LIST: Human rights watch (November 28-December 4, 2021)

Among incidents of harassment on Bonifacio Day and cases of red-tagging guised as “peace and development forums”, this week also saw numerous other human rights violations in different parts of the country (READ: Kilos-protesta para sa Araw ni Bonifacio, inilunsad ng mga progresibo sa kabila ng panghaharas ng estado; State forces’ ‘peace forums’ used as latest avenue for red-tagging scheme).

From another case of bombing in the countryside to a doctor being gunned down by unidentified assailants, here are the human rights violations reported this week:

December 1 – Miag-ao, Iloilo

The 61st Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dropped two 500-lb bombs in Brgy Almodias, Miag-ao, Iloilo, leaving at least eight casualties and 20-feet wide craters in the said area, according to statements of progressive groups Anakbayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

The aerial bombings were immediately followed by the launching of artillery shellings in the mountainous area, directed at the same direction of the bombing.

According to Anakbayan, the police have already found seven corpses along with separate parts of the victims’ body. The identities of the victims are reportedly difficult to determine due to the extreme damage that their corpses suffered from the incident.

Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division Commanding Officer, claims that the encounter happened as a part of their operation to capture New People’s Army (NPA) members in the area. 

December 2 – Cagayan de Oro

Raul Winston Andutan, medical director of Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen.

Dr. Andutan suffered three gunshot wounds including one in the neck, before eventually succumbing to his injuries.

Barangay police deputy station commander Lt. Mirasol Capiña said that Dr. Andutan was followed by the assailants and was shot along the way. Investigators are still looking into a possible motive behind the killing. 

December 2 – Mariveles, Bataan

Workers of Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in Mariveles affected by the “No Vaccine, No Work Policy” were asked to sign a blank paper that was reportedly for a voluntary forced leave, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights Philippines says.

Those who refused to sign were reportedly marked as Absent without Leave (AWOL). Some workers have already submitted their “letter of vaccine refusal” and are planning to file a case in court and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to assert their rights.

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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