BS Aquino govt continues to ignore extrajudicial killings

Karapatan today called on Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to put meaning to the word JUSTICE in her department and prosecute and punish all the perpetrators of human rights violations. "The BS Aquino government continues to turn a blind eye to the incidents of extrajudicial killings, now with seven victims in the first six weeks of 2014.”

7 killings in 6 weeks 

“The trend is alarming and the DOJ is not doing anything about it. We are seeing a repeat of the Oplan Bantay Laya days of Gloria Arroyo," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said.

Karapatan slammed the Aquino government on the escalating incidents of extrajudicial killings committed by state security forces. The group has documented 169 victims of extrajudicial killings and 179 frustrated killings under the Aquino regime. The group brought with them seven “corpses” in front of the DOJ to depict the seven victims of extrajudicial killings for this year.

The latest reported killing received by Karapatan is that of a Higaonon datu (tribal chieftain) Rolando Ambungan in Brgy. Lumbuyan, Sitio Balakalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on January 31. A certain Eddie Ampiawan aka “commander Bawang” and two other men wearing masks shot Ambungan at around 7:00 p.m. while he was in his house’s veranda.

The killers were identified by Datu Ambungan's sister who saw Commander Bawang fired an M-14 rifle. Datu Ambungan's nephew Janmar Sulhayan was also hit during the shooting. Datu Ambungan was brought to a health facility but was declared dead on arrival.

Prior to the killing of Datu Ambungan, “Commander Bawang” tried to convince Datu Ambungan to be on their side and allow a mining company to operate in their community. On January 28, Datu Ambungan received a phone call from Commander Bawang who offered him Php 2 million. When Ambungan declined the offer, Bawang threatened to kill Ambungan. The whole phone conversation was heard on the speaker phone by Datu Ambungan and his sister Merlinda Sulhayan.

The six others killed from the period of January to February were:

 

  • Marcelo Monterona, Barangay Elizalde, Maco town, Compostela Valley, killed January 5.
  • Arman Padino, Hacienda Dolores in Pampanga, died on January 13.
  • Henry C. Orbina, Cabid-an, Sorsogon City, killed January 30.
  • Julieto Lauron, Haindangon, Valencia City, killed February 5.
  • Rosaldo Rayteran, Brgy. San Pascual, Libon, Albay, killed February 6
  • Rasty Rayteran, 18, son of Rosauro, killed February 6

 

Most of those killed were peasants, indigenous people and a worker.

"With the 169 documented cases of extrajudicial killings under the BS Aquino government, none of the perpetrators were punished. In fact, even the charges against the killers of the Capion family, of Fr. Pops Tentorio, although with witnesses and strong evidence were dismissed. The killing spree continues as the government through its armed forces speeds up the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan," Palabay said.