Two new victims of political killings as 2008 begins

Tildo Rebamonte, a 45-year old carpenter from Claveria town, Masbate province was allegedly abducted by members of the Philippine National Police-Regional Mobile Group (RMG) on January 12, 2008 at around 5 am.

According to reports, Rebamonte's house was ransacked by police and he was forcibly taken to a ranch owned by Claveria mayor Eduardo Andueza in Brgy. Binas. Witnesses said the policemen tried to force Tildo to disclose the alleged New People's Army (NPA) camps in the area. On January 14, the policemen allegedly took Tildo along in their
operation in search of NPA camps.

Rebamonte was dead by January 16. His mutilated body was brought by the policemen to the municipal hall of Claveria. His hands were crushed and he had gashes on the face.
A neighbor of the victim informed KARAPATAN-Masbate about the incident.

In another incident, ex-political prisoner Ronald Sendrijas was gunned down in Tagbilaran City, Bohol province, on January 17, 2008, his 35th birthday. Sendrijas was released from prison in August 2006 after being charged with rebellion and criminal cases.

The victim visited his sister who had just given birth at the Ramiro Hospital in Tagbilaran City. He came out to buy medicine at the Paz Pharmacy across the hospital when two men on board a motorcycle stopped in front of the pharmacy. The man riding on the rear of the motorcycle alighted and approached him from behind, put his arm around
the victim's neck and said, "Ronald", as if to confirm his identity, then shot him twice at the back of his head with a 9-millimeter pistol instantly killing the victim. The perpetrators sped off to an unknown direction after the shooting.

Prior to Sendrijas' death, he became a target of the police and military's vilification campaign. He was implicated by no less than the former Police Superintendent of Bohol, Arturo Evangelista in the assassination of BAYAN-Bohol Chairperson Victor Olayvar who was gunned down on 17 September 2006.

He told his colleagues that he was offered with positions within the government in exchange for his surrender and cooperation with the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army.

Sendrijas' sister told Karapatan-Bohol that the victim told her that he was under surveillance and had been receiving death threats through his mobile phone.

Karapatan condemns these killings in the strongest terms. These incidents indicate that the extrajudicial executions have not stopped and will continue with the AFP's counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya II.

Karapatan reiterates its call to stop the killings and calls on the public and the international community to continue their vigilance. ###