Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Military aerial bombing in Quezon forces thousands to flee

* From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran

Reference: Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080

Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006

Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email: crispinbeltran@gmail.com

URL: http://www.geocities.com/ap_news

February 13, 2006

*Military aerial bombing in Quezon forces thousands to flee*

*Solons enraged over military's relentless harassment of civilian
communities and human rights workers, condemn abduction and murder of
Anakpawis member *

Anakpawis Reps. Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano "condemned in the
strongest terms possible, the violence against civilian populations in
Quezon province by the 74th IB of the Philippine Army incurred in the course
of their violent counter-insurgency operations."

Six barangays in the Quezon province have been ravaged by around three to
four hundred military troops waging counter-insurgency operations against
the New Peoples' Army since February 7, 2006.

Reports of human rights violations have been pouring in from Barangay Bani
in San Narciso; Barangay San Jose Anino in Catanawan; and Barangay Burgos,
Magsaysay, Anonang, and San Isidro in Mulanay, Anakpawis Southern-Tagalog
Regional Coordinator Orly Marcellana said. This week, at least one Anakpawis
member has been killed by suspected military troops. Nine other civilians
have been abducted, and thousands have been displaced.

The Anakpawis solons criticized the harassment of human rights workers
attempting to uncover more facts about the violations in Mulanay. A Quick
Reaction Team headed by KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog and around 50 members of
Anakpawis-Southern Tagalog to Mulanay last February 8 was harassed and
intimidated by a certain Col. Dulay of the Southern Luzon Command last
February 9. The fact-finding team returned to the area on February 11, yet
was again harassed by members of the 74th IB PA in Brgy. Altos, Catanauan,
Quezons reportedly under Mulanay Mayor Prudencio Maximo's orders.

Rep. Beltran criticized Mayor Prudencio's reported complicity in the
harassment of the fact-finding team. "It is atrocious that a local official
elected to serve and protect his community should side or use the military
to cover up the truth about the human rights violations occurring in his
area of responsibility," Beltran said of Prudencio.

Beltran also condemned the reports of aerial bombings of civilian
communities in Barangay Burgos, Magsaysay and Anonang in Mulanay. Residents
report that that at least eight aerial bombs and intermittent strafing by
military troops have hit the area since February 7.

"These bombings are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law,
and an outright and indiscriminate assault on the civilian population. The
Arroyo administration should immediately call for a halt to these
counter-insurgency operations," Beltran said.

Beltran and Mariano condemned the abduction and murder of another Anakpawis
member. Three farmers, Romeo Lleovet, 50 years old, married, a member of
Anakpawis- Burgos Chapter; Ariel Balcameda, 18 years old; and Frederick Ada,
18 years old, were abducted by suspected military troops in Mulanay last
February 8. Their bodies were recovered the following day. The Anakpawis
solons also condemned the illegal arrest and interrogation of Tipin Asi,
married and with children, and a member of the Mulanay Farmers Association
(MULFAS) by members of the 74th IB. Asi was detained without any charges and
interrogated in the 74th IB PA camp and was released on February 9.

Anakpawis is preparing a resolution to condemn and call for an immediate
halt to military operations in Quezon province, Beltran said. ###


Post a Comment

<< Home