PHILIPPINES: Two political activists and a farmer killed in separate incidents


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-250-2008
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killings,

Dear friends, 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you of the killing of three persons, including two political activists, in separate incidents recently. The AHRC is gravely concerned by these renewed, if not continuing targeted attacks, which exposed the realities that unless the perpetrators of the killings there are prosecuted, activists have had to face the risk of being murdered for doing their work. 

CASE DETAILS(According to information from the Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples’ Rights (KARAPATAN) and other sources) 

On November 10 at 6pm, Rolando Antolihao was in his house in Kapalong, Davao del Norte when an unidentified person, who claimed to be his neighbour, come knocking on their door. Before Rolando allowed the person in, he heard him from inside to have introduced himself by a name known to him. 

However, soon after Rolando opened the door, the person shot him dead with a .45 caliber pistol. He suffered several gunshot wounds to his body. His wife, Elvira, claimed that her husband was a rebel returnee; and was also the head of the village watchman at the time of his death. 

Rolando was a village coordinator for a political party, Bayan Muna (People First). Bayan Muna is the same political party whose members and leaders have been targeted for extrajudicial killings in recent years. 

Also, four days before Rolando’s murder, another leader in a nearby province, Danilo Qualbar, had also been murdered. Forty-eight-year-old Danilo was on his way home at around 5:30pm in Compostela, Compostela Valley when he was shot dead by unidentified armed men. The gunmen, onboard a red XRM motorcycle, shot him in Crossing Osmeña in Baranggay (village) Osmeña, about four kilometres from the poblacion where he had come from. 

It is reported that an eyewitness had informed residents there that before Danilo was shot dead he was seen being stopped by armed men. They also saw them talking to him before shooting him dead. He suffered four gunshot wounds. 

Earlier that day, Danilo told his wife Aurelia that he would go to the poblacion (town) to purchase goods for their household. Their house in Sitio Nursery is about 30 minutes away from poblacion and about 300 meters away from where the detachment of the 72nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, is stationed, which raised allegations that the security forces could have been involved. 

Danilo was Bayan Muna’s cluster coordinator and also the Public Information Officer of the Compostela Valley Farmers Association at the time of his death. 

In another incident, a farmer had also been murdered in front of his son in Sitio Pasalilo, Barangay Mabini, Mulanay, Quezon. 

On 13 October 2008 at 6am, Alejo De Luna was together with his eight-year-old son Mark Angelo, tending their farm located close to their house. Alejo’s wife, Angeline, had gone out of the house after preparing coffee where she saw nine fully uniformed and armed soldiers surrounding her husband and son. 

It is alleged that the soldiers were attached to the Bravo Coy of the 74th Infantry Battalion (IB), Philippine Army. 

At the time, Angeline she saw for herself that one of the soldiers was pointing his gun at her husband and had him overheard to have said: “Wag kang tatakbo!” (“Dont run!”). The soldiers allegedly shot Alejo and his son when the latter ran because of fear. His father was supposed to catch up on him but the soldiers shot him instead. Mark Angelo survived from the incident. 

After the shooting, the soldiers entered into the De Lunas house. They allegedly ransacked the place and conducted searches into the family’s belongings. They, too, threatened Angeline that they would bring her to the army camp but they did not. The soldiers left from the place at 11am of the same day. 

Only after the soldiers left was Angeline able to seek help from a village council member, Tess Badillos. Later she learned that her husband, Alejo, had died from two gunshot wounds. 

Please write letters to the concerned authorities requesting them to ensure that these cases are thoroughly investigated. 

The AHRC has also written letters to the Special Rapporteurs on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions calling for intervention in this case.

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


Dear ____________, 

PHILIPPINES: Two political activists and a farmer killed in separate incidents 

Name of victim: Rolando Antolihao, village coordinator for a political party, Bayan Muna (People First). 
Alleged perpetrators: Unidentified armed man 
Place of incident: At his house in Purok (sub-section of a village) 7, Barangay Gabuyan, Municipality of Kapalong, Davao del Norte 
Date of incident: 10 November 2008 at 6pm 

Name of victim: Danilo Qualbar, a resident of Sitio (subsection of a village) Nursery, Barangay (village) Ngan, Municipality of Compostela, Compostela Valley. He was the cluster coordinator of Bayan Muna; Public Information Officer of the Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), an affiliate of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP)) 
Alleged Perpetrators: Two unidentified men aboard a red XRM motorcycle armed with .45 calibre pistol 
Place of incident: Crossing Osmeña, Barangay Osmeña, Municipality of Compostela, Compostela Valley 
Date of incident: 6 November 2008 at 5:30pm 

Name of victim: Alejo De Luna, 30 years old, a farmer from Sitio Pasalilo, Barangay Mabini, Municipality of Mulanay, Quezon 
Alleged Perpetrators: Nine soldiers attached to the Bravo Company, under the command of Lt. Marcus Bibat of the 74th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army 
Place of incident: Sitio Pasalilo, Barangay Mabini, Mulanay 
Date of incident: 13 October 2008 at 6am 

I am shocked to hear that another three persons, two of whom are political activists of a political party, have been murdered in separate incidents. 

While it is true that the number of killings have dropped in recent times; however, these renewed attacks against political activists reveals that unless those responsible in previous cases of extrajudicial are held to account, they continue to face the risk of being murdered. 

In fact, the manner of attack on Rolando Antolihao of Kapalong, Davao del Norte and Danilo Qualbar of Compostela, Compostela Valley, are no different to cases of extrajudicial killings that have already taken place in the past–most of which continue to be remain unsolved. Rolando and Danilo were shot dead inside their house and in public places respectively. 

Although the motive regarding Rolando and Danilo’s murder are yet to be known for the time being; however, given the similarity of cases that happen and the profile of persons targeted for these killings in the past, I am extremely concerned that this phenomenon of targeted killing of political and human rights activists is happening once again. I therefore urge you to pour in all means possible to address this issue. 

Those alleged to have been responsible, whether they are members of the security forces or not, should be held to account. In doing so, the witnesses and the relatives of Rolando and Danilo should be afforded adequate protection and assistance, as we have been repeatedly requesting in the past for cases of this nature. 

On the other hand, regarding Alejo De Luna’s case, where soldiers allegedly murdered him in front of his son, it is disappointing that for over two months after the said incident happened, no result of any investigation, if there is any, are known so far. 

Thus, whether or not the soldiers accused of having been involved in his death and the attempt on his son’s life, have been subjected to an impartial and effective investigation have also remained unknown so far. 

Once again, I urge you to ensure that these cases are thoroughly and effectively investigated by identifying the perpetrators and holding them to account. While the government’s action on addressing these extrajudicial killings in recent times are welcoming; however, the lack of prosecution and inability to prosecute the large numbers of these killings also expose the level of risk activists have had to endure. 

Yours sincerely, 


1. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 
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 

2. Ms. Leila De Lima 
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 
E-mail: or 

3. Deputy Director General Jesus A. Verzosa 
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP) 
Camp General Rafael Crame 
Quezon City 
Fax: +63 2724 8763 
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763 

4. Mr. Raul Gonzalez 
Department of Justice (DoJ) 
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura 
1004 Manila 
Fax: +63 2 521 1614 

5. Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano 
Chief of Staff 
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 
AFP-GHQ Offices, Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo 
Quezon City 
Fax: +63 2 911 6436 
Tel: +63 2 911 6001 to 50 

6. Mr. Emilio Gonzalez 
Deputy Ombudsman 
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military 
and Other Law Enforcement Offices 
3rd Floor, Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road, Diliman 
1104 Quezon City 
Fax: +63 2 926 8747 
Tel: +63 2 926 9032 

Thank you. 

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : AHRC-UAC-250-2008
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
Issues : Extrajudicial killings,