PHILIPPINES: Two young boys shot dead by army soldiers

Dear friends

The Asian Human Rights Commission is forwarding information from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) on killings of two teenage boys by army soldiers. Even though there was no crossfire between them and the alleged Waray-Waray Gang members (wanted criminals), the army soldiers distorted the incident, claming that the two boys were shot dead during an encounter with the gang members.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact TFDP.

Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)



3 November 2003

Two young boys shot dead by army soldiers

The names of the victims: Mitchie Boy Vega Corong (16 years old), Nestor Vega Corong, Jr.(13 years old), and Nestor Corong, Sr., a witness as well as the victims’ father (42 years old)

Perpetrators: Elements of PA/CAA 803rd Infantry led by Major Dominggo B. Gobway in Catarman, Samar

Date of incident: October 19, 2003

Place of incident: Sitio Doqa Aniceta, Barangay San Roque, Catarman Samar

DETAILED INFORMATION (based on the statement from the victims’ father): 

According to a witness as well as the victims’ father Mr. Nestor Corong, Sr., his two sons were shot dead by the element led by Major Dominggo B. Gobway on 19 October 2003.

At about 3:00am on 19 October, a fisherman Nestor Corong Sr., and his two sons Mitchie Boy Vega Corong (16 years old) and Nestor Vega Corong Jr.(13 years old) were on their way back home after finishing fishing in Sitio Doqa Aniceta, Barangay San Roque, Catarman Samar. Few steps away from the shoreline, they heard some noise from the grassy portion nearby on their right. They thought it might be a snake and continued to walk. When they went a few meters more and traversed the road, gunshots were fired directly at them. Nestor Corong Sr. ran after his two sons to shield them while shouting to cease firing. Nestor Vega Corong Jr. was shot first, followed by Mitchie Boy Vega Corong. Nestor Jr. cried out, “Adoy Tatay! (Father, it hurts!)” Instantly, the two boys died. Nestor Sr., who was not hit, continued shouting for help.

Then, an armed man, who was recognized later as Major Domingo Gobway, came to him and asked, “Who are you?” Nestor Sr. responded that they were fishermen heading home and asked him why they fired at him and his two sons. There was no answer from him. Nestor Sr. also found out that Major Domingo Gobway was drunk.

About one to two hours after the strafing incident, two police officers from the Barangay Police Station accompanied by a Barangay Councilor came to the place of incident. When they arrived, three more armed men, who later introduced themselves as members of Major Domingo Gobway’s element, came out from the dark. However, they were not wearing military uniforms. They claimed that the two boys were hit during an encounter with members of the Waray-Waray Gang (wanted criminals). However, Nestor Sr. testified that there was no encounter.

A spot report of the local police, which was signed by the Police Senior Inspector Antonio Villareal Artuz, defined the case as a killing incident by crossfire and/or misfires by mistake (sic) between the army soldiers and alleged Waray-Waray Gang members. In fact, these elements were ordered to conduct operation in Metro Manila, but they were harboring in Sitio Doqa Aniceta, Barangay San Roque, Catarman Samar. In an interview with Senior Inspector Artuz, he said that the military elements were out of their jurisdiction. The elements also didn’t inform the local police about a hot-pursuit operation against some suspected criminals.

Nearby residents said that they saw two vans, which were full of armed men, parked in the corner of the road where the incident happened. They also testified that the vans left immediately after the incident and returned several minutes later with only few armed men.


Send a letter, fax or e-mail to the addresses below and urge the Philippine government to:

1. Ask the local authorities to conduct an immediate investigation of this serious case.

2. Ask the responsible local authorities to provide compensation to the victims’ family.

3. Urge the local authorities to bring the perpetrators before the court and punish them.

4. Ask the Philippine government to develop guidelines to fully ensure the safety of civilians during any military operations.

Send a letter to:

1. Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President, Republic of the Philippines

New Executive Bldg.

Malacaqang Palace Compound

J. P. Laurel St.

San Miguel, Manila,


Tel: +63 917 8398462 / (Cell Phone) +63 919 8984622

Fax: +63 2 929 3968

E-mail: or

2. Mr. Purificacion Quisumbing


Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Ave.

U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City


Fax: +63 2 929 0101 or 929 0102 /928 0848

3. General Angelo T. Reyes

Secretary of National Defense

Department of National Defense
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City


Tel: +63 2 911 0488

Fax: +63 2 911 6419 / 911 6213

4. General Narciso L Abaya

Chief of Staff

Armed Forces of the Philippines

Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City

Tel: +63 2 911 6436 / 911 6045

Fax: +63 2 911 7783 / 911 7953

5. Mr. Simeon A. Datumanong

Secretary of Justice

Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila


Tel: +63 2 523 84 81 to 98

6. Ms. Asma Jahangir

Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions

1211 Geneva 10
Tel: + 92 42 5763 234 
Fax: + 41 22 917 9006 / 92 42 5763 236 
Email: /

7. Stella Vasquez

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

Central/Eastern Visayas Region

3rd floor Booc-Virtudazo Bldg.

F. Martir St., Lapu-lapu City


Tel: +032 341 4207



Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-41-2003
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Extrajudicial killings, Judicial system, Rule of law,