Action Alert: Soldiers massacre family of anti-mining human rights defender in Tampakan, Southern Philippines
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), in solidarity with its sisters at KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, condemns the extrajudicial killings of an indigenous women human rights defender, Juvy Capion, her sons and daughter in Tampakan, Southern Philippines. APWLD is also gravely concerned by the report of the court’s relieve of the members of the ground military unit responsible for the killings. We call on the government of the Philippines to undertake investigation and immediate actions to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to due justice.
Account of the Incident:
On October 19, 2012, at around 6 am, soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion of the Phil. Army went to the house of Juvy and Dagil Capion and strafed the family residence. Killed were Juvy, who was two months pregnant, and their two sons Jorge and Jan-jan, while their daughter Vicky was wounded. Dagil, who was at their farm at the time of attack, was also wounded, but managed to escape. The soldiers were under the command of Lt. Col Noel Alexis Bravo. After the massacre, the soldiers brought the bodies of Juvy and her sons outside the house to be exposed for eight hours. At 3 pm, the soldiers finally allowed the victims’ relatives to get the remains. Juvy was a women human rights defender and a member of Kalgad, a local Lumad organization that has taken a strong anti-mining stance, particularly against the large-scale mining of Xstrata’s Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) that had targeted the rich gold and copper deposits in South Cotabato. Her family had been targeted by the military for their active roles in leading the B’laan tribe against the entry of Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan mining project.
Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the massacre and desecration of remains of Juvy Capion and her sons Jan-jan and Jorge, and the frustrated killing of her daughter Vicky and husband Dagil.
2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
3. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians
4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.
Please send your communications to:
1) H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III, President of the Republic, Malacañang Palace,J P Laurel St., San MiguelManila Philippines, Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80, Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
2) Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), 7th Floor Agustin Building IEmerald Avenue Pasig City 1605, Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066, Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216o, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin, Secretary, Department of National Defense, Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City, Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488, Fax:+63(2) 911 6213, Email: email@example.com
4) Atty. Leila De Lima, Secretary, Department of Justice, Padre Faura St., Manila, Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721, Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214, Fax: (+632) 521-1614, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5) Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights, SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188, Fax: (+632) 929 0102, Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org