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APPEAL FOR ACTION: Brother of political prisoner, shot dead in Occidental Mindoro, Southern Luzon, Philippines

Brother of political prisoner, shot dead in Occidental Mindoro, Southern Luzon, Philippines
UA No: 2012-12-01 January 3, 2012
UA Case : Extrajudicial Killing
Victim/s : GUILLERMO CASTILLO, 46, Farmer
· Resident of Sitio Tiguilan, Brgy. Tayamaan, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
· Married with six children
· Member of the Samahang Magbubukid sa Kanlurang Mindoro, a local farmers’ organization
· Brother of political detainee Eulogio Castillo, one of the Morong 43 detainees who remain incarcerated

Place of Incident : Sitio Tiguilan, brgy. Tayamaan, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
Date of Incident : December 13, 2011

Alleged Perpetrator(s) : A lone gunman, suspected soldier of the 80th Infantry Battalion, Phil. Army, wearing a jacket, denim shortpants, with a shirt covering the lower half of his face, and sporting a crew-cut hair

Account of the Incident:

On December 13, 2011, at 6:30 pm, Marites de Villa, Guillermo’s wife was manning their small sari-sari store, when a man she mistook as her eldest son, came and entered their house. He went straight to the kitchen which was near the door and shot her husband Guillermo, who was then cooking their dinner.

Guillermo was still able to run and hide inside their room, while the assailant fled on foot.
Guillermo suffered from four gunshot wounds and was declared dead-on-arrival at the hospital.
Guillermo was the brother of Eulogio Castillo, one of the 43 health workers who were illegally arrested in Morong and detained in 2010. Eulogio was kept in detention based on more trumped-up criminal charges, even as the others were released in December 2010. On September 12, 2011, Eulogio was transferred from Bicutan, Taguig to the Occidental Mindoro Provincial Jail in Mamburao town. A total of 17 criminal charges had been filed against him.

Prior to the killing, Guillermo and his siblings were subjected to constant military harassment, being accused as supporters of the New People’s Army. One of the siblings recounted the threat allegedly made by Army Lt. Juvielyn Cabading that they will be killed after Eulogio was arrested in February 2010.

Soldiers maintained presence in Guillermo’s community. Members of the 80thInfantry Battalion were deployed to their village, a month before he was killed.

The local policemen interviewed Maritess at the hospital and in their home, and asked questions from their nieces and nephews at the house. Other family members said that the police implied that Guillermo owned a gun because they asked why he was still able to run and hide inside their room. The police even went to the back of the house and noted that the place led to the boondocks and that the house was isolated from other homes.

In 2004, soldiers repeatedly harassed Guillermo because he was accused of supporting members of the New People’s Army. Guillermo promptly filed complaints with the police regarding such harassment, and even had a dialogue with the military to expose the harassment against him.

Karapatan-Southern Tagalog views the killing as part of the continuing political repression on progressive groups and activists critical of the government.

Guillermo was laid to rest on Dec. 20.

Recommended Action:

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 extrajudicial killing of Guillermo Castillo.
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 innnocent 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.

You may send your communications to:

H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
2/F Bonifacio Hall, Malacañang, Manila
Tel: 733-3010 loc 882/ 887
Website: president.gov.ph <http://www.president.gov.ph/>

Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7/F Agustin I Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel: 6360701 to 06 / 637-6083
Fax: 638-2216
Email: [email protected]
Website: opapp.gov.ph

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 protected]

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: [email protected]

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 protected]>[email protected],
[email protected]

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts.,
Brgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.karapatan.org

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