The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regrets to inform you of a further incident of harassment and assault by the military against three indigenous Higaonons in Misamis Oriental. The victims were beaten and doused with water and accused of being members and couriers of the rebel New People’s Army.
CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by Katungod Lumad Alert)
On 28 September 2015, three civilian Higaonons who had been out gathering wild plants used for various purposes heard gunfire coming from the direction of the mountainous parts of their ancestral domain Balahan in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
When the gunfire stopped, the three men came out of their hiding place. Elements of the 58th Infantry Battalion (IB) saw the three men and apprehended them. They were accused of being members of the rebel New People’s Army (NPA).
According to the victims, they were held at gunpoint, forced to lie down on the ground and blindfolded. They explained why they were at the forest, but the military insisted that they were members of the NPA. After sometime, they were forced to walk carrying the soldiers’ heavy bags, and were accused of being NPA couriers. Upon reaching the military truck they had difficulty boarding the truck because of the rope and bags. The soldiers then hauled them up by their hair.
They were brought to Camp Gabino, a military camp of the 58th IB in Claveria. Inside the camp, they were beaten and asked for names of NPA members. When they passed out from exhaustion, they would be doused with water to wake them up.
Before they were finally released, the military took photos of them. Their fingerprints were also taken and they were asked to sign a paper, the contents of which was unknown to them.
Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the cases.
The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and has informed the Special Rapporteur on Torture.
To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER
PHILIPPINES: Three Higaonon civilians tortured and accused of being rebels in Misamis Oriental
Name of the victims: Three unnamed civilian Higaonons
Alleged Perpetrators: Elements of 58th Infantry Batallion
Date of incident: 28 September 2015
Place of incident: Claveria, Misamis Oriental
I am writing to voice my serious concern regarding the torture of three civilian Higaonons in Misamis Oriental.
On 28 September 2015, three civilian Higaonons were apprehended by elements of the 58th Infantry Battalion. The three were out to gather wild plants in their ancestral domain.
The military accused the victims of being members of the rebel group New People’s Army. They forced the victims to lie down on the ground and blindfolded them. The victims were also forced to walk carrying the soldiers’ heavy bags, and accused of being NPA couriers. The soldiers hauled them up by their hair when they had difficulty in boarding the truck.
The three Higaonons were brought to Camp Gabino in Claveria. Inside the camp, they were beaten and asked for names of NPAs. When they passed out from exhaustion, they were doused with water to wake them up.
Before they were finally released, the military took photos of them. Their fingerprints were also taken and they were asked to sign a paper, the contents of which were unknown to them.
I urge you to properly investigate the allegation of torture and ensure that those involved are held responsible as soon as possible. It is also necessary to ensure that the perpetrators are penalize under the Anti-Torture Act of 2009.
I trust that you will take appropriate action in this case.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
3. Police Director Ricardo Marquez
Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame,
Fax +632 7248763
4. Ms. Leila de Lima
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
5. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
2/F N. dela Merced Bldg. corner West &
Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (firstname.lastname@example.org)