Karapatan condemns killing of NDFP consultant Rogelio Posadas, disappearance of 3 others

Human rights alliance Karapatan condemned the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Negros peace consultant Rogelio Posadas, 56, who was allegedly slain in an encounter with the military on April 20, 2023 in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.

Posadas was reported missing on the evening of April 19 when he failed to show up at his destination. Also missing were his companion Lyngrace Martullinas, 28 and the two habal-habal drivers who were supposed to transport them — Renald Mialen, 21 and Ren-ren delos Santos, 18.

According to alternative media outlet Paghimutad, the four were intercepted and abducted by armed men along the Aranda-La Castellana road in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental on April 19. Witnesses reported seeing a white van obstructing the two motorcycles and masked gunmen forcing the drivers and their passengers into the van.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ version of events reads like a badly written and plagiarized script,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. “We have seen how the military concocts scenarios many times before, where captured revolutionaries end up being declared as casualties in staged encounters or in bogus ‘nanlaban’ narratives,” she added.

Palabay called for an independent investigation of Posadas’ killing, saying his reported summary execution is a brazen violation of human rights instruments and international humanitarian law. She also called on State authorities to surface Posadas’ three companions who were abducted with him, as their whereabouts are still unknown.

Posadas’ killing followed the Communist Party of the Philippines’ statement on the reported massacre of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon along with eight of their colleagues, all unarmed.

Karapatan raised concerns on the Marcos Jr. administration’s continuation of the Duterte regime’s publicly stated policy on “no quarters given’ in its counter-insurgency and anti-narcotics campaigns.

“The continuing and repeated incidents of extrajudicial killings on the ground show that Marcos Jr. pursues this same line and strategy, while the National Task Force of Local Communist Armed Conflict and the Armed Forces of the Philippines commit such crimes with total impunity. Even under domestic law, under Republic Act 9851, such policy and acts are considered grave crimes against humanity. We support the demand of the victims’ kin for justice and accountability,” Palabay said.