusion of fact” that the bullets that killed Co and company “were not fired from the position of the military” who were occupying the higher ground because the bullets “were found to have come from the lower area as indicated by their trajectories.” “How can the DOJ team, or anyone else for that matter, make any definitive statements about the trajectories of the bullets that killed Co and company when the bodies of the victims were removed from the incident site hours after the shooting took place, and before any investigating team could make such a determination?” said Tinio.

Tinio in particular denounced the report’s conclusion that “the military or state forces could not be charged with criminal acts because their activities in the area were due to a legitimate military action.” “This is an outrageous statement coming from a team of state prosecutors whose responsibility it is to determine whether or not the military unit in question acted in accordance with law.” In particular, Tinio cited Republic Act 9851, the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity," which governs the conduct of the military during military operations. “Instead, the DOJ team obviously believes that the armed forces involved in so-called legitimate military operations are above the law, when they are not. This betrays a dangerous mindset that turns a blind eye to abuses committed by the military in the field.”

Tinio urged Sec. de Lima to thoroughly review the report. “We hope that justice and fairness will prevail, and that the Secretary will see that this report cannot be allowed to stand.”

Tinio also urged the House Committee on Human Rights to immediately conduct its own investigation of the incident. “Given the seeming inability of the DOJ to come out with a credible report, it becomes even more imperative for the House to immediately conduct its own investigation in order to attain justice for the victims and their families.” #
 

     
           
           
           
News Reports
     
           

 

‎'Gov't not brave enough to admit military killed botanist' | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headl

www.abs-cbnnews.com

MANILA, Philippines - A lawyer said Saturday that the administration of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is not brave enough to accept the military's liability in the killing of botanist Leonard Co and 2 others last November.

 

Pathologist nixes DOJ findings on botanist's killing | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines,.

www.abs-cbnnews.com

A forensic pathologist on Friday said she has misgivings over a Department of Justice-National Bureau of Investigation fact-finding report that absolved the military from the killing of top botanist Leonardo Co and 2 others last November.

 

Palace: Slain botanists family free to contest DOJ findings - Nation - GMANews.TV - Official Websi.

www.gmanews.tv

Relatives of slain botanist Leonardo Co are free to contest the findings of the Justice Department clearing the military in his death last November, Malacañang said Saturday.

 

 

DOJ-NBI Report on death of Leonard Co etal

www.scribd.com

Last January 20, the Philippine Department of Justice released the findings of the DOJ-NBI panel investigating the deaths of top botanist Leonard Co and his two companions. by Alberto_Hughes in Government Docs, Human Rights, and leonard co

 

 

DOJ-NBI findings on Leonard Co death reeks of inconsistencies and unsubstantiated conclusions « like

natoreyes.wordpress.com

 

De Lima protests charges of cover-up in probe of botanists death - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News fo.

newsinfo.inquirer.net

MANILA, PhilippinesJustice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday protested allegations by friends of foremost botanist Leonard Co and his two companions that the government fact-finding report that cleared the military of any liability for their deaths was a cover-up.

 

 

DZIQ: Review DOJ panel ruling, botanists family urges De Lima - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for F.

newsinfo.inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines The camp of Leonard Co appealed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to review the ruling of the three-man panel of the Department of Justice that cleared the military of liability of the botanists killing.

 

 

Military cleared in botanists death - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

globalnation.inquirer.net

The Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomed the decision of the Department of Justice (DoJ) clearing them of the death of a botanist and two others in November last year. On the basis of an on-site investigation, the DoJ panel concluded that botanist Leonardo Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortez, and f

 

   
           
VIDEO CLIPS
     
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1w7rKGIlEE

 

www.youtube.com

Press Conference by the Justice for Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borrowmeo on January 22, 2011 in QC slamming the DOJ report

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYsMZhLcKLM

 

www.youtube.com

Press Conference by the Justice for Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borromeo on January 22, 2011 in QC slamming the DOJ report

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8IXc3wTiEU

 

www.youtube.com

Press Conference by the Justice for Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borrowmeo on January 22, 2011 in QC slamming the DOJ report

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDXMwZ483j4

 

www.youtube.com

Press Conference by the Justice for Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borrowmeo on January 22, 2011 in QC slamming the DOJ report

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKaQIoqYH7E

 

www.youtube.com

Press Conference by the Justice for Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borrowmeo on January 22, 2011 in QC slamming the DOJ report

 

 

   
Bonus (Rewind) Tracks
   

 

Gunfire came from one direction - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

newsinfo.inquirer.net

Policarpio Balute, 33, a farmer who served as one of Cos two guides, said the shooting started in Upper Mahiao, Barangay Lim-ao, but added that he did not hear any responding volley of gunfire from any direction that could indicate an on-going battle between Army soldiers and New Peoples Army (NPA

 

-------------------------------------------

Leyte crossfire survivor: I did not hear exchange of gunfire - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for F..

newsinfo.inquirer.net

ORMOC CITY, PhilippinesThe killing of Energy Development Corporation biodiversity consultant Leonardo Co and two others in a forested area in Kananga, Leyte on Monday might have been a case of mistaken identity.

 

--------------------------------------------

 

No crossfire when botanist Leonard Co was shot, witness says - Nation - GMANews.TV - Official Websi

www.gmanews.tv

Leonard Co died with his boots on.

 

 

The killing of lthe Kananga 3: Scientist Leonard Co, peasant guide Julius Borromeo and Forest guard Sofronio Cortez. Posted: Dec. 27, 2010

   

 

 

“It was a legitimate military operation. But we are very, very remorseful over what happened.”

 

--- Lt. Col. Federico Tutaan, commanding officer of the 19th IB, said in a phone interview.

 

From:

Top botanist killed in crossfire
By Elvie Roa, Joey A. Gabieta
Inquirer Visayas
First Posted 03:36:00 11/17/2010

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20101117-303662/Top-botanist-killed-in-crossfire

 

 

 

 

◄    Why was the commanding officer very, very remorseful in an interview a day after the killing/

   
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