DAVAO CITY Philippines — Mother of slain 15-year-old Jhun Mark Acto feared for her life after several unidentified men went to their house at Barangay Old Bulatukan in Makilala town, Cotabato.
Jhun Mark was killed during an encounter between the government troops and the New People’s Army last April 21 in Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur.
The military has identified the slain boy as a member of the New Peoples Army and reported that an M16 rifle and grenade were found in the boy’s body.
His mother, Marissa Acto, has denied that her son was an NPA rebel. Acto was a grade 8 student of Ricardo L. Ipong National High School.
She said after they buried her son last April 29, several men went to their house several times to convince her family that Jhun Mark was a member of the NPA.
Acto also said that some of the men have asked her mobile number but she refused to give in.
In a fact-finding mission held on May 19 at Sitio Bayungon, Barangay Astorga in Sta. Cruz, human rights group Karapatan Southern Mindanao and Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) have documented several cases of human rights violations.
Karapatan said that the military violated the International Humanitarian Law with civilians as shields during it’s counter-insurgency operations.
They have also documented cases of extrajudicial and frustrated killings as well as the illegal arrest of Jessa Bernabe Lumana, a 23-year-old resident of Sitio Langan, Barangay Coronon who was charged with illegal possession of explosives.
They added that a certain Jellyto Antonio, 43, was also charged with illegal possession of firearms. Both of them are currently detained in Sta. Cruz Municipal Police Station.
The group also recorded a violation of children’s rights to protection and safety as well as the displacement of 67 families affected by the incident.
Karapatan urged the Regional Peace and Order Council to investigate the cases of human rights and international humanitarian law violations and recommended for the filing of charges and prosecution of the perpetrators from the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Sent.
The human rights group also called for the indemnification of the family of Jhun Mark Acto and other victims. (davaotoday.com)