LIST: Human rights watch (November 7-13, 2021)

From the personnel of a former Marcos crony harassing farmers in Central Luzon to a UP alumnus’ abduction, here are the human rights violations reported this week:

November 7 [date reported] – Lubao, Pampanga

UP Diliman alumnus and indigenous peoples organizer Steve Abua was abducted by unidentified individuals, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) reports. He was last seen in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Lubao, Pampanga last November 6.

According to KMP, the abductors sent messages to Abua’s family using his mobile phone. Via video call, Abua was seen with a blindfold and a cover over his mouth.

Abua’s family believes that the abductors are state forces, as they repeatedly claimed that the government was only trying to give Abua a chance to change his behavior. 

The abductors threatened Abua’s wife that “she will not be able to see her husband anymore” if she told anybody outside the family about his situation. 

Abua’s family, through Karapatan – Central Luzon, had already approached the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for help in locating him.

November 8 [date reported] -San Jose del Monte, Bulacan

Farmers from Purok Ricafort, Brgy. Tungkong Mangga, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan decry the denial of Philippine National Police (PNP) – San Jose del Monte to list down the names of goons from SECURICOR Security Agency, after not less than 20 of its personnel demolished the farmers’ homes last November 4.

Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan (AMB) reports that the hired goons, armed with high-caliber firearms, were unable to present any documents, such as land title or court order supporting the agency’s claim to the land. Instead, they told residents to “just file a case if they want” to contest. 

The said goons are under the command of Greggy Araneta, who claimed lands in Brgy. Tungkong Mangga and Brgy. San Roque and ordered to erect gates and stationed guards to control the entry and exit points of the land. 

Araneta was also a crony of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the brother-in-law of his son and current presidential aspirant, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

November 9 – Agdangan, Quezon

Coco Levy Fund Ibalik sa Amin (CLAIM) members were forced to surrender last November 9, according to peasant group Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA TK).

The group added that the forced surrender was done in Agdangan, Quezon under the command of the 201st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (IBPA) and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

According to KASAMA TK, the military threatened the coconut farmers with charges of multiple cases and a “visit” at their houses if they refused to surrender.

A similar incident happened last October 26, where over 50 CLAIM members were forced to surrender as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

KASAMA TK also added that massive “clearings” of coconut farms in Quezon province are also among the harassment suffered by CLAIM members.

November 11 – Bauang, La Union

Officials of TIMEK-La Union, the provincial arm of Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), were summoned by three policemen at the barangay hall of Pilar, Bauang, La Union. 

TIMEK-La Union reported that the police demanded their officials Ronnie Rindon, Lito Cura, and Boy Cabradilla to list the members of the fishers’ organization in their community. About 100 names were said to be listed by TIMEK-La Union’s officials following the intimidation. Afterwards, the police even asked them to leave the said organization. 

Last July, the same incident happened in Barangay Pilar wherein the police forced the same officials to list TIMEK-La Union’s members’ names after being tagged as a front organization of the NPA.

According to TIMEK-La Union, the latest incident is a clear attempt of the police to reach a quota for a certain number of “surrenderees”.

November 11 – Minglanilla, Cebu

Napo Farmers Community Organization Chairperson Sabiniana Castro was arrested from her home and is currently held at Minglanilla Police Station in Brgy. Guindarohan, Minglanilla, Cebu.

According to Anakbayan Laguna, Castro was arrested for a cyberlibel case filed by Jomara Konstruckt Corporation. This was after she posted pictures of the “site development” in their area and expressed objections to the development that poses landslide risks.

The said site development has been criticized by residents as a pretense for “unsustainable quarrying”.

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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