Local news: Groups to Call Congressional Action, UN on HRVs in Negros
The results of the Fact-finding Mission (FFM) carried out by cause-oriented groups, sectoral organizations and partylist political parties, will not be wasted, leaders of national organizations representing these, said in a press conference last Sunday in Bacolod City, after the three-day sorties to areas where the many cases of human rights violations took place.
Leaders of the Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP), Pamalakaya, an organization of fisherfolks’ groups, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and the Ugnayan ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) presided over the press conference. Present, too, was Kilusang KMP-national chairman Rafael Mariano, also a representative of the partylist group, Anakpawis. Also present was Karapatan-Negros Secretary-general Fred Caña.
Willy Marbella, deputy secretary-general of KMP, said the situation of farmers and workers in Hda. Valdevia at Lopez-Jaena Village in Sagay City was miserable as they had no houses, are staying in relatives’ places and barely have any livelihood at all. They are staying in Purok Kalintan, Mangga Subvillage, just nearby.
This is the same thing with families of victims of depredations in villages of EB Magalona, where their houses were also burned, kins murdered and women abused.
The team conducted a question and answer session in the village hall and in a schoolhouse in order to get at the truth of what befell them - the victims.
In EB Magalona town, the villagers were subjected to illegal searches before three of them were abducted and the other killed, were never afforded due process of law and subjected to serious human rights violations of various types, Fred Caña of Karapatan-Negros who accompanied the mission, said.
In Lopez-Jaena Village, Sagay City, 18 houses were dismantled or destroyed while seven houses were burned down.
The abductions and the killing in EB Magalona took place because of orders from the local commander, a certain Kenneth who received orders from the national commander, Carapali Luwalhati who is known publicly, is being coddled by local and other public officials. The RPA-ABB to which the group belongs to is at present allegedly involved in the campaign for the election of Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, who is running for congressman in the special election in the province’s fifth district.
The FFM members took the witnesses and the victims’ testimonies during their sorties in the hinterlands of the town, EB Magalona and Sagay City.
The witnesses in the EB Magalona abductions and killings said the police and RPA-ABB members were in close cahoots with the military and police in the many cases of NRVs.
For his part, Congressman Rafael Mariano, said he may convince Congress to hold an inquiry on the many cases of human rights depredations in this province.
The leaders also asked the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Office of the Presidential Affairs on the Peace Process (OPPAP) to investigate the role of the breakaway group RPA-ABB in the many cases of human rights excesses while the leaders also declared that they will ask the United Nations (UN) to intervene in the resolution of the many cases of depredations by the breakaway group, the police and the government itself.
"We will bring this matter up during the plenary session of the House, to name the perpetrators of NRVs and to do our best to end the culture of impunity which has characterized the situation of farmers, workers, the urban poor and other oppressed-ridden sectors in Philippine society," Mariano intoned.*