ANAKPAWIS FILES HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 1547 ON THE ILLEGAL ARRESTS OF FARMERS, FISHERFOLK OPPOSING MINING IN BATANGAS

Anakpawis files House Resolution No. 1547 on the Illegal Arrests of Farmers, Fisherfolk opposing Mining in BatangasAnakpawis files House Resolution No. 1547 on the Illegal Arrests of Farmers, Fisherfolk opposing Mining in Batangas

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS
Second Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 1547

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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 INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND ILLEGAL ARREST OF FARMERS AND FISHERFOLK OPPOSING DISPLACEMENT BY ASTURIAS INDUSTRIES IN CALATAGAN, BATANGAS

WHEREAS, on early morning October 5, 2017, leaders of farmer and fisherfolk groups Samahan ng Mamamayan at Magsasaka sa Baha at Talibayog (SMMBT) and Samahan ng Magsasaka at Mangingisda ng Brgy. Hukay, Inc. (SMMBHI) from Brgy. Talibayog and Hukay in Calatagan were arrested by elements of the Batangas and Calatagan Philippine National Police (PNP);

WHEREAS, among arrested were Brgy. Talibayog Chairman and Vice-President of SMMBT Manolo Delos Reyes, SMMBT President Senando Marco, Joseph Marasigan, member of SMMBT and Allan Dimaisip, member of SMMBHI, who were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives;

WHEREAS, according to human rights group Karapatan Batangas, around 4 o’ clock, 18 vehicles of the PNP, from Batangas and Calatagan police, as well as SWAT, arrived in Brgy. Talibayog,

WHEREAS, Brgy. Talibayog Chairman Delos Reyes saw 7 vehicles approaching his house, with 3 SWAT members accosting him and attempted to enter his house at around 4:30am, ensued were the following:

• the victim tried to stop them from barging his house, but the SWAT members kicked the door, then entered, searched on his belongings and when they found nothing, walked out of the premises;

• but around 5am, members of the PNP again entered his house and walked out, again found nothing;

• on their 3rd attempt at about 5:35am, members of the PNP again entered his house, and this time, claimed to have found a grenade and caliber 45 handgun;

• following this, a document, supposed to be a search warrant was shown to the victim, who were not able to comprehend what was actually written, and he was handcuffed and taken away;

WHEREAS, almost at the same period, the house of SMMBT President Senando Marco was barged in by PNP members without his consent, with the following circumstances:

• the PNP members entered his house, while a barangay councilor was talking to the victim outside;

• the PNP members claimed to have found a caliber 45 handgun, an armalite and a grenade;

WHEREAS, the other victim Joseph Marasigan, went through more or less similar encounter, who were accused of possessing a caliber 38 handgun and a grenade;

WHEREAS, the people’s organization, human rights and environmental groups condemned the harassment and filing of trumped up charges as they claim it was carried out to threaten those who are opposing the entry of mining operations of Asturias Industries and its eviction of farmers from their lands;

WHEREAS, the farmers at the area were holders of emancipation patent and certificate of land ownership awards, under the Presidential Decree 27 and Republic Act No. 6657 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, until the Supreme Court decided for its cancellation in 2008;

WHEREAS, since 1998, Asturias Mining Corp., attempted to mine the lands, using a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on more than 800-hectares, which were also subject of EPs held by farmers;

WHEREAS, since then until present, the farmers have been strongly opposing the entry of mining operations in their communities as they assert it will lead to destruction of the environment, loss of livelihood and their displacement;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Committee on Human Rights to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the mounting human rights abuses in Batangas, brought about by militarization and aerial bombings of rural communities in Batangas City and Lobo town around Mt. Banoi by the AFP and PNP.

Adopted,

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