Frustrated massacre of 4 NAMASUFA Anakpawis leaders in ComVal; Karapatan to conduct fact finding

Dec. 15, 2006

Press Release
December 15, 2006

Frustrated massacre of 4 NAMASUFA Anakpawis leaders in ComVal; Karapatan to conduct fact finding

Karapatan condemns the frustrated massacre of four Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farms (NAMASUFA) leaders and active Anakpawis members in Compostela Valley Province today, December 15 at around 5:30 am.

Vicente Barrios, Aldrin Cortez, Donie Glen Sondon and Jerson Lastimoso, Chairman and members of NAMASUFA in ComVal Province, respectively, where shot by unidentified men while the 4 victims were on their way for work at the Fresh Banana Agricultural Corporation Packing Plant 90. The said victims were then rushed to the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City at 7:30 am, two are in critical condition.

Kelly Delgado, Karapatan secretary-general denounced this vicious attacks saying that this incident is one in a series of harassments, grave threat, and intimidation of union leaders and members, particularly on the banana plantations of Compostela managed by the Soriano-owned Fresh Banana Agricultural Corporation.

This incident is the latest in a series of threats to Barrios life which began in December 2005 after the union filed a money claim with the Department of Labor and Employment for non-payment of COLA, holiday pay, service incentive, and non-wage benefits.

NAMASUFA was registered with the Department of Labor and Employment in mid-August 2005. Barrios was called for questioning by the 28th IB in September, and accused of organizing for the New Peoples Army on the false grounds that NAMASUFA was organized by rebels. During the same month, the military called a meeting of the workers inside the packing plant, and told them not to move forward with their union, that the company will close, and that their union is Leftist.

The human rights alliance will conduct a Fact Finding Mission on December 16 at Brgy. New Alegria, Compostela, Compostela Valley Province to document the incident.

To date, KARAPATAN documented 6 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings in the region from the total of 58 civilians belonging to various cause-oriented groups and progressive organizations who had survived the attack but continue to live with the trauma and fear.

We hold the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, its state and local agents, liable for violating the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law; the latter denounces violence to life and person, particularly killing or causing injury, being subjected to physical or mental torture, mutilation, corporal punishment, cruel or degrading treatment and all acts of violence and reprisals, including hostage taking and acts against the physical well-being, dignity, political convictions and other human rights.

For Reference:

Kelly M. Delgado
Spokesperson-Karapatan Southern Mindanao
Mobile number: 0928-754-8457

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