The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has on file 28 complaints against the GRP for extra-judicial killings. Twenty-three of these cases have corresponding complaints filed against the NDFP. There is no evidence in most of the corresponding complaints filed against the NDFP, a study shows.
BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has on file 28 complaints against the GRP for extra-judicial killings. Twenty-three of these cases have corresponding complaints filed against the NDFP.
The cases with complaints filed against both the GRP and the NDFP are those of:
Juan Aguilar, Jr., killed Aug. 25, 2002 in Sorsogon; Expedito and Manuela Albarillo, killed April 8, 2002 in Oriental Mindoro; Rommel Arcilla, killed Nov. 20, 2005 in Pampanga; Nestor Arinque, killed March 7, 2006 in Bohol; Ernesto Atento, killed Feb. 26, 2003 in Albay; Ricardo Balauag and Elena Mendiola, killed May 10, 2006 in Isabela; Madonna Castillo, killed July 20, 2006 in Isabela; Eddie Dimaano, killed May 20, 2005 in Camarines Sur; Renato Espino, killed Feb. 18, 2005 in Pampanga; Eugenio Furog, killed June 13, 2004 in Bohol; Francisco Gatdula, killed Dec. 24, 2004 in Occidental Mindoro; Victorina Gomez and Romeo Atienza, killed Dec. 15, 2005 in Pampanga; Arnel Cudia Guevarra, killed July 21, 2006 in Pampanga;
Luis Lacsa, killed Feb. 23, 2002 in Albay; Sotero Llamas, killed May 29, 2006 in Albay; Manuel Nardo, killed May 15, 2006 in Pampanga; Sotero Nasol, killed Dec. 14, 2002 in Albay; Teodoro Segui, Jr., killed April 12, 2002 in Albay; Abe Sungit, killed Feb. 5, 2005 in Palawan; Albino Takadao, killed Feb. 3, 2006 in Cotabato; Rev. Jemias Tinambacan, killed May 9, 2006 in Misamis Occidental; and Ricardo “Ding” Uy, killed Nov. 18, 2005 in Sorsogon City.
Eighteen of the corresponding complaints filed against the NDFP are not accompanied by evidence nor sufficient data. Of these, 13 do not even contain descriptions of the incidents.
These were among the findings contained in a study by the NDFP Monitoring Committee and the NDFP-Nominated Section of the JMC Joint Secretariat, which was presented to media in a press briefing in Quezon City last Feb. 19.
The cases are among 834 extra-judicial killings documented by Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) since 2001, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was catapulted to power through a popular uprising. At least 340 of the victims of these killings are confirmed to have been affiliated with cause-oriented groups.
In a recent speech, Arroyo has alluded to investigations which she described as pointing to both soldiers and communist guerrillas as the “perpetrators” of the killings.
“Investigations suggest links to both right and left – to communists, communist rebels as well as possibly elements of our own military. The investigations of the national police’s Task Force Usig have unearthed some interesting facts such as 23 cases of killings perpetrated by the NPA (New People’s Army) against their own men, the discrepancy between the number of cases reported by the front organizations of the communists and the numbers in the police files, and two cases where the supposed victims were confirmed to be alive. It’s disheartening to contemplate that anyone upholding people’s rights could engage in such deeds. I need to absorb fully what it means.”
Arroyo was referring to investigations conducted by the Task Force Usig of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Melo Commission. Both bodies were formed last year purportedly to investigate the killings of activist leaders as well as those of journalists.
Task Force Usig has reported only 115 extra-judicial killings as having taken place since 2001. It has blamed five of the killings on NDFP forces.
The five killings blamed by Task Force Usig on NDFP forces, however, are not included in the 23 cases filed against the NDFP before the JMC. One of these killings mentioned by Task Force Usig as having been committed by the NDFP is that of Hermelito Marqueza who was killed August 20, 2006. Marqueza’s wife, said the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace, testified before UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston that her husband was shot 47 times by the military while sleeping at their home beside her and their children. This case was described by Alston, in a press conference, to illustrate his conclusion that the military committed extra judicial executions.
Edre Olalia, legal counsel of the NDFP-Nominated Section of the JMC Joint Secretariat, discussed two of these complaints, which he described as “illustrative cases,” during the press briefing.
The first case discussed by Olalia was that of Nestor Arinque, a Protestant lay preacher and peasant leader killed in Bohol at around 12 nn on March 7, 2006.