Military siege in 5 provinces

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Grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were recorded over the past two weeks.

In Masbate, soldiers shot and killed Randy Dionan Mahinay at Sitio Abanggan, Barangay San Carlos, Milagros on June 21 while working on a road construction in the area. The military implicated him in the ambush launched by the New People’s Army (NPA) against intelligence assets and CAFGU, where one was killed, on April 14 in the same barangay. He was accused of aiding the Red fighters based merely on the fact that he was working in the area when the ambush took place. He was an active member of the association of poor farmers which oppose the expansion plan of the foreign company Filminera-Masbate Gold Project in the towns of Mobo, Uson and Milagros.

Attempted murder. Soldiers attempted to kill Rudolfo Ygot in his house in Barangay Barag, Mobo, Masbate on June 18. The 41-year-old Ygot is the village chief and is among those opposing the expansion of the Filminera-Masbate Gold Project.

Arrest. The police arrested four sugarcane farmworkers belonging to the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Tubuhan (PAMATU) chapter in Barangay Tumalim, Nasugbu in Batangas on July 3. The four victims are Felix Cailing Diraya (53), Francis Joshua Diraya ( 20), Efren Panganiban (51), and Lanie Villa Diraya (48). They were arrested for defending their labor rights and settlement on land.

In Negros Occidental, peasant-leader Susan Medes was arrested. (See related article on page 7.)

Intimidation. In Negros Occidental, soldiers subjected farmer Benjie Teruel to interrogation at the CAFGU detachment in Barangay Hilamonan, Kabankalan City on June 19. Teruel, who has a disability, was forced to confess his involvement in the attack by the people’s army on said detachment on June 13. Soldiers threatened his life and the safety of his family.

Indiscriminate firing. Residents of Sitio Cansampo, Barangay Bagtik, La Libertad, Negros Oriental were terrorized after the 62nd IB indiscriminately fired bullets in the area on June 23 in the afternoon. Soldiers also forcibly entered and ransacked the residents’ houses.

Between June 23 and June 30, soldiers chased and shot the mentally disabled Junior de los Trico in the same area.

Bombing. Soldiers dropped 14 bombs and repeatedly strafed farms in the barangays of Bazar, Naguilian, Sacaang and Bilabila in Sallapadan, Abra between June 26 and June 28. This was a retaliation of the soldiers after two consecutive armed actions of the NPA against their troops.

Military siege in 5 provinces