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Philippines: New Bataan Under Siege by AFP — Karapatan

Apr. 17, 2007

Press Release

April 16, 2007

New Bataan under siege by the AFP–Karapatan

DAVAO CITY Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region lambasted today the on going military operations which sowed terror among the civilian populace in New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province by the elements of 67th and 28th Infantry Battalions under 1001st Brigade of the 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Kelly M. Delgado, secretary general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao, said that the killing of Grecil is the highlighted case of human rights violations in the area. Wrongly, this was capitalized in shameless way by the military.

Last January 2007 until this month, intense visibility of military elements ruled over the civilian populace of the Municipality of New Bataan. The area has experienced at least 34 alarming conducts of military operation by the elements of 67th and 28th Infantry Battalions of the 1001st Brigade under the command of BGEN. Carlos Holganza.

In four months time, the military elements have conducted several symposiums and room to room discussions in New Bataan National High School, Bukidnon State College and in the local government workers of New Bataan Municipal Hall. The military elements conferred on blacklisting the progressive party lists Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Kabataan Party and Suara Bangsamoro.

The imposition of several military check points and the conduct of house to house psychological warfare (PSYWAR) campaigns in the area is a manifestation that New Bataan community is experiencing de facto Martial Rule in the hand of the fascist elements of AFP, Delgado said.

Certainly, the killing of Grecil last March 31 this year is a brutal human rights violation perpetrated by the elements of the AFP. How many Grecil will be victimized? Indeed, the installation of the 1001st Brigade in the area has not ensured the protection of civilians, Delgado added.

We have consulted human rights lawyer about the case. We are preparing now the documents together with the family for filling appropriate charges in local court and also to the Ombudsman for the military about the killing of Grecil. The respondent will be addressed to the military in charge of the operation last March 31, 2007 in Brgy. Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province, Delgado stressed.

Instead the troop deployment has only resulted to terrorizing the civilian community and to the curtailment of human rights in the area. We strongly call the attention of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to urgently conduct investigation and give concrete actions to the killing of Grecil justice must be served. We demand immediate indemnification for the bereaved family, pull out of military forces and to stop the military rule over the civilians in New Bataan, Delgado stressed.

Delgado said that the massing up of government forces in the area is associated with the governments interest in allowing the entry and implementation of the transnational corporation projects this year.

These projects aim to cover at least 1,000 hectares of rubber plantation and 700 hectares for mining activities in New Bataans rich mineral resources, Delgado concluded.

For Reference:

Kelly M. Delgado Secretary- General -Southern Mindanao, Contact number: 0920-350-0069

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