October 22, 2005
Reference: Ruth Cervantes, Public Information Officer 09228107169
ONE ACTIVIST KILLED EVERY WEEK IN THE PAST ONE AND A HALF MONTHS, KARAPATAN DOCUMENTATION SHOWS
A fresh wave of summary execution of political dissenters occurred in the past one and a half months, amid a rise in curtailment of and threats to civil liberties occurred in the wake of the "calibrated preemptive response" policy of the Arroyo administration, a gag order on government and military officials from attending legislative inquiries and talks about securing emergency powers for Mrs. Arroyo.
One activist is killed every week*, as documented by the human rights alliance KARAPATAN. Ten political activists were killed in the span of September 1 to October 15, 2005.
KARAPATAN said the victims of extra-judicial killings belonged to progressive organizations and labor unions. One of the victims, Atty. Norman Bocar is a local government official in Eastern Samar. Two are women. Six were killed in Central Luzon, and three others in Quezon, Laguna and CARAGA, respectively.
Aside from political activists, KARAPATAN also reported that 5 other civilians were summarily executed by alleged military elements.
The incidents were reported and documented by field workers of KARAPATAN in the abovementioned regions.
The human rights alliance was likewise able to record an attempt on the life of a labor leader in Cebu. Antonio Cuizon, union president of Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Atlas (Unity of Atlas Workers), sustained gunshot wounds from an M-16 rifle. Cuizon survived the attack.
KARAPATAN said the extra-judicial killings of civilians by suspected state security forces continue unabated despite the UNHRC's directive in 2003 for the Philippine government to adopt and enforce measures to prevent such violations as extrajudicial killings *(in keeping with articles 6 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)* and to conduct prompt and impartial investigations, and prosecute and punish the perpetrators.
Below is the list of political activists killed from September 1 to October 15, 2005, based on initial reports of KARAPATAN regional officers.
Age, Affiliation, Date of Incident, Place of Incident, Suspected Perpetrators
Atty. Norman Bocar
57, BAYAN-Eastern Visayas, September 1, 2005, Borongan, Unidentified armed men on board a motorcycle
33, UMAGPAS-KMP, Sept 12 (abducted), Sept 16 (found dead), Guimba, Nueva Eccija, 5 elements of the 71st Infantry Battalion Philippine Army under Lt. Viterbo and a certain Paul Serrano
41, Anakpawis Party List, September 13, 2005, Norzagaray, Bulacan, Elements of the 56th IBPA
50, Union of Filipino Employees, Nestlé workers' union, September 22, 2005, Calamba, Laguna, still unidentified assailants
Victoria P. Samonte
51, KMU CARAGA, September 30, 2005, Bislig City, Unidentified man
36, Anakpawis Party List, October 2, 2005, Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, Elements of the 71st IBPA
Priscilla "Celia" Esteban
56, Bayan Muna, Oct. 2 (abducted), Oct 5 (found dead and mutilated), Guimba, Nueva Ecija, Elements of the 71st IBPA under command of Col. Cayetano and Lt. Madrid of the Charlie Company
53, TARELCO Employees Union, October 7, 2005, Gerona, Tarlac, Unidentified assailants
54, Anakpawis Party List, October 11, 2005, Unisan, Quezon, Unidentified motorcycle-riding men
54, Bayan Muna, October 15, 2005, Tarlac, (verifying information)
Source: KARAPATAN Documentation Desk