Category Archives: Human Rights

Unsurprising SONA tweets: my comments


On July 23, President Aquino III delivered his SONA (State of the Nation Address) to inform the Filipinos inside and abroad, on the condition of the country under his administration.

I have read and select some post-SONA comments, using hashtags #SONA2012 that Filipinos had, they be groups or individual, on tweeter. Here’s what I would have to say…

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In pictures: U. S. soldiers used ‘water cure’ on Filipino ‘insurgents’

Before ‘water cure’ or ‘water boarding’ was known to have been used on ‘terrorists’ or ‘insurgents’ by the U.S. soldiers, this mode of torture have already been used on Filipinos they also called ‘insurgents’.

“This is a photograph of the “water-cure,” one mode of torture and interrogation used by the U.S. soldiers” during the Philippine-American War/photo by Jonathan Best Collection; from the book The Blood of Government, by Paul Kramer.

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Gunmen slaughtering criminal suspects

Apart from killing human rights and social activists, gunmen in the southern Philippines are carrying out the systematic slaughter of persons accused of involvement in criminal activities and even some who have been the victims of crimes. Dozens have died in such incidents.

In a span of three months 29 persons, five of whom were minors, have been reported murdered in separate shooting incidents in General Santos City. This figure is a small fraction of the actual number of killings, most of which remain undocumented. The gunmen, usually armed with .45 caliber pistols and riding on motorcycles, go out on shooting sprees and take out their targets with complete impunity.

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Three persons, including a boy, slaugthered in a day

MINORS ARE TARGET, TOO: Gunmen shot dead this boy in a crowded street in Davao City, Southern Philippines. Like many other dozens of killings perpetrated by gunmen riding on motorcycle, this boy’s murder too, was on pretext he had been involved in criminal activity.Photo by Tambayan Center, Inc.

Within a span of 24 hours, according to SunStar Superbalita, a local tabloid newspaper, three persons, including a 17-year-old boy, had been murdered by gunmen riding on a motorcycle on May 16 and 17 in General Santos City, the Philippines.

As in previous cases of murders of this nature, all three had been accused of committing criminals offenses previously. Below is the brief English version of the said report;

Shot in front of his playmates

Date: May 16 at 7:30pm
victim: Alfredo Secuya Jr., 17 years old; of Zone 3, Block 0, Barangay Fatima

Alfredo Secuya Jr. was playing basketball when he was approached by gunmen who shot him twice. Two slugs from a .45 caliber pistol had been recovered from the crime scene. There were suspicions he could have been killed by “hired killer” and that he had been involved in illegall drugs after having been swayed by his friends.

This man orphans three children

Date: May 17 at around 10am
Victim: Ruel Medrano, 22 years old; of Purok San Roque, Barangay Labangal

Ruel Medrano was seen eating a snack in one of the stores when gunmen shot him dead. The gunmen, armed with a .45 caliber pistol, had approached the victim unnoticed shoting him on the head at close range. Three slugs from a pistol were found from the crime scene.

Though Ruel’s mother, Erlinda, admitted her son have had previous record of theft for stealing a mobile phone, but it happened a long time ago and they had already returned the stolen item to the owner.

“Ambot nganong gipatay man nila ang akong anak, wala silay kasing-kasing, ang akong hangyo sa mga nakakita unta motabang sa akoa aron akong maangkon ang hustisya sa kamatayon sa akong anak nga ilang gipatay, gi-angkon nako na nga may kaso na pero gibayran na nako to, looy kaayo kay may tulo pa kana nga anak nga iyang nabilin (I don’t know why they killed my son, they have no heart. My plea for those who have seen those who had killed him to help me obtain justice. I admit that my son has had a theft case before, but I already paid for it. I feel pity to his three children he had orphaned)”

Killed for being previously detained

Date: May 17 at around 7pm
Victim: Bembo Aponesto, 31 years old; of Purok 2, Rajah Muda, Barangay Bula

Bembo Aponesto was standing just outside the house of his friend when he was shot dead by unidentified gunmen. Two gunmen, carrying a .45 caliber pistol, were seen approaching him before they shot him. He suffered three gunshot wounds to his head killing him instantly. The community police, however, claimed Bembo had previously been detained in their police station for committing an offense.

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Four more deaths; same firearms used

Photo above is a TV grab from ABS-CBN television wherein the police had rounded up person they accused involved in criminal activities.

According to this report below from SunStar Superbalita, a local newspaper in General Santos City, the police had already established that the weapons used by the gunmen responsible in the unabated killings had come from the same firearms.

According to their ballistic test of slugs and empty shells recovered, particularly the .45 caliber pistol that is usually being used by the gunmen, the signatures came from the same weapons. This has strengthens suspicions over the possibility of the existence of a gun for hire group in the city.

Four other person had been reported killed this month, they were Cristolo Parapon, 27; of Asai Village, Barangay Bula; Teo Rima, 22; of Dagohoy Paradise, Barangay North; Danilo Banay-Banay, 17; of Purok Lanoy, Barangay Calumpang and Ruben Alisin, 57; of Zone 6, Barangay Labangal. Continue reading

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Senseless deaths: Nine dead, four wounded and one survives

His passengers shot him dead

Date: April 1 or 2; at San Pedro Street, Mateo Road, Barangay Bula
Victim: Jun Villamor, 57; a resident of Sto. Nino, Alabel, Sarangani

Jun Villamor was shot dead by two of passengers he was ferrying who allegedly had attempted to steal the motorcycle he was driving.

Jun was last seen driving his motorcycle with two other persons riding on his motorcycle. Before slamming his motorcycle underneath the back of a utility vehicle parked along the roadside, witnesses have heard gunshots.

Two of the attackers were seen escaping from the crime scene, one of whom was seen having difficulty of walking apparently from his injuries.

Jun suffered two fatal gunshot wounds from his back that pierced into his mouth. His artificial teeth frame was also found some 80 meters from where his dead body was pinned under a vehicle. His was identified through the motorcycle registration he had from his wallet. Some of the driver, who had come to the crime scene had also help identifying him.

His motorcycle, a red color Honda Wave model, was in total wreck.

Four killed, four wounded in a week

Date: from March 18 to 22
March 19
1. Gabriel Sintosas, 23; of Purok Malok (killed)
2. Emerson Estocado, 21; a resident of Purok San Roque, Labangal (killed)
March 20
3. Jonel Masula, 20; of Purok Litan, Barangay Sinawal
4. A 14-year-old person
5. Sadam Malagat
6. Ronie Ramos
7. Jerson and his brother;
8. Jonnel Lauron.

On March 18, Gabriel Sintosas, was shot dead at around 7:50am at his residence in Purok Malok, Barangay Labangal. At 9:10am also on that day, another victim, Emerson Estocado, 21; of Purok San Roque, was also killed.

On March 20, at around 9pm one Jonel Masula, 20 of Purok Litan, Barangay Sinawal and another 14-year-old were also murdered in Barangay Mabuhay.

Apart from those killed, four other teens have also been taken to General Santos City Hospital when unidentified gunmen shot them. The victims were Sadam Malagat, Ronie Ramos; and brothers Jerson and Jonnel Lauron. Two men riding on a motorcycle were seen shooting at them.

According to the police, those responsible in these attacks were persons described as about 5’5 feet tall, about 25 to 30 years of age. They were using a black Honda wave without a license plate.

Gunmen kill 16-yeard-old

Date: March 18, around 9:55pm along Barangay City Heights
Victim: Rolen Daganio (a.k.a dugong bunso), 16; a resident of Perez Subdivision, Barangay San Isidro

Rolen Daganio was with two of his relatives when he was shot dead by unidentified gunmen riding on another motorcycle. Rolen was waiting for his uncle and cousin who at the time stopped along the roadside to answer the call of nature.

His uncle, Rogelio Inconcillano, and cousin, Rember Nunez, said Rolen was waiting for them when attackers suddenly appeared and shot him.

The attackers were riding another motorcycle, a red XLR model. Rolen and his relatives were at the time on their way to a church. Rolen has died instantly as he was hit to his check piercing through his head.

The two gunmen Nakasibat had escaped towards the National Highway.
Rolen’s body was taken to the RBL Funeral Homes.

Found dead at a roadside

Date: March 10; at around 9:15pm in Purok Bulaong Extension, Barangay Labangal
Victim: Danilo Bactol, 45; a resident of Purok 3 Lanton, Barangay Apopong

Danilo Bactol was found dead and his motorcycle stolen shortly after he was last seen ferrying two other passengers whom he had picked up. He suffered gunshot wounds to his belly and back which reportedly resulted to his death.

Danilo’s body had been found at a roadside by some of the villagers in the area.
The motorcycle was driving, Honda Bravo X-100 with license plate number MC 4670, could no longer be located. It was apparently stolen by the attackers as it happens in other cases.

Danilo was taking the passenger to Purok Bulaong, a place close to where he was found dead, when they themselves had him killed. The police were able to recover two empty shells from a .45 caliber pistol. Danilo suffered two fatal gunshot wounds.

Former detainee shot dead

Date: March 7; at around 10:30am along Amao Road, Barangay Bula
Victim: Nasser Kamid, 28; of Purok Islam, Barangay South

Nasser Kamid was in the area when three attackers riding on a motorcycle, armed with a .45 caliber pistol, suddenly appears and shot him dead.

Though the police have yet to conclude their investigation; they however suggest that he had been previously detained at the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol).

Nasser suffered three gunshot wounds to his head. Three empty shells from a .45 caliber pistol had been recovered by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team at the crime scene.

The police, too, had impounded the motorcycle and safety helmets the attackers could have used when they attacked Nasser. The perpetrators had reportedly used another motorcycle, owned by another student, when they escape. It was however abadone close to a hospital.

Two of three suspects held; driver victim killed

Date: February 8 at 3:30pm along Sitio Linaw, Tinuto
Victim: Norsayda Dalagan, 16; of Barangay Bawing, General Santos.

Norsayda Dalagan had been hired by three passengers when they started attacking the former by repeatedly stabbing him as they pass through an inhabited place.

The three attackers, namely Armand Alero, 23; Arthur Ali Gosting, 23; and Teng Rebulan, 23, hired Norsayda’s service from Barangay Bawing towards Sitio Tampat, Barangay Tinuto. All the attackers were living in the same village.

However, upon reaching Sitio Linaw, Tinuto, they suddenly started stabbing Norsayda from the back. After the incident, the three men escape taking with them Norsayda’s motorcycle. They had hidden the motorcycle in a remote place.

But a witness who had seen the incident immediately reported to a nearby army detachment. One of the soldiers station there, Staff Sergeant Samuel Abucay had immediately responded by going to the crime scene which resulted to the arrest of one of the suspects. Alero. Staff Sergeant Samuel said Norsayda was still breathing when they arrived but he later died as they were about to take him to hospital.

“Nakit-an nako sir nga anaa sa daplin kritikal ang drayber nga si Norsayda ako na lang gipasakay sa usa ka sakyanan aron dad-on sa ospital apan wala na makaya sir nakabsan na siya sa iyang kinabuhi (I saw the driver in critical condition along the roadside. I thought of taking him to hospital by another vehicle but he already died),” Samuel said.

As the police were taking Alero to the nearby Municipality of Maasim, Sarangani, they had been informed that another suspect, Arthur, was seen escaping by riding on a passenger van. The police set-up a checkpoint along Barangay Bawing and eventually resulted to the arrest of Arthur. The two arrested persons were detained in Maasim.

Survives murder attempts by neighbor

Date: February 4; at around 8pm
Victim: Roger Gojeli, 19;

Roger Gojeli was ferrying his neighbor, a certain Iko, when the latter and his companion started repeatedly stabbing him, as they were forcibly taking his motorcycle.

Roger suffered 24 stab wounds to his head. The suspects had escaped and abandoned him for dead thinking that he was already dead. Roger, however, played dead along the roadside, and immediately reported to police when the attackers left.

Roger said alyas Iko had hired him for Php30 to send him to Lote Calumpang from Purok Mauswagon, Labangal. However, as they were passing through in a dark place the suspect started stabbing him.

They immediately took the victim’s motorcycle with them.

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Senseless deaths: 3 more cases

In addition to our yesterday’s post, below are three more cases of senseless deaths continuously occurring in General Santos City, Mindanao.

Never expect he was the target, too

Date: April 18 at 2:25pm iin Purok 6, Sitio Lanton, Barangay Apopong
Victim: Jonathan Lanciso,30; of Purok 4 of the same place

Jonathan Lanciso was with a crowd of people watching volleyball game when two gunmen, armed with .45 caliber pistol, approached him shooting him to his forehead. The bullet hitting him had pierced through the back of his head and his neck.

The attackers had escaped onboard a single motorcycle they had parked nearby to unknown direction. None of those who had seen the shooting, however, had come forward that they were able to identify the two attackers. The motorcycle also had no license plate.

Jonathan, who had come from a nearby village, came into the said place to observe a feast of a patron saint there when he was killed.

A team of police investigators from the Scene of the Crime Operative (SOCO) had recovered two slugs from a .45 caliber pistol at the crime scene.

The victim’s wife, Agnes, had no idea to what could have been the motive into her husband’s murder. However, she said her husband had once told him that they had been hearing humors someone would be killed in their place but they never know who. This prompted her to remind her husband repeatedly into taking precautions.

Nag-ingon ang akong bana sa akoa nga dunay patyon sa among lugar, mao na nga ako pod sige og sulti sa iya nga mag-amping kay basi siya usab tripan. Apan ingon niya sa akoa nga nganong mahadlok man siya nga wala man siyay sala. (My husband told me someone would be killed in our place. That is why I also had kept on telling him to take precaution as he could be needlessly targeted. But he told me, why he should be afraid since he didn’t do anything wrong)”

Tinuod napriso na ang akong bana usa ka tuig og tulo ka bulan tungod napasanginlan nga nakawala og pusil apan nakit-an man kadto ang pusil hinungdan nga siya gibuhian. Apan wala nay dautang record ang akong bana sa amoa. (It is true that my husband had been detained for a year and three months after having been falsely accused of lossing a firearm. But it was later recovered that is he was released. He had no records of wrongdoing in our place)

Meanwhile, another man who had also lost a one to unabated killing, Cesar, had expressed his disappointments with the government for its continuing failure to solve the killings there. His was the father of a village policeman who had been killed in Barangay South days earlier.

“Sa tinuod lang, ako anaa man usab sa gobyerno apan daghan nang patay ang nahitabo sa atong lugar apan nakadungog ba kamo nga dunay taho nga dunay nasulbad sa gipamatay sa siyudad, wala. (To tell you the truth, me too I am a government employee; however, there have been killinsg taking place in our place but have you heard any of it being solved? Nothing.

Bisan ako wala ko magdahum nga apil ang akong anak mabiktima usab niining extra judicial killings sa siyudad nga hangtud karon dakong problema lang gihapon. Nawad-an nako og pagsalig nga maangkon pa namo ang hustisya sa kamatayon sa akong anak. (Even me, I never thought that my son would also be one of those fallen victim to this extra-judicial killings in our city. I already lost trust that we would still be able to obtain justice for my son’s death),” he told local radio, Radio Mindanao Network (RMN).

Witnesses blinded by fear to laborer’s murder

Date: April 16 at around 2:40pm in Purok Malok Barangay Labangal
Victim: Consorcio Cepalda, 28; married, a resident of Purok Silway, San Juan, Barangay West

Consorcio Cepalda, a labourer working for Cebu Metal Corporation, was standing in front of his workplace waiting for a cargo truck, when two armed men, riding on a single motorcycle suddenly approached and shot him.

After the shooting, the gunmen had immediately escaped. Consocio’s colleagues had immediately come to his rescue taking him to the Diagans Cooperative Hospital. However, nearly three hours later he died while being treated there. He suffered gunshot wounds to his forehead and his back.

Police investigators themselves had difficulty investigating the case since the people who could have witnessed the incident refused to cooperate, a policeman said;

“Mao lagi na ang atong giproblemahan sa pagkakaron kay mismo ang mga tawo sa palibot pulos ambot, ambot, ambot. (Our problem is even the people who are there close to the crime would always say they didn’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know)”, said police investigator Senior Police Officer (SP01) Rex Diongon.

Dili (sila) andam motabang sa imbestigasyon hinungdan nga daghang mga kasong patay sa siyudad wala masulbad kay mismo gani ang mga nakakita bisan diha sa palibot dili man motabang bisan na lang unta nga mohatag sa ilang nasayran. (The witnesses had refused to cooperate that is why there have been several cases of killings in our city remains unsolved. Those who had witnessed the crime refused to cooperate even to sharing what they knew),” he added.

Gunman casually walked after shooting victim dead

Date: April 9 at 8:30pm at corner Magsaysay Avenue and Salazar street
Victim: Romy Aristoteles, 33; a resident of Zone 3, Purok Matinabangon, Barangay Labangal

Romy Aristoteles, a passenger motorcycle driver, was waiting for passengers he could pick up on street, when a gunman, armed with a .45 caliber pistol, suddenly shot him to the back of his head.

After the shooting, the attacker casually walked away from the crime scene.

Romy fell with his blood splatter to the ground. His fellow driver, Eleazar Patallo, immediately come to his rescue after he was shot. He took him to the St. Elizabeth Hospital but few hours later he died. Romy’s body was taken to the Labajo Funeral Homes.

Romy had suffered gunshot wound to the back of his head that also pierced through his forehead. A slug from .45 caliber pistol had been recovered from the crime scene.

Romy’s family was clueless to what could have been the attacker’s motive or reasons of killing him.

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