LIST: Human rights watch (August 15 – 21, 2021)

Months after she was “abducted” by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), student activist Alicia Lucena has escaped the abuse of her parents. Her revealing, in-depth recollection of what she endured is a testament to how dire the human rights situation in the Philippines really is.

This week saw arrests, harassments, and even a killing. Here are all of the reported human rights violations (HRVs) this week.

August 15 – Brgy. Nagpandayan, Guimba, Nueva Ecija

25 members of farmer alliance Liga ng Manggagawang Bukid (LMB) were forced by the 3rd Civil Military Operations to sign an agreement that were said to give each of them P3,000 in cash aid.

The condition: they must “surrender” themselves as members of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-New Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), student publication SINAG reports.

In a separate report from radio station Radyo Natin Guimba, LMB leader Zandro Tomas said that barangay captain Willie Gutierrez called for the first 25 to receive their financial aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The farmers were shocked to learn that they were greeted by members of the 3rd Civil Military Operations, who then forced the farmers to sign an agreement that would “clear their names.”

Accompanying the military men was ex-LMB head Jose Gamay, said to be the first to “surrender” and is now being accused of destroying the unity of the alliance.

Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas Chairperson Danilo Ramos said that the farmers will be filing a case to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in light of the incident.

August 15 – Brgy. Puray, Rodriguez and 1K2 Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez
(both in Rizal)

Around 30 armed policemen arrested eight indigenous farmers in Brgy. Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal yesterday, Karapatan Timog Katagalugan (TK) says.

The human rights alliance group explained that the armed men were members of Police Regional Office 4A. They added that around 2:45 PM as well, 30 more armed police and military personnel were spotted in 1K2 Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez, Rizal.

Last March 9, Karapatan-TK reported that the military proceeded with a house-to-house operation 1K2 Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez, Rizal, two days after COPLAN ASVAL, otherwise known as Bloody Sunday.

August 17 – Brgy. Apolonio Samson, Quezon City

Former Remate managing editor Gwenn Salamida was gunned down inside her own beauty salon in last August 17, College Editors Guild if the Philippines (CEGP) says.

Salamida’s companion Oliver Perona remains in critical condition after sustaining gunshot wounds from the incident.

As of press time, the police are yet to investigate and find the suspect that is still at large.

Almost a month ago, DYRB Radio Commentator Rey Cortes was also killed outside his radio station right after his commentary program in Mambaling, Cebu City.

A portrait of Ka Diamond Kalaw.
Photo from KADAMAY Laguna / Facebook

August 19 – Batasan Hills, Quezon City

Muslim Christian Vendors Association President Ka Diamond Kalaw was arrested after a supposed National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent named “Hernando Abayon” went through her home without any arrest or search warrant, Gabriela Quezon City says.

Urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) Laguna says that “Abayon” accused Kalaw (also the current secretary general of Gabriela District 2 QC) of being involved in drugs.

She was last reported to have been detained in PNP Station 6 in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, with progressive groups calling for her immediate release.

Human Rights Watch is a weekly collation of human rights news stories gathered from different sources by UPLB Perspective. This initiative was launched in response to the sweeping number of human rights violations (HRVs) among various sectors across the country.

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