ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-036-2018

June 08, 2018
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PHILIPPINES: Four people arrested and implicated in three separate false cases

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ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; human rights defender; fabrication of charges
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Dear Friends,
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you about the wrongful arrest of four people in three separate cases. In the first case, a human rights defender was denied her right to call her family and lawyer to inform of her arrest. In the second case, indigenous peasants were tortured and forced to admit they were rebels. And in the third case, a trade union organizer was abducted, and found out later that it was an arrest.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Based on the documentation by the Alliance for the Advancement of PeopleÂ’s Rights (KARAPATAN)
CASE 1: “Human rights defender arrested”

On 31 March 2018, Nerita de Castro, a volunteer of Gabriela WomenÂ’s Party (GWP) and former Karapatan human rights worker was arrested by combined elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Davao and Caraga and the 402nd Infantry Brigade at Emenville Subdivision, Brgy. Ambago, Butuan City. The arrest was based on a trumped-up murder charge filed at the Regional Trial Court 11, Judicial Branch 28, of Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Nerita was denied her right to call her family and lawyer and inform them of her arrest and her condition. She was accused of being a high-ranking member of the New PeopleÂ’s Army and of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
CASE 2: “Indigenous peasants tortured and detained”

On 14 May 2018, Rockey Torres, 27, and Dandoy Avillaneda, 44, were on their way to a sari-sari store in Sitio Libutan, Brgy. Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon Province when soldiers from the 80th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA) illegally arrested and tortured them. The two peasants belonging to Dumagat ethnic tribe were beaten and kicked by soldiers. They were forced to admit that they were New PeopleÂ’s Army members (NPA). Their hands and legs were tied, and both were blindfolded and tied to the body of a dead soldier, according to a witness. Rockey was forced to fire a shotgun. The peasants are being detained on fabricated charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
CASE 3: “Trade union organizer abducted and detained”

On 2 June 2018, Juan Alexander Reyes, 47, was at Kapilian St., Brgy. San Antonio, Muñoz, Quezon City when he was abducted. Suspected state agents placed ski masks on JuanÂ’s head. The perpetrator was onboard a white sports utility vehicle (SUV) with plate number ABB-9926.
Juan is a trade union organizer of the Sandigan ng Manggagawa sa Quezon City and Defend Job Philippines.
Upon arrival at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-National Capital Region (NCR) office, he was interrogated by police and military agents. It was only then that he was shown a warrant of arrest for arson and illegal possession of firearms and explosives, charges which Reyes vehemently denied.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

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SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear ___________,
PHILIPPINES: Four people arrested and implicated in three separate false cases
CASE 1:

Name of arrested victim: Nerita de Castro, a volunteer of Gabriela WomenÂ’s Party (GWP) and former Karapatan human rights worker

Names of alleged perpetrators: combined elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Davao and Caraga and the 402nd Infantry Brigade

Date of incident: 31 March 2018

Place of incident: Subdivision, Brgy. Ambago, Butuan City.
CASE 2:

Name of arrested victim:
1. Rockey Torres, 27
2. Dandoy Avillaneda, 44
Both belong to Dumagat ethnic tribe

Names of alleged perpetrators: soldiers from 80th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA)
Date of incident: 14 May 2018

Place of incident: Sitio Libutan, Brgy. Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon Province
On, while the two were on their way to a sari-sari store in when soldiers from the 80th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA)
CASE 3:

Name of arrested victim: Juan Alexander Reyes, 47. He is a trade union organizer of the Sandigan ng Manggagawa sa Quezon City and Defend Job Philippines.

Names of alleged perpetrators: Suspected state agents onboard a white sports utility vehicle (SUV) with plate number ABB-9926.

Date of incident: 2 June 2018

Place of incident: Kapilian St., Brgy. San Antonio, Muñoz, Quezon City

I am writing to voice my grave concern regarding the arrests of four people.
Firstly, on 31 March 2018, Nerita de Castro, a volunteer of Gabriela WomenÂ’s Party (GWP) and former Karapatan human rights worker was arrested by combined elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Davao and Caraga and the 402nd Infantry Brigade at Emenville Subdivision, Brgy. Ambago, Butuan City. The arrest was based on a trumped-up murder charge filed at the Regional Trial Court 11, Judicial Branch 28, of Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
I learned that she was denied her right to call her family and lawyer and inform them of her arrest and her condition. She was accused of being a high-ranking member of the New PeopleÂ’s Army and of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Secondly, on 14 May 2018, Rockey Torres, 27, and Dandoy Avillaneda, 44, were on their way to a sari-sari store in Sitio Libutan, Brgy. Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon Province when soldiers from the 80th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA)illegally arrested and tortured them. The two peasants belonging to Dumagat ethnic tribe were beaten and kicked by soldiers. They were forced to admit that they were New PeopleÂ’s Army members (NPA). Their hands and legs were tied, and both were blindfolded and tied to the body of a dead soldier, according to a witness. Rockey was forced to fire a shotgun. The peasants are being detained on fabricated charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Lastly, on 2 June 2018, Juan Alexander Reyes, 47, was at Kapilian St., Brgy. San Antonio, Muñoz, Quezon City when he was abducted. Suspected state agents placed ski masks on JuanÂ’s head. The perpetrator was onboard a white sports utility vehicle (SUV) with plate number ABB-9926.

Juan is a trade union organizer of the Sandigan ng Manggagawa sa Quezon City and Defend Job Philippines.
Upon arrival at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-National Capital Region (NCR) office, he was interrogated by police and military agents. It was only then when he was shown a warrant of arrest for arson and illegal possession of firearms and explosives, charges which Reyes vehemently denied.
I urge you to ensure that these three incidents are properly investigated, including the allegations of torture. The soldiers must be investigated and held accountable for any abuse of power during their duties. Also, please ensure that the victimsÂ’ have the right to have their own counsel and are given adequate protection should they decide to prosecute.
I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.
Yours Sincerely,
Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
President
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, 1005
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: op-proper@gov.ph

2. Mr. Menardo Guevarra
Secretary
Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila, 1004
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

3. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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