Saturday, January 21, 2006

Kondenahin ang walang-awang pagpatay kay Nanay Perla!

Here is a fact sheet from Karapatan, a human rights group in the Philippines on the summary execution of a 61-year old peasant leader in Pampanga by "two motorcycle-riding, armed men believed to be elements belonging to the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) headed by 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas"

Date: 17 January 2006
Title: Woman Peasant Leader killed inside home in Pampanga, Philippines
Case: Summary Execution

Victim: Ofelia "Nanay Perla" Rodriguez . 61 years old,
widowed with one daughter

* Female
* A resident of Barangay Divisoria, Mexico, Pampanga, Philippines
* A peasant mass leader
* Member of Divisoria Farmers Association, affiliated with Agumandareng Maglalautang Capampangan (AMC) and Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL)

Place of Incident: Inside the victim's home in Brgy. Divisoria, Mexico, Pampanga, Philippines

Date of Incident: 16 Janry 2006; around 5:30 - 6:00PM

Suspected Perpetrators: two motorcycle-riding, armed men believed to be elements belonging to the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) headed by 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas


At around 5:30-6:00 PM of 6 January 2006, Nanay Perla Rodriguez and her family had just finished eating their supper. Nanay Perla, who was carrying her one-year old granddaughter Eliza, was about to give water to her ailing mother, Amalia de la Peña, 95 years old, when a man suddenly came inside their house. The man grabbed Nanay Perla's arm and shot her as she was about to put down her granddaughter Eliza. The bullet entered the top of her head and exited at her nape.

Nanay Perla only managed to shout "Ay Dyosko!" ("My God!") then slumped on the ground.

Michelle, Nanay Perla's 14-year old granddaughter, was at the back of the house at that time and was with her younger brother when she heard a gunshot coming from inside their house. She only managed to see a tall, stocky man in civilian clothes and wearing a baseball cap walk out caslly from their home. He was joined by another man in civilian clothes who stood outside of the house. They left together on board a motorcycle.

That morning, Michelle remembered her grandmother, Nanay Perla, as saying that she saw a man standing near a tree outside of their house, unuslly observing them. A neighbor had likewise come that day informing Nanay Perla that a man was looking for her. In that neighbor's haste and fear, she forgot to tell the victim that the man was armed.

Prior to the incident, Nanay Perla and her family were constantly being harassed by elements of the 69th IBPA led by 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas.

In fact, on October 25, 2005, during the convenors' meeting in Quezon City of the STOP PALPARAN Alliance - a group calling on the government to discharge from service General Jovito Palparan, Jr., head of the Philippine Army's 7th Infantry Division covering the provinces of Central Luzon, including Pampanga, and who figured in many human rights violations complaints - Nanay Perla testified that she was invited to go to a military camp for questioning. In the said interrogation, 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas was forcing her to admit that she was a top-ranking NPA-leader. In another incident, her daughter confronted the said military official for spreading word that he was going to kill Nanay Perla.

After that meeting in Quezon City, the harassment on the victim and her family further intensified. At one time, a neighbor approached Nanay Perla and told her that 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas had approached him and tried to give him a gun to kill her, which the said neighbor refused.

Barangay. Divisoria is one of the barangays (villages) of Mexico, Pampanga in which the military is conducting their Reengineered Special Operations Team (RSOT). The RSOT is a feature of the military's counter-insurgency program wherein military elements are deployed in the villages, stay there and supposedly "integrate" themselves with the populace. The integration is actually intelligence-gathering
targeting leaders or active members of peasant associations, partylist organizations and people's organizations in the barrios.

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