Chairperson, secretary of peasant organization ambushed by unidentified assailants in Valencia town, Bukidnon province

Case: Extrajudicial killing and frustrated extrajudicial killing

Victim/s:
JULIETO LAURON (Killed)
- 41, male, married with 4 children
- Chairperson of Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma (Kasama or Association of Farmers)-Vintar Chapter, Valencia City

NERMIE LAPATIS (Frustrated killing, survived with injuries)
- 41, female, married, member of the Higaonon indigenous people’s tribe
- Secretary of Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma (Kasama) – Vintar, Valencia City Chapter

Place of Incident:  Juanilla Village, Poblacion, Valencia City, Bukidnon province
Date of Incident:  05 February 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):
Two unidentified men aboard a motorcycle, believed to be members of State security forces

Account of the Incident:
In the morning of February 5, 2014, Julieto Lauron was driving a motorcycle with Nermie Lapatis. They were on their way to the village of Hindangon, Valencia City when two unidentified men on a red motorcycle overtook them, blocked their way and immediately shot Lauron and Lapatis.

Lauron who was hit on his neck, chest and stomach immediately died, while Lapatis was hit in her right knee. The assailants quickly escaped.

A few days earlier, Lauron was elected chairperson of the local chapter of Kasama among farmers at Vintar village. The assembly was also attended by Lapatis and several other officials of Kasama-Valencia. In the said assembly, two unidentified men were reportedly seen taking pictures of participants.

As of writing, Lapatis is confined at a hospital in Valencia City and is scheduled for a knee operation.

Lapatis and her family had moved in to Valencia City from Magkalungay village in San Fernando town, Bukidnon because of threats against her life. She was an organizer among indigenous peoples in Bukidnon. She actively campaigned against the entry of large-scale mining companies in the town. Her pro-people activities earned the ire of the military and paramilitary groups. She reported several incidents of harassments from the paramilitary group New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR); and the 8th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army.

In Valencia, Lapatis continued her work helping several farmers in the different villages as secretary of Kasama – Valencia City chapter.

In October 2012, Kasama-Valencia and Kasama-Bukidnon launched a successful campaign for the increase of daily wages of farm workers – from the daily wage of PhP125 per day to PhP150 to 200.

Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

  1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the extrajudicial killing of Julieto Lauron and the frustrated extrajudicial killing of Nermie Lapatis.
  2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
  3. The Philippine Government to disband armed paramilitary groups such as the New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR), supplementary troops to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which harras and terrorize civilians.
    The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innnocent and unarmed civilians.
  4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

 

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: op@president.gov.ph

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: osnd@philonline.com, dnd.opla@gmail.com

Atty. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-1908
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.211/214
Fax: (+632) 523-9548
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com, lorettann@gmail.com

 

 

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