UPDATE (Philippines): Police continuously fail to protect wife and two daughters of murdered activist facing threat


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-139-2007
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killings, Legislation, Police negligence, Police violence, Victims assistance & protection,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you of the continuing failure by the police, particularly the Task Force Usig (TFU), to promptly afford necessary protection and assistance to the wife and two daughters of murdered activist Jose Manegdeg III. Although they did assure that they would reinvestigate to gather more evidence in prosecuting perpetrators after the murder complaint they earlier filed against a military captain was dismissed, they have not taken any action to protect and give assistance to the victim’s family.


As we reported in our previous appeal: UP-116-2007, we raised serious concern regarding the continuing threats to the wife of Jose Manegdeg III, Florence and daughters: Andrea and Geraldine, had to endure following his murder. They were force to move from one place to another after they noticed that they were under surveillance by suspicious persons.

The police did investigate Manegdeg’s murder and subsequently filed murder case against a military captain, Joel Castro. However, the complaint the police filed was dismissed by the prosecutor due to insufficiency of evidence. A witness also recanted his earlier statement supposedly identifying Castro as the one who murdered Manegdeg. After the case was dismissed, surveillance by unknown persons on Florence and her two children has reportedly persisted.

On September 4, the AHRC wrote a letter (AHRC-OL-029-2007) to the newly appointed head of the Task Force Usig (TFU), Jefferson Soriano, requesting him to afford the victim’s family protection; and that they should release the results of their investigation. The police efforts to actively involve the victim’s family in their investigation are negligible, and often they are not properly informed on the case progress. They too have so far not obtained a copy of the investigation by the task force.

In a letter dated September 13, Police Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Mendoza, deputy director for the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), wrote to the AHRC in response to earlier appeals saying: “[provincial police] is now in the process of conducting re-investigation of the killing of Jose Manegdeg III to unearth evidence that could possibly prosecute the suspect/s”.

In his letter, however, never did he mention what action they have taken to give protection to the victim’s family. Despite repeated appeals for protection, the family has not been contacted by them. In effect, no arrangement has so far been made to ensure their security. Florence has since been struggling to support her two children on her own in absence of any assistance. She had to raise her family and support her children on her own.

Please write letters to concerned authorities requesting them to ensure that necessary protection and assistance are afforded to Jose Manegdeg’s family. Adequate legal aid should also be afforded to them in assisting them in seeking legal remedies and for possible prosecution of Manegdeg’s case.

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Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Police continuously fail to protect wife and two daughters of murdered activist facing threat

Name of victims facing threats: Florence Manegdeg, wife of murdered activist Jose, and her two children

I am writing to draw your attention regarding the continued failure by the police to ensure necessary protection and assistance to the wife of murdered activist Jose Manegdeg III, Florence and their two children: Andrea and Geraldine. Manegdeg was murdered in 28 November 2005 in San Esteban, Ilocos Sur.

I have learned that the police, particularly the Task Force Usig (TFU), had been properly informed with the plight of Florence and her two children. As you are aware, this family has since been facing continuing threats following the murder of Jose. They had to take these matters upon themselves in absence of any intervention by the authorities.

What is extremely disappointing is that despite having been informed, the police never took any action on this. Although they have assured it would conduct reinvestigation into the murder of Jose for possible prosecution of the perpetrators, never did they mention it would take adequate action to protect and give assistance to his family. As you would agree, it is extremely important to ensure the lives and welfare of this family. The continued inaction by the police and other concerned authorities in this is completely unacceptable.

Furthermore, although the family have been informed by the police’ action to conduct reinvestigation into the case, they were not involved in this matter. They too have not obtained copies of the police investigation report of the case. They have not been contacted despite the sense of urgency their present situation requires. It is disappointing that while the police promised to address this case, as well as other cases of extrajudicial killings, it repeatedly fails to perform even its rudimentary duty: to protect the victim’s family.

The police too did not actively involve the victim’s family in the process of their investigation. They had to seek legal assistance on their own in absence of any assistance in pursuing for the possible prosecution of the case. As you are aware, this family has been struggling to survive with their daily lives while overcoming the pain and traumatic loss of their loved ones. I therefore urge you to instead use your authority to ease their suffering by ensuring that appropriate legal aid should also be afforded to them.

It is disappointing that despite appeals for protection and assistance to families in this urgent situation the police have repeatedly failed them. By failing to do so, the police have blatantly ignored appeals to provide this family adequate protection. The police’ continuing inaction contradicts to its obligations in protecting the lives of the citizens as stipulated in Section 24 (a) of Republic Act 6975.

I trust that you take adequate actions in this case.

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. Mrs. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Email: drpvq@yahoo.com

3. Deputy Director General Avelino Razon
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Fax: +63 2724 8763
Email: bluetree73@gmail.com

4. Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera
Officer in Charge
Department of Justice (DoJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
Fax: +63 2 521 1614

5. Mrs. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta
Chief of Public Attorney Office (PAO)
DOJ Agencies Building,
NIA Road East Avenue
1104 Quezon City
Tel. No. +63 2 929 9010 / 9436
Fax No. +63 2 927 6810 / 926 2878
Email: chiefruedaacosta@yahoo.com.ph

6. Mrs. Esperanza I. Cabral
Department of Social Welfare and Development
3/F DSWD Building, Batasang Pambansa Complex,
Constitution Hills
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 931 7916 / 931 8068
Fax: +63 2 931 8191
Email: eicabral@dswd.gov.ph

7. Mr. Philip Alston
Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
Room 3-016
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9155

8. Ms. Hina Jilani
Special Representative of the Secretary General for human rights defenders
Room 1-040
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 93 88

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)