PHILIPPINES: Police and soldiers violently assault student protestors while they were sleeping to disperse them


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-041-2013
ISSUES: Child rights, Freedom of assembly, Freedom of expression, Human rights defenders, Inhuman & degrading treatment,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is requesting your intervention to demand that an investigation be conducted into allegations of the violent dispersal of protesting students. The students, who were opposing the appointment of the new head of a State university due to allegation of corruption, were attacked by joint forces of the police and the military while they were sleeping in their makeshift tents.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on information received from Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP))

On February 13, 2013 at 2am around 50 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrived at the compound of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), in Kabacan, North Cotabato in Mindanao, for the sole purpose of ending the student protest. The protestors, organized by the University of Southern Mindanao – Multi-Stake Holders Movement for Truth and Justice (USM-MMTJ), had been on protest since January 14, 2013. The group members were composed mostly of students, relatives and alumni of the school.

When the police came, four students tried to negotiate with them and to urge them not to interfere and enter the school compound. They pointed out that the protest is against the reappointment of Dr. Jesus Antonio G. Derije as President of the University by the Board of Regents (BOR). They believed Dr. Derije made anomalous transactions and decisions inimical to the interest of the students of the USM. 

At 3am, around 100 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also arrived. According to Al Rashid Sencil, an alumna assisting the students in their protests, the AFP brought three armoured personnel carrier (Simba tanks) and four military trucks. The four students who were negotiating with the police went inside the university where their other co-protesters were sleeping. There were about 20 students and 30 other supporters inside the campus. They started texting and calling members of the local community to help them. 

At around 3:20am, the Simba tanks were used to force open the USM gate. Around twenty policemen came in with shields and truncheons. They shut off the electricity supply and surrounded the protesters. Taking advantage of the darkness, the PNP started assaulting the protesters with their truncheons. A police officer also fired his gun. 

At that moment the civilians from the nearby community came in to the student rescue. They fought it out and retaliated against the police and military. The students and other members had to withdraw towards the school building. This is when they noticed that the Simba trucks, 50 meters away from them, had run over their barricade and makeshift tents destroying their property. The AFP also aimed the barrels of their tanks at them. 

At 5am, as they were leaving the university campus police and the military made arrests. They were Sahid Mamalundas (53), Norhan Mamalundas (21), Tata Mama (42) and a minor, Muhamad Mama (17). Muhamad was released immediately after learning that he was a minor while other were released only after posting bail. The six persons injured during the dispersal were: Al Rashid, Garry Magunto, Badrudin Datuali, Mincucum Sencil, Patik Mohamad and Omar Mohamad. 


On January 14, 2013 about 2,000 USM students, faculty, staff, officials, parents, and other concerned organizations and individuals rallied against the reappointment of USM President Jesus Antonio Derije. 

The complaint against Derije allegedly stems from the findings of Ombudsman Mindanao Civil Case No. CPL-COA-09-0026 recommending that criminal and administrative charges against Derije be filed for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, violation of Section 52 of RA 9184 or the Act Providing for the Modernization, Standardization and Regulation of the Procurement Activities of the Government and for other purposes, Malversation of Public Funds, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and other charges. 

The case was brought about by Derije’s purchase of an x-ray machine allegedly from the highest bidder rather than the lowest though both bidders offered same specification. 

Please write letters to the concerned authorities below requesting them to have the protestors complaints investigated.

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Dear _________,

PHILIPPINES: Police and soldiers violently assault student protestors while they were sleeping to disperse them

Name of persons arrested and detained:
1. Sahid Mamalundas (53)
2. Norhan Mamalundas (21)
3. Tata Mama (42)
4. Muhamad Mama (17)
Names of wounded persons:
1. Al Rashid
2. Garry Magunto
3. Badrudin Datuali
4. Mincucum Sencil
5. Patik Mohamad 
6. Omar Mohamad
Date and place of incident: On February 13, 2013 at 2am to 6am inside the compound of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), in Kabacan, North Cotabato.
Alleged perpetrators:
Policemen attached to the Kabacan Municipal Police Station (KMPS) of the Philippine National Police and the soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)

I am writing to draw your attention to the violent dispersal of protestors, including students, relatives of students and the members of the alumni of the University of Southern (USM), inside their campus in Kabacan, North Cotabato on February 13, 2013.

I have learned that while the protestors were sleeping inside their makeshift tents, over 50 members of the Philippine National Police and about a 100 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) arrived in armoured personnel tanks with (Simba Tanks) to disperse the students and 30 of their supporters at 2am to 6am. I have also learned that the combined element of the government forces used excessive means in the conduct of the dispersal that elicited violence between the protesters and the government forces and that during the course of the dispersal, five protesters were hurt.

After the incident, when the police and the military were on their way out, they arrest and detained four persons, whose names are mentioned above. While one of the persons was released for being minor, the rest were released only after posting bail. I have also learned that six protestors have been injured during the incident.

I am deeply concerned by the manner in which the police, notably with the involvement of the military have dealt this case. To attack the protestors while they were sleeping is devoid of any rules of engagement in dealing with a protest. The use of the military forces, the bringing in of armoured carries and military trucks inside the campus of an educational institution is obviously a disproportionate response.

For this reason, I urged you to have the allegations of the protestors investigated. Their complaints on the manner how the police and the military had dealt with them in dispersing them from their protest should be looked into adequately. The interference and the involvement of the military in the legitimate action of these students and those who support them is a matter of serious concern.

Respectfully yours,


1. Mr. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street , San Miguel
Manila 1005
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: /

2. Police Director Alan LM. Purisima
Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763

3. Lt. General Emmanuel Bautista
Chief of Staff
Armed Forces of the Philippines
AFP-GHQ office, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 9116436

4. Ms. Patricia B. Licuanan
Office of the Chairman and the Commissioners (OCC)
Commission on Higher Education
HEDC Building, CP Garcia Avenue
U.P. Diliman, Quezon City
Fax No: +63 2 441 1177
Tel No: +63 2 441 1256

5. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales 
Commission on Human Rights 
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue 
U.P. Complex, Diliman 
Quezon City 
Fax: +63 2 929 0102 
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (