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    Member of a local farmers’ association gunned down in Balayan, Batangas, Philippines

    URGENT ACTION No: 2010-11-02
    UA Date : 22 November 2010
    UA Case : Assassination
    Victim/s : Ireneo M. Rodriguez
    38 years old, male, farmer, married with 4 children
    A resident of Brgy. Coral ni Lopez, Calaca, Batangas
    Member, Samahang Magbubukid ng Batangas (Sambat) or Peasant Association of Batangas, an affiliate organization of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or Philippine Peasant Movement

    Place of Incident : National Road,Brgy. Caybunga, Balayan, Batangas
    Date of Incident : 7 November 2010, between 7:00 – 8:00 AM
    Alleged Perpetrator(s): elements of the Philippine Air Force and military intelligence agents
    Account of the Incident:

    On 7 November 2010, between 7:00 – 8:00 in the morning, Ireneo M. Rodriguez (“Rene” to his friends) was riding his motorcycle on his way to the town of Balayan to visit his children who were staying with his in-laws. As he was traversing the National Highway, two men on board a motorcycle overtook his motorcycle and shot him using a .45 caliber pistol. The driver of the motorcycle was wearing a helmet, while the back-rider who shot the victim covered his face with a white handkerchief.

    Rene fell to the ground not far from the barangay hall of Brgy. Caybunga sustaining gunshot wounds to his head, back, chest and thigh. The perpetrators turned back to where Rene fell down and shot him again to ensure his death. Then, they sped towards the direction of Balayan.

    The day before the incident, Rene was at the house of his in-laws to visit his children when they noticed a tricycle parked near the house; on board the tricycle were two men armed with handguns.

    On 3 November, unidentified elements of the Philippine Air Force went to the house of Rene’s parents in Sitio Baloc-baloc, Brgy. Cahil in the town of Calaca also in Batangas, looking for the victim.

    It can be recalled that Rene was included in the Order of Battle (OB) list of the military in 2006. During this time, he was illegally arrested by combined elements of the Philippine Air Force and Balayan Philippine National Police (PNP). He was detained at the Balayan PNP but was released after two days with no charges filed against him.

    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 assassination of Ireneo M. Rodriguez.

    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 Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch).

    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: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

    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
    osec@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: osnd@philonline.com

    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:  soj@doj.gov.ph

    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: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com, lorettann@gmail.com

    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: urgentaction@karapatan.org
    Website: www.karapatan.org

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