PHILIPPINES: Killing of Mangyan family in Mindoro by Army personnel 


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-37-2003
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest & detention,

Dear Friends

We are forwarding updated information from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) regarding the killing of the Blancos, a Mangyan family, by elements of the 16th Infantry Batallion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA). The Blanco family were part of the Hanunuo tribe, situated in Sitio Talayob, Nicolas, Magsaysay Occidental Mindoro.

Name of the Victims:

Roger Blanco
Olivia Blanco (and her 8-month unborn child)
Kevin John Blanco (3 years old)
Dexter Blanco (1 1/2 years old).

Date of Incident: 21 July 2003.

Place of Incident: Sitio Talayob, Nicolas, Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro.

The Blanco family was killed during what was claimed by the military to be an ‘encounter ‘ between the 16th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) Army and the New People’s Army. During the ‘encounter’, soldiers fired indiscriminately at the Blanco’s house, and Roger and Olivia Blanco, and their three children, were killed:

The TFDP maintain that in all cases where the military in the Philippines have committed human rights violations, they tend to fabricate issues in order to justify their abuses. This is why the military has kept insisting that there had, in fact, been an ‘encounter’ between the military and the New People’s Army. However, there is a witness to the fact that the military killed the Blanco family, and evidence gathered from the scene confirms this.

Indigenous peoples in the Philippines are repeatedly the victims of violations at the hands of the military, and the Mangyans are often accused of being members, sympathizers and supporters of the New People’s Army when, in reality, they are not.

The TFDP stresses that there was no encounter between the military and the New People’s Army, and that the attack on the Blanco family was unprovoked.

The only witness to the event was told to put his signature on a scrap of paper (the foil insert from a cigarette packet). The witness was not aware of what was subsequently added to the paper, and the piece of paper (which already had the witness’ signature on it) was produced the following day.


The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines and the Mangyan Mission of Occidental Mindoro, together with the Mangyan Communities, urge all organizations and agencies that are concerned about the killing of the Blancos to call on the government and perssurise them to ensure that justice be served and that the perpetrators be arrested and punished. Please ask that the authorities do the following:

1 Conduct a thorough investigation into the death of the Blancos perpetrated by elements of the 16th IB, PA, who were conducting operations in the area.

2 Sanction, or punish, the military officers and personnel who are found guilty of these abuses.

3 Offer some help to the bereaved families of the victims.

4 Stop militarization in the area, and in all Mangyan communities.

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



I urge you to fully investigate the murder on 12 July 2003 of the Blanco family. Soldiers belonging to the 16th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA), operating in Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro, allegedly opened fire on the Blanco’s house, killing all but one person. The military’s response was to say that they were involved in an ‘encounter’ with the New People’s Army. However, evidence from the scene, and from an eye witness, confirms that this was a deliberate act.

Please take immediate steps to find the military personnel responsible for this abuse, and punish them. Please also stop militarisation in the area, and in all Mangyan communities.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully


Send Letters to:

1 Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,
President of the Philippines – Malacanang Palace Cpd.,
New Executive Building,
San Miguel Manila
Tel #: 735 – 6201

2 Rep. Loreta Ann P. Rosales
Committee on Civil Political and Human Rights – Congress
Rm 511 South Wing, House of Representatives Constitutional
Hills, 1119 Q.C.
tel: 931-6288

3 Senator Francisco Pangilinan
Committee on Justice and Human Rights – Senate
Rm 526 GSIS Bldg. Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
tel #: 552-6748/ 552 – 6747

4 Hon. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commission on Human Rights
Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City

5 Sec. Angelo Reyes
Camp General Aguinaldo, Quezon City
Tel #: 911 – 9181/ 911 – 0488


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-37-2003
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention,