3 persons killed, 1 wounded, 1 missing in three days

3 persons killed, 1 wounded, 1 missing in three days

Human rights group express outrage over increasing disappearances and extrajudicial killings

Human rights group express outrage over increasing disappearances and extrajudicial killings

The KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights expressed outrage on the increasing incident of political killings and disappearances.

Ruth Cervantes, KARAPATAN Public Information Officer said “we are outraged that disappearances and extrajudicial killings committed by state agents exacerbate and is continuously tolerated by the Arroyo government.”

In a matter of three days, three persons were reported killed, one was wounded and another one went missing.

Bayan Muna Cagayan Valley Secretary General Elena “Baby” Mendiola and husband Ricardo Balauag, Bayan Muna Municipal Coordinator in Echague, Isabela were riddled with bullets on May 10, 2006.

Rev. Jemias Tinambacan of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Misamis Occidental was shot dead while his wife Rev. Marilou Tinambacan was wounded on May 9 at around 5:30PM

Philip Limjoco, whose name appear 23 rd on the PNP’s list of persons to be filed with rebellion charges, was reported missing. Philip’s son Glenn contacted KARAPATAN for help as his father failed to meet him on the day he was to accompany him to the doctor on May 8. The Limjoco family suspects the military could be behind his disappearance because they have filed a harassment case against the ISAFP last year. Glenn made an appeal to the AFP to “surface him and give him due process.”

KARAPATAN condemned the abduction because it puts any person outside the protection of law, and is a risk of torture, enforced disappearance and even death.

Cervantes said, “The state is a party to human rights instruments and international conventions and as such, it has made a commitment not to sanction the practice of enforced disappearance and extra-judicial killings or tolerate such atrocities against its citizens.”

In the first quarter of 2006, KARAPATAN has recorded 53 victims of extra-judicial killings and 16 victims of enforced disappearance . Twelve (12) persons more were killed in the period of April 3 to May 11, bringing the total number of victims to 65. More than 500 civilians have been killed and 149 missing under the Arroyo regime.

“Why can’t she issue a strong statement against these killings and disappearances? Why can’t she say that her government will do everything in its power to stop the persecution and execution of dissenters? She owes the public an explanation on why she can’t make these things stop!” Cervantes said.

She added that “to the mind of survivors, families of victims and human rights organizations, this is a systematic effort to annihilate people who hold different opinion on the country’s situation and how it could be changed. Under the Arroyo government, you will either be slapped with rebellion charges, or get abducted or killed.”

That is why, the human rights watchdog believes that Mrs. Arroyo should be removed from office for having acquiescence on these human rights violations. Cervantes said “government institutions have not only failed to arrest the practice of extra-judicial killings, government has a clear policy to implement, not the rule of law, but that of martial law where civilians are at the mercy of armed elements of the state. We do not have to live with that, we must get out of Arroyo’s reign of terror.”