PHILIPPINES: Civilians were physical assaulted and attacked by the army

Dear Friends,

The following is a forwarded appeal from Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) regarding cases of physical assault and fire shoot to civilians by the army.

According to TFDP, the series of human rights violations, like arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and summary execution, has been committed by the government forces that are engaged in counter-insurgency operations. Therefore, TFDP requests you to express your concern about continuous human rights violations by the army and to urge the Philippine authorities to take measures to stop it.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission



1. CASE: Physical assault, Indiscriminate firing of firearm


– Rolly Durano (34), male, married, driver and a resident of Dunguan, Danao City, Philippines

– Melchor Casia (74) and her wife, Rosela Casia (73), both are residents of Brgy. Suba, Danao city, Philippines

3. PLACE OF INCIDENT: Brgy. Binaliw and Brgy. Suba, Danao, Philippines

4. DATE OF INCIDENT: November 26 and 27, 2002

5. PERPETRATORS: Pvt. Roger Rojo and unidentified members of the 78th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army. The said group is under the command of Lt. Col. Jonas Sumagaysay


The 78th Infantry Battalion (IB), Philippine Army is deployed in the northern towns of Cebu Province to check activities of the New People’s Army (NPA). Unfortunately, a few weeks after the battalion was deployed to the towns of Sogod, Tabuelan and Danao city, the residents have complained about the series of human rights violations that are committed by the soldiers, especially when they are drunk.

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines-Central Visayas Region has documented six cases of arbitrary arrest and detention with reports of torture, one case of summary execution, one evacuation case which affected 100 families, two cases of physical assault and one case of harassment involving 30 individuals, all of these cases are perpetrated by the members of the 78th IB from August to November 2002.


The latest victim of the 78th IB’s abuses is Rolly Durano, a truck driver of Kimwa Construction. The victim was driving a mobile mixer last Nov. 26, 2002

and while he was negotiating an uphill portion in Brgy. Cambanay, he accidentally hit the vehicle of the soldiers who was traveling in the opposite direction.

Upon seeing that the soldiers are fully armed, Durano reportedly did not stop and proceed to Brgy. Binaliw. The soldiers allegedly chased the victim and when they caught Durano, a belt was tied in his neck, dragged like an animal and kicked in the different parts of his body. The soldiers also warned the owner of the house, where the victim sought refuge, not to tell anyone about the incident. The soldiers allegedly blocked the vehicles from entering the area while they were searching for Durano.

On the following day, a certain Pvt. Roger Rojo indiscriminately fired his pistol that hit an elderly couple in Brgy. Suba, Danao city. Pvt. Rojo and three unidentified companions reportedly wanted to rent a room at the Bayanihan pension house. The said men are drunk and wanted to rest. Rojo allegedly got into an argument with the owner of the pension house, the said soldier reportedly pulled his 45 caliber pistol and it suddenly fired hitting Melchor Casia (74) on the left leg and his wife Rosela (73) on the left heel.

Rojo was arrested by the members of the Philippine National Police but was released immediately because the affected couple refused to file a case against the soldier. An officer from the 78th IB offered to shoulder the medical expenses (1,000.00 Philippine Peso/19 USD) of the victims.


Please send letters by fax or e-mail in order to;

– Express grave concerns about the plight of Rolly Durano, Melchor Casia and Rosela Casia, and ask justice and indemnification to the affected individuals.

– Urge the authorities to conduct an immediate investigation on the atrocities perpetrated by the 78th IB PA in the northern towns of Cebu Province.

– Ask the government to immediately pullout the said battalion in the affected area and have the said men undergo a psychological evaluation.

– Ask the Commission on Human Rights to conduct seminars on human rights to government forces that are involved in counter-insurgency operations


1. Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President, Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Bldg.
Malacang Palace Compound
J. P. Laurel St.
San Miguel, Manila,
Fax: +63 2 929 3968

2. Secretary Angelo Reyes
Department of National Defense
Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City,

3. Atty. Alejandro Alonso
Regional Director
Commission on Human Rights Region VII
Rosal corner Llorente St.
Capitol Site, Cebu City,
Fax: +63 32 254 6921

Prepared by:
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Central/Eastern Visayas Region
2nd Floor Booc-Virtudazo Bldg.
F. Martir St., Lapu-lapu City

Nov. 29, 2002

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-14-2002
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention,