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Karapatan staff receives death threats in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental

UA No: 2011-11-01
UA Date:26 November 2011
UA Case:Threat, harassment and intimidation

Victim/s:
JOSE LUIS BLANCO, 25
Coordinator, Karapatan-Dumaguete

Place of Incident:
At the field office of Karapatan-Central Visayas in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental

Date of Incident:November 8 and 21, 2011

Alleged Perpetrator(s):
Unidentified person believed to be a military agent

Account of the Incident:
On the afternoon of November 8, 2011, while Karapatan coordinator Jose Luis Blanco was resting at the office after a field work, he received a call on his cellphone from an unregistered number (09095596583).

The male caller asked if he is  speaking to Jose Luis Blanco. After confirming that he is Blanco, the caller then burst out in a barrage of anti-communist monologue. The caller accused Blanco of being a member of the New People’s Army, and a “God-less automaton of Jose Maria Sison in the Netherlands. The caller threatened Blanco that he will be sexually abused and stabbed to death. The caller also warned that “they” know where Blanco is, and that “they” would have him killed.

Shocked at the caller’s tirade, Blanco could only mutter “ok” during the two-minute call.

When the phone was disconnected, the perpetrator called again.But Blanco turned off his phone. Blanco later reported the incident to the local police.

On November 21, the perpetrator called again, but Blanco did not answer.

Since 2008, Blanco has been receiving threats and harassment because of his human rights work. His person has been vilified on numerous occasion by the 79th Infantry Battalion. He was also falsely charged of kidnapping, direct assault, and more recently, of violation of the Negros Oriental provincial ordinance that regulates the conduct of fact-finding missions.

Recommended Action:
Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

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 threat, harassment and intimidation of Jose Luis Blanco.
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.”
The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innnocent and unarmed civillians
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 C. Aquino III
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: [email protected] / [email protected]

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
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 protected]

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]

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

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

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