Issuu on Google+

Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TWELFTH CONGRESS Second Regular Session

H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N N o . 897 _____________________________________________________________________________ Introduced by Reps. SATUR C. OCAMPO, CRISPIN B. BELTRAN, LIZA L. MAZA

_____________________________________________________________________________ RESOLUTION DIRECT I NG THE HOUSE COMMI T TE ES ON CIVIL, POLIT ICAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATIONAL CULTURAL COMMUN I T I ES TO CONDUCT AN INQUI RY, IN AID OF LEGISLATIO N, INTO REPORTED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN SAN LUIS, AGUSAN DEL SUR, INCLUD I NG THE SUMMARY EXECUTIO N OF RONNIE MONTES AND STRAFING OF THE HOMES OF THE INDIGENOUS TALA- ANDIG TRIBE ON OCTOBER 3, 2002 AS WELL AS THE FORCED EVACUATION AND HAMLETT I N G OF THE BANWAON TRIBE SINCE MAY 4, 2002, WHICH WERE ALLEGEDLY COMMI T TE D BY MEMBERS OF THE 36 TH INFANTRY BATTALION, 402 ND BRIGADE OF THE PHIL I P P I N E ARMY AND CAFGU UNITS IN THE AREA W HEREAS rising incidents of human rights violations have been reported in San Luis, Agusan del Sur, home to the indigenous Tala-andig and Banwaon communities, which have been allegedly committed by members of the Philippine Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion and 402nd Brigade as well as Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU) operating in the area; W HEREAS in the morning of October 3, 2002, members of the 36th Infantry Battalion and CAFGU organized by a certain Benhur Mansolonhay entered the remote mountain village of Sitio Akbayan, Brgy. Binicalan, San Luis, according to reports by the human rights organization KARAPATAN in Northern Mindanao; W HEREAS the troops, under the command of a certain Lt. Lubang, forced the civilian residents of the area who are members of the indigenous Tala-andig tribe into the village’s central area and accused them of killing two CAFGU members on September 27, 2002 which they denied; W HEREAS without any provocation, a CAFGU member identified as Pontahan Flores, shot Ronnie Montes, an unarmed civilian resident of the area, who was talking with the troops. Montes was hit in the abdomen, after which Flores fired multiple shot in his chest and killed him; W HEREAS another CAFGU member, identified as Bonso Sublidan, then fired more shots into Montes’ lifeless body; W HEREAS the Tala-andig villagers fled when the shooting started. The troops then fired indiscriminately at them, wounding many; W HEREAS the troops then shot the Tala-andigs’ pigs and chickens, strafed their houses, entered these and threw out food, clothes and other belongings; W HEREAS the troops only stopped their rampage when the teacher of the local public school in the area shouted that his pupils were among those who were scampering in fright; W HEREAS the said incident has greatly terrorized the Tala-andigs, many of them have not returned to


their homes to this day; W HEREAS the problems of the Banwaons, on the other hand, began at around 12:00 midnight on April 3, 2002, when some 100 members of the CAFGU arrived in Side 1 logging road, Sitio Tabon-tabon in San Luis; W HEREAS on the morning of the following day, two Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), two 6x6 trucks and one other vehicle packed with soldiers from the 36 th Infantry Battalion and 402nd Brigade, and Mario Napungahan, a CAFGU leader and fellow Banwaon, arrived in the area. Two canons were set up in Kilometer 5 where an Army Command Post was built. Five other military and CAFGU detachments were later set up in Km. 11, Km. 19, Km. 24, Km. 29 and in the center of Barangay Mahagsay; W HEREAS military and CAFGU elements began investigating the Banwaons and searched their personal belongings. They also asked the Banwaons if they knew a certain nun from the Religious of the Good Shepherd; W HEREAS on April 13, 2002, Mario Napungahan, his son PFC Wilfredo Napungahan, along with other CAFGU members, began digging in the grounds of the Urios Mahagsay Elementary School which caused the foundations of the school building to weaken and eventually to be declared “condemned�; W HEREAS Mario Napungahan said that there were gold mines under the school grounds. But prior to this, he said that he would destroy all school buildings in the area to stop the programs of the Religious of the Good Shepherd-Tribal Filipino Ministry (RGS-TFM) which has been extending assistance to the Banwaon indigenous community; W HEREAS residents Ruel Badbaran, Rudy Badbaran, and Daday Ortega, among others, experienced separate incidents wherein they were harassed and interrogated by the military for carrying sacks of rice and goods. The military accused them of providing food for the New People's Army which they strongly denied; W HEREAS on April 23, Mario Napungahan threatened to massacre all the residents of Tabon-Tabon after a CAFGU member, Junny Pascual, was shot dead allegedly by NPA guerrillas; W HEREAS Napungahan, as a form of "punishment" against the residents for allegedly harboring the NPA, ordered them to relocate near the military detachment in Km. 29 and threatened to destroy the communities of Tabon-Tabon and Barangay Sta. Rita; W HEREAS Napungahan also strictly controlled the entry of food into the area which has seriously affected the daily subsistence of the Banwaons; W HEREAS the Banwaons were forced to evacuate despite the scarcity of food sources in the relocation site at Km. 29, which is seven kilometers away from their farms. On May 4, 18 out of the 20 families in Tabon-Tabon, including women and children, endured the 22-kilometer march under the sun to Km. 29 in Barangay Balit; W HEREAS military and CAFGU elements constantly fired their guns in Km. 29, causing the children and women to go into a severe state of shock; W HEREAS as a result of the forced evacuation and hamletting of the Banwaons, the Commission on Human Rights in the Caraga region, led by CHR Regional Director Seldio Pilonggo has admitted that the CAFGUs, closely followed by the military and police, appear to be the greatest violator of human rights in the region (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 4 June 2002); W HEREAS the Banwaons said Army soldiers regularly harass them through indiscriminate firing and many of them have gone hungry, sick and depressed;


W HEREAS the government's counter-insurgency operations have resulted in the Banwaons' continued hamletting and forced evacuation for seven months now, which blatantly violate their right to life, liberty and security, as well as freedom of movement and residence; W HEREAS the incidence of human rights violations committed by military and paramilitary forces against the Tala-andig and Banwaon tribes violates the State's policy of recognizing and promoting the rights of indigenous cultural communities; W HEREAS the AFP and its holding force, the CAFGU, are bound by the Constitution to guarantee full respect, promotion and protection of the people's basic human rights; NOW , THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the House Committees on Civil, Political and Human Rights and National Cultural Communities conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into reported human rights violations in San Luis, Agusan Del Sur, including the summary execution of Ronnie Montes and strafing of the homes of the indigenous Tala-andig tribe on October 3, 2002 as well as the forced evacuation and hamletting of the Banwaon tribe since May 4, 2002, which were allegedly committed by members of the 36th Infantry Battalion, 402nd Brigade of the Philippine Army and CAFGU units in the area; RESOLVED FURTHER that the Tala-andig and Banwaon residents be allowed to safely return to their respective villages in San Luis, Agusan del Sur without any threat or fear of reprisal both from military and CAFGU elements in the area; RESOLVED FURTHER that the mandate of the CAFGU, as well as policies and regulations governing recruitment and training of its members vis-à-vis the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) be thoroughly reviewed; RESOLVED FINALLY that appropriate measures be recommended against the perpetrators, including the permanent discharge from the CAFGU service of Pontahan Flores and Bonso Sublidan for the summary execution of Ronnie Montes, and Mario Napungahan for his gross transgression of his fellow Banwaons’ right to life, liberty ,security, movement and residence. Adopted,

SATUR C. OCAMPO LIZA L. MAZA Bayan Muna–Party- List Muna–Party- List

CRISPIN B. BELTRAN Bayan Muna–Party-List

Bayan


HR 897 - Agusan Sur HRVs