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Home Community RP Government Updates Philippine Consulate Reports Progress in Investigating Killings of Activists and Journalists
Philippine Consulate Reports Progress in Investigating Killings of Activists and Journalists PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - RP Government Updates
Thursday, 29 May 2008 01:04

The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles sent in a clipping about the “sustained efforts by a Philippine National Police task force investigating unexplained killings of political activists and journalists has so far led to the arrest of 27 suspects out of 141 verified incidents, according to this PNP probe panel.”


This website has featured such killings of activists and journalists in the homeland. Our columnist, Ms. Amina Rasul, has written this article, which can be accessed at this link:

People-power Demonstrations (in Metro Manila) Do Not Address Human-rights Violations in Rural Areas

 

One of our contributors, Mon Ramirez, posted his comments about Ms. Rasul’s column. Mr. Ramirez’s remarks are posted in the Users Comments at the end of Ms. Rasul’s opinion piece.

 

Here is the news release as sent by the Philippine Consulate General:

 

Task Force USIG nabs 27 suspects in extra judicial killings

Philippine News Agency

May 25, 2008

MANILA  -- Sustained efforts by a Philippine National Police task force investigating unexplained killings of political activists and journalists has so far led to the arrest of 27 suspects out of 141 verified incidents, according to this PNP probe panel.

 

Task Force Usig reported over the weekend that of these 141 verified incidents of political and mediamen slayings, 29 were found to have been perpetrated by cadres of the Communist Party of the Philippines New People's Army (CPP-NPA), 15 involved military and paramilitary men, and three were police personnel.

This task force report to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) showed that as of the end-April, a warrant of arrest has already been issued by the trial court in Western Samar against the alleged killers of Norberto Cabigayan, who was identified as a CPP-NPA supporter and revolutionary tax collector.

 

A warrant of arrest has been issued by Presiding Judge Yolanda Dagandan last March 28 against Romeo Paday for the killing of Cabigayan.

 

In the case of Norman Bocar, a lawyer and Bayan Muna regional coordinator for Eastern Samar, a case for murder was already filed before the Regional Trial Court in Borongan City against suspects Elejandro Aragon Jr. and one still unidentified person for his killing.

 

DILG Assistant Secretary for the Interior Danilo Valero said that the Task Force Usig report bared that a total of 28 incidents of killings of political activists involved members of the CPP/NPA while 13 involved military and paramilitary elements as suspects — five of these cases involved civilians with alleged links to the military and one is still under investigation.

 

Of the 23 cases filed involving media-related killings, one was perpetrated by the CPP/NPA and two involved two military elements (one arrested and one surrendered) with two civilians (one arrested and one surrendered) as suspects. Three of these incidents involved three police personnel (all detained) with one civilian who voluntarily surrendered; two cases involved two government officials who voluntarily surrendered with one civilian (one arrested); and 15 cases involved only civilians as suspects, wherein 10 were arrested and six surrendered, he added.

 

Task Force Usig reported that while the militant group Karapatan had a running total of 836 slain activists and media persons as of May 2007, only 121 were included in the PNP list, 46 are still undergoing verification, while 669 were excluded.

Of the 669 cases excluded, 47 were false reports; 34 pertained to non-existent persons as certified by barangays and local civil registrars; six were alleged victims who turned out to be alive; 97 were cases of legitimate armed encounters; 23 were Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the foiled Bicutan jailbreak; 15 involved agrarian disputes; 20 involved personal motives; four were suicides; nine involved labor disputes; and one was a victim of an insane relative. Valero said the remaining 411 excluded cases involved 309 incidents of victims with no known affiliations; 23 civilians killed by the CPP-NPA; nine killed by the MILF Lost Command, two by vigilante groups and other cases involved private motives connected with illegal drugs, gambling, squatting, illegal logging, mistaken identity, robbery with homicide, rape with homicide, tribal war and business rivalry.

 

According to Task Force Usig commander Police Director Jefferson Soriano, who also heads the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (DIDM), these excluded cases "were properly investigated by the local police.

 

These were excluded from the Task Force Usig list as they did not fall within the context of "extrajudicial killing" based on its special political context and definition," Soriano added.

 

Soriano further said in his report that the task force has so far verified 141 incidents of unexplained killings, of which 113 involved murders of political activists and 28 work-related killings of journalists. He said 86 of these cases have already been filed, of which 46 are now on trial and two resulted in convictions. Soriano noted that 63 of these cases filed involved murdered political activists, while 23 involved slain journalists. (PNA)

 

Sent by: Philippine Consulate General
3600 Wilshire Blvd, Ste. 500
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel. 213.639.0980/fax 213.639.0990

 



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Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2008 01:08
 

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