HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 906 ON SYSTEMATIC MILITARIZATION AND WIDESPREAD HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN MINDANAO

House Resolution No. 906 on the Systematic Militarization and Widespread Human Rights Violations in Mindanao.House Resolution No. 906 on the Systematic Militarization and Widespread Human Rights Violations in Mindanao.

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 906

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INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES
ARIEL B. CASILAO
CARLOS ISAGANI T. ZARATE, EMMI A. DE JESUS, ANTONIO L. TINIO,
ARLENE D. BROSAS, FRANCE L. CASTRO, AND SARAH JANE I. ELAGO
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RESOLUTION
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE WIDESPREAD AND SYSTEMATIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND MILITARIZATION OF FARMER COMMUNITIES IN MINDANAO FROM JUNE 2016 TO MARCH 2017

WHEREAS, as farmers, indigenous peoples and other rural-based sectors in Mindanao are active in asserting and defending their rights to land and ancestral domain, opposing systematic land grabbing and displacement by large-scale mining companies and expansion of agricultural plantations owned by local and foreign corporations as promoted by neo-liberal policies of the government, they fell usual victims of various human rights violations and militarization of their communities;

WHEREAS, militarization of their communities have disrupted their daily life or social and economic work, created an atmosphere of terror and fear, in some cases of mass evacuation and incidents of extra-judicial killings, harassment and other forms of rights abuses, usually perpetrated by the military and para-military forces;

WHEREAS, according to PASAKA or Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao Region, there were sixty (60) military combat battalions in Mindanao, with 21 combat battalion in Davao Region; 14 in Caraga; 10 in Socskargen, 8 in Northern Mindanao Region and 7 in Zamboanga Peninsula while unaccounted number of troops in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM);

WHEREAS, aside from the combat battalions, deployed are the Intelligence Battalions, Engineering Battalions, Mechanized Battalions, Civil – Military Operations (CMO) Battalions, Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU), Special Civilian Armed Auxilliary (SCAA) and paramilitary groups;

WHEREAS, the Karapatan human rights group, stated that various cases of human rights violations and militarization have been documented in the peasant and indigenous people communities under the government have continued implementation of the Aquino administration’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan;

WHEREAS, particularly in the violation of civil and political rights, there were:
• 10 cases of extra-judicial killing;
• 2 in enforced disappearance;
• 14,659 of threat, harassment and intimidation;
• 397 in illegal arrest and detention;
• 41 in divestment of property;
• 4,170 in endangerment of threat against civilians due to indiscriminate firing, bombing, artillery fire etc;
• 7,841 in use of schools, medical, religious and other public places for military Purpose;

WHEREAS, particularly in Mindanao, endangerment of threat against civilians due to aerial bombing and resulted to forced evacuation of Lumad and peasant families such as in the cases initially documented by Karapatan from June 2016 up to present:
• on July 7 to 8, 2016, the 67th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA) dropped 12 to 18 bombs in Brgy. Pichon, Caraga, Davao Oriental endangering the lives of 11,500 individuals;
• on August 7, the 69th and 71st IBPA launched 6 aerial bombing in Barangay Parasanon, Maragusan, Compostela Valley destroying farms, forced 80 farmer families to evacuate, with reports of food blockade, hamletting and harassments;
• on February 15, 2017, at least 6 aerial bombs were dropped by 73rd IBPA in Sitio Tangis and Sitio Salutan, Barangay Datal Anggas, Alabel, Saranggani province that caused at least 100 Lumad families to evacuate and arrested 8 civilians as as guides in their operation;
• on March 11, 2017, the 46th IBPA dropped at least 10 bombs and used machine guns in firing upon on communities of 200 families, who also complained of looting by elements of military in Barangays Cabuyoan, Mabini, Compostela Valley;

WHEREAS, Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) under the framework of Oplan Bayanihan and Oplan Kapayapaan is being used continuing militarization in the countryside such as the cases of:
• the 14 barangays of Quezon, Valencia City, Malaybalay City, Cabangsalan, Impasug-ong, Sumilao, Talakag, San Fernando, Pangantucan of Bukidnon Province were deployed with COPD units composed of 8th IBPA, Special Force Company, Philippine National Police (PNP) and a para-military group ALAMARA;
• from October to December 2016, COPD units from 58th IBPA, 43rd IBPA and PNP were deployed in towns of Claveria, Lagonglong, Balingasag, Salay, Medina, Sugbongcogon, Magsaysay and Gingoog City of Misamis Oriental;
• in Caraga region, in 2016, COPD operations were conducted on at least 100 barangays and during the Duterte administration at least 25 barangays were encamped with by the military;
• according to Kasama Bukidnon, a provincial peasant organization and chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the COPD was through medical missions, military encampment in barangay halls, chapels, day-care centers, conduct of house-to-house and census of the people in the community, inquiry of the names of peasant organizations and those who joined rallies and other activities;

WHEREAS, attacks on Lumad schools continued, with the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network documenting cases of various human rights violations to students and teachers inflicted by elements of AFP from August 2016 to February 2017 such as the:
• Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) and;
• Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (MISFI) Academy in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte in Southern Mindanao Region (SMR);

WHEREAS, forms of abuses against Lumad schools were perpetrated soldiers under 68th IBPA, 66th IBPA and 25th IBPA such as the cases:
• 14 cases of harassment, threat and intimidation;
• 8 cases of surveillance;
• 9 cases of use of public places for military purposes particularly the STTICLC schools perpetrated by
• 2 cases of AFP establishing the Lumad communities as military detachment in Mangayon and Pantukan, Compostela Valley and other human rights violations;

WHEREAS, as President Rodrigo Duterte recently pronounced about aerial bombings on communities suspected as supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA), it is of grave concern, but the documented cases show that it was being executed by the AFP since last year;

WHEREAS, the very military operations of aerial bombings or shellings of communities run counter to 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of the government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), that stated on Part III, Respect for Human Rights, Article No. 2, No. 15, “The right not to be subjected to forced evacuations, food and other forms of economic blockades and indiscriminate bombings, shellings, strafing, gunfire and the use of landmines,” and also to the internationally-recognized the Hague Convention of 1907, particularly the Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, Article No. 125, “The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited;”

WHEREAS, the KMP asserted that incidents of peasants killed under Duterte by the AFP escalated to 39 farmers or an average of one farmer killed every three days;

WHEREAS, during Duterte administration, an initial number of 27 victims of extra-judicial killings in Mindanao including the recent brutal killing of farmer couple Leonela and Ramon Pesadilla last March 03, 2017, both members of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), who donated lands for a Lumad school and active in opposing the large-scale mining company Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation (AgPet);

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, AS IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Committee on Human Rights to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the widespread and systematic human rights violations and militarization in peasant and indigenous communities in Mindanao from June 2016 to March 2017.

Adopted,

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