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     An Open Letter to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte  RE: The Killings of Elisa “Nene” Badayos and Eleuterio Moises

    30 November 2017

    Dear Mr. President,

    The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights condemns in the
    strongest terms the shooting incident in Bayawan, Negros Oriental province on November 28, 2017 which resulted to the death of Elisa “ Nene” Badayos, Karapatan Negros Oriental Coordinator and Eleuterio Moises, a peasant
    organizer and member of Mantapi Ebwan Farmers Association. The attack also left Carmen Matario of Kabataan Partylist in critical condition.

    The three were part of a 30-member Fact Finding Mission (FFM) team from November 26-28,2017, to investigate reports of human rights violations in Bayawan, Negros Oriental province, in light of harassment incidents perpetrated by members of the private army of a political clan in the said community.

    The team was on their last day of the mission when they arrived in Barangay San Ramon, Bayawan at around 11am. While on their way to enter the area they were blocked and harassed by around 5-6 goons, reportedly belonging to the private army of Bayawan Mayor Pryde Henry Teves and utilized the Gaudiels. The Gaudiels are a political clan in the area and are known allies of the current mayor.

    Armed men inquired as to their destination and the purpose of the mission, all while aiming their shotgun at the team’s vehicle. A motorcycle driven by locals who were guiding the mission vehicle confronted and negotiated with the guards, explaining to them the goal of the FFM team. They were eventually allowed to pass.

    The team arrived in the area around 12 noon, separated into groups and conducted interviews. At around 2:30pm, while the rest of the FFM team conducted case documentation, another group readied to leave to go to Nangka Barangay Hall, Bayawa City for a courtesy call and subsequently, to the police station to file a blotter report regarding the harassment incident earlier. They went on convoy: Patrick Torres of Farmers Development Centre and Angel Trocio of Women’s Resource Centre of Visayas on board a motorcycle in front, while Carmen and Elisa were on the second vehicle driven by Eleuterio.

    After twenty minutes of travel, Patrick and Angel noticed a motorcycle tailing them. Afterwards, they heard at least six gunshots. They glanced back to see what happened to Elisa, Carmen and Eleuterio. They saw assailants wearing black jackets and used black handguns to shoot the victims.

    Together with the residents in the community, they brought the three victims to Bayawan District Hospital. Elisa and Eleuterio were pronounced dead-on-arrival while Carmen was in critical condition.

    President Duterte, as Commander-in Chief, we hold you accountable for this crime of violence. Many activists, progressive organizations, and targeted communities area aware of the brutality and abuses that the State’s security forces are capable of and we see it more at an alarming rate.

    In solidarity, CPSHR demands justice for Elisa and Eleuterio and other victims of extrajudicial killings.

    We further urge your government:

    1.   The immediate investigation of the incident to be conducted by an independent body;

    2.   An end to the killing, targeting, harassment, and intimidation of human rights defenders, development workers, and members and leaders of progressive organizations;

    3.   The immediate prosecution of all elements of private armed groups and their political patrons involved in the illegal arrest and detention of the victims;

    4.   The immediate passage of House Bill 1617, or the Human Rights Defenders’ Protection Bill, and all such measures that aim to protect human rights defenders;

    5.   An end to the Duterte regime’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan which encourages State security forces to threaten, harass, arbitrarily and illegally arrest development workers tagged as ‘enemies of the State’;

    6.   The Philippine Government to continue the peace talks and build towards the advancement of a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), which includes the issue of free land distribution to farmers and farm workers;

    7.   The Philippine Government to pursue its commitments under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which includes the right to freedom of thought and expression, freedom of conscience, political and religious beliefs and practices and the right not to be punished or held accountable for the exercise of these rights, and the right to free speech, press, association and assembly; and

    8.   The Philippine Government to adhere and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory.

    Finally we call on your administration and all its institutions to uphold the basic human rights of the citizens whom you have sworn to serve.

    Respectfully,

    CANADA-PHILIPPINE SOLIDARITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

    Copied:H.E. Rodrigo Duterte
    President of the Republic
    Malacañang Palace,
    JP Laurel St., San Miguel
    Manila Philippines
    Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
    Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
    E-mail: op@president.gov.ph or send message through http://president.gov.ph/contact-us/Hon. Jesus Dureza
    Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
    Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
    7th Floor Agustin Building I
    Emerald Avenue
    Pasig City 1605
    Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
    Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
    Email: stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph, feedback@opapp.net

    Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana
    Secretary, Department of National Defense
    Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
    E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
    Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
    Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
    Email: info@dnd.gov.ph, webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

    Hon. Vitaliano Aguirre
    Secretary, Department of Justice
    Padre Faura St., Manila
    Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
    Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214
    Fax: (+632) 521-1614
    Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

    Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
    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: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

    Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada-Philippines-Solidarity-for-Human-Rights/Member: International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-Canada)/
    Stop the Killings Network (STKN-Canada)/ International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Canada)/
    International Women’s Alliance (IWA)/ Mining Justice Alliance (MJA)
    Associate Member: International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA)
    Partner: Eco-Justice Working Unit, Anglican Diocese of New Westminster/
    Justice Advisory Circle- United Church of Canada/Alliance for People’s Health (APH)
    Proud Supporter of Bayan-Canada/Migrante-Canada

    For reference:
    Rev. Stuart Lyster, CANADA-PHILIPPINES SOLIDARITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (CPSHR)
    4794 Fraser Street, Vancouver, BC V5V 4H3
    Email: cps_hr@yahoo.ca

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