Rampaging state terrorism in the first quarter of the year
This report was culled from Ang Bayan’s reportage of human rights violations perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and other armed agents of the US-Duterte regime across the country in the first quarter of year 2019.
Based on the initial tally of Ang Bayan, there have been at least 772 victims (or nine per day) of various types of human rights violations from January 1 to March 31. This figure excludes the tens of thousands of individuals who evacuated due to sustained military operations and campaigns in their respective communities across the country.
On average, a victim was killed every three days while three others were illegally arrested. In addition to this, at least seven were subjected to threats, harassment and intimidation per day.
The intense first quarter offensive against the people is a direct result of the extensive implementation of the National Internal Security Program (NISP) and Oplan Kapayapaan by the regime.
Killings, frustrated killings and torture. In the past three months, there have been at least 32 civilian victims of political killings across the country. Nine (28%) were killed in Luzon, 16 (50%) in Visayas and seven (38%) in Mindanao. Meanwhile, Ang Bayan also recorded five cases each of frustrated killings and torture.
Although the total number of victims of killings this first quarter of 2019 is equivalent to a fourth of the total number of victims (106) in 2018, it is important to note that the number of victims in the Negros Island was high. As in the previous year, the region recorded the highest number of victims of killings. In Negros Oriental alone, 15 peasants were killed under SEMPO (Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations) or Oplan Sauron, the regime’s suppression campaign in the island.
Illegal arrests and arbitrary detention. There have been at least 65 victims of illegal arrests and illegal detention in the past three months. Twenty two (34%) were arrested in Luzon, 18 (28%) in Visayas and 25 (38%) in Mindanao.
The highest number of cases of illegal arrests were recorded in the Northern Mindanao Region or NMR (14 victims), Negros Island (11) and Davao Region (8). Among the starkest cases was the illegal arrest of two children, a minor and four members of the Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association by elements of the 65th IB and PNP-CIDG on January 13.
Bombing, strafing and militarization. At least six incidents of indiscriminate bombings and strafing were reported by Ang Bayan in the same period. On top of this, 42 incidents of military occupation and attacks on communities were also reported across the country—one of which was perpetrated in Luzon, 23 (55%) in Visayas and 18 (43%) in Mindanao.
The highest number of militarization incidents reported were in Negros (13), NMR (12) and Eastern Visayas (9). The brutal military operations which are being mounted across Negros and Eastern Visayas are a result of Duterte’s Memorandum Order 32 which effectively imposed de facto martial law and directly deployed additional battalions in the said regions.
Forcible evacuation. These relentless military operations have resulted in the evacuation of about 19,936 individuals from various communities across the country. The highest number of evacuees (16,300) were recorded in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao due to the military’s indiscriminate aerial bombardment and strafing in Maguindanao and Sulu. About 1,614, evacuated in Eastern Visayas, 900 and 831 in NMR and Caraga, respectively.
Threat, harassment and intimidation. Among the victims were 646 individuals subjected to threats, harassment and intimidation. Majority of the victims were from Negros (452) and Davao Region (153).