FORWARDED APPEAL (Philippines): Displaced villagers in desperate condition in Quezon province, Luzon 

Dear friend,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you an appeal from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines – Luzon (TFDP) regarding the massive displacement of villagers in Quezon province, Luzon. The villagers were forced to leave their village for fear of being caught in a fight between government forces and the rebels.

It was reported that on 20 November 2005, about 200 families from the community of Tiaong, Quezon were forced to evacuate on foot for safety towards the nearby towns of Dolores and Candelaria, Quezon province. The villagers were reportedly forced to evacuate as military forces allegedly threatened to open fire on anybody who remained in the area.

The TFDP also reported days after the incident that the lives of the local residents had been considerably disturbed. The children were unable to attend school because they had to stay in the evacuation centers. To date, the evacuees remain in evacuation centers trying to recover from the trauma they suffered from the incident.

In recent days, fighting between government and rebel forces has increased. The AHRC has reported on the alleged brutal massacre and wounding of peasants by the military forces in Palo, Leyte, Visayas (please see further: UA-216-2005UP-141-2005).

The evacuation in Quezon province is yet another incident of massive displacement in the Philippines. It has been observed that the Philippine government, in particular the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in most cases has failed to respond to these emergencies properly (please see our previous appeal: FA-11-2005HA-19-2005HU-06-2005).

Your immediate action is required on this matter. If you have further questions, please contact the TFDP-Luzon.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission


Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Southern Luzon Region
29 S. Osmeña St., Brgy. Uno, Lucena City, Philippines

Local communities flee their homes as military counter-insurgency operations in
Tiaong, Quezon intensify

Case summary

About two hundred families from four barangays in Tiaong, Quezon, were driven out from their homes as government troops intensified its military operations in the areas. They have evacuated for fear of being caught in the continuing military operations in the villages of Brgy. Anastacia, Brgy. Cabatang, Brgy. Lusacan and Brgy. Talisay in Tiaong, Quezon. Residents from four barangays came down from their villages and traveled on foot to reach the municipal hall of Tiaong, Quezon that had become one of the evacuation centers for fleeing residents. Other evacuation centers are the parish church of Brgy. Anastacia and Brgy. Lusacan.

Reports said that on November 20, at around 4:00AM, there was an encounter between about one hundred alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and contingent of soldiers from Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) based at Camp General Nakar in Lucena City, with some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Tiaong. The encounter occurred in Barangay Lalig along Maharlika Highway in Tiaong.

According to Ka Tando Nacario, a local leader in the said area, on Nov. 20, police spotted a cargo truck parked along Maharlika highway at Barangay Lalig at around 4:00AM. The said truck reportedly had a mechanical trouble. When police mobile patrol team arrived and disembarked from their vehicle that was the time exchange of gunfire started. Police claimed that the alleged NPA rebels aboard the said truck opened fire killing PO3 Clarito Ilao, one of the six-man mobile patrol team. After the said encounter, Army soldiers and PNP-Tiaong were hot on the trail of alleged NPA rebels who retreated  to the neighboring villages of Brgy. Lalig.

For three days since the start of the military pursuit operations in Brgy. Anastacia, Brgy. Cabatang, Brgy. Lusacan and Brgy. Talisay has already reached the nearby towns of Dolores and Candelaria. More than 200 families, according to residents, were made to evacuate and leave their homes because of fear around the surrounding areas and the military operations which was followed by deployment of military helicopters in the said barangays. Some residents said that they were made to leave their homes because Army soldiers warned them that they would not hesitate to open fire on those who would still be seen around in the said areas.

For three days, the lives of local residents have not been normal the way they do since they left their houses and fields including farm animals. More than that, the schooling of children had been badly affected as they have to stay in the evacuation centers for their safety. Until now, the affected residents are still in the evacuation centers recovering from the trauma that was caused upon them by the incident.

On November 20, reports said that Army soldiers found two dead bodies in Brgy. Anastacia which the soldiers presumed belonging from the group of NPA rebels that ambushed the police along Maharlika Highway in Brgy. Lalig since no one from the local residents could identify the two dead bodies.

Action requested

Please write letters to express your concern about the on-going military counter-insurgency operations in Tiaong, Quezon and nearby Quezon towns of Dolores and Candelaria. In your letters, please draw attention to the plight and condition of residents who are in different evacuation centers. Please send letters in English or in your own language:

– asking the Office of the Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, and the Office of the
Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) to urge President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the cessation of hostilities in Quezon towns of Tiaong, Dolores and Candelaria as part of the government’s confidence-building measures for the peace talks;

– expressing concern on the continuing military operations in the areas which resulted to displacement of more than 200 families and civilians in violations of their human rights and urging the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct investigation on the incident;

– urging the Office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide immediate relief assistance and rehabilitation to the victims of the said armed conflict;

– expressing attention that victims of internal armed conflict in particular civilians must be treated in accordance with international human rights standards.

Send letters to:

1.  Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila
Telephone: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742 1641 / 929 3968
Email: /

2. Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita
Office of the Executive Secretary
2nd Floor Mabini Hall, Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1105
Premiere Guest House
Telephone: (+632) 736 1076; 736 5359

3. Secretary Rene V. Sarmiento
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the President
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue, Pasig City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 636 0701 to 0766
Fax: (+632) 638 2216

4. Secretary Lualhati Pablo
Department of Social Welfare and Development
DSWD Bldg., Constitution Hills, Batasan Complex,
Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone: (+632) 931 8101 to 931 8107

5. Secretary Avelino J. Cruz, Jr.
Department of National Defense
Camp General Emilio F. Aguinaldo
E. delos Santos Avenue
Quezon City, Philippines 1110
Voice: (+632) 912 9281
Fax: (+632) 911 6213

Send copies to:

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman,
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102

and to diplomatic representatives of the Philippines accredited to your country.


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-34-2005
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Refugees, IDPs & Asylum seekers,