September 14, 2017
We are filing the case of Marcos Aggalao and other human rights and international humanitarian law violations victims against State security forces under the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.
Marcos Aggalao died the other night at the Kalinga Provincial Hospital while under unjust detention for trumped-up charges. He was illegally arrested last September 10, 2016 by the 503rd Brigade of the Philippine Army and the Kalinga Philippine National Police (PNP) in sitio Cocodwe, Gawaan, Balbalan Kalinga. He was 74. At the time of his arrest, he was already suffering from hypertension, pneumonia and dementia.
He was listed among the elderly and ailing that the Duterte regime was supposed to release based on humanitarian grounds. No release order came even as he suffered from stroke three times in jail.
He, along with other 430 political prisoners in the country were considered as bargaining chips by the Duterte regime in the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
We are filing the cases of violations of the provisions of Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law against the GRP to continue to compel them to their obligations.
Even before the February declaration of the all-out war against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the New People’s Army (NPA), military combat operations in the Cordillera persisted.
The conduct of war of State security forces has consistently violated human rights and international humanitarian law in all of the Philippine government’s national internal security policies and programs. Their tactics constantly involve attacks on civilians. The enactment of different human rights and international humanitarian laws has not ensured the departure of national internal security programs and policies from Martial Law tactics and has not ensured the utmost need for the protection of civilians.
From February – March alone, there were thirteen cases of illegal arrest and detention. These include the cases of five residents in Malibcong (including a minor) and Kalinga, and Sarah Abellon-Alikes, a Kankanaey, who hails from Mountain Province on February 9.
Militarization, implemented by the AFP Northern Luzon Command, intensified in the Cordillera resulting to a week of forced evacuation in Namal, Ifugao, indiscriminate air strikes using phosphorus bombs in Malibcong, Abra that accompanied ground operations by the 24th IBPA under the 7th Infantry Division and heavy military operations by the 50th IBPA in Kalinga where cases of violations include the divestment and destruction of properties, and the physical assault of civilians and barangay officials.
This August, the Northern Luzon Command launched another wave of attacks against leaders and members of people’s organizations with its political vilification campaign against Kabataan Partylist and other organizations including the Church and with trumped-up charges filed against civilians in Ilocos Sur.
All the State-perpetrated violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws have been condemned by the people, thus the call for their pull out from our ancestral domain.
All these have to be recognized by the GRP as compelling reasons to resume the Peace Talks especially with the worsening social crisis and its impact on national minorities.#
Chair, Cordillera Peoples Alliance
Source: Cordillera Peoples Alliance