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Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 6:54 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
The Philippine Peasant Support Network (Pesante-USA) , a human righst and peasant advocacy group based in Los Angeles, express its militant solidarity with the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) in its protest against several cases of escalating harassments by police and military elements in the province of Kalinga. The Cordillera Human rights Alliance (CHRA) reported that cases of harassments were reported from Kalinga province. ?
STOP THE KILLINGS, STOP THE HARASSMENTS IN KALINGA, CORDILLERA
Los Angeles --- The Philippine Peasant Support Network (Pesante-USA), a human rights and peasant advocacy group based in Los Angeles, express its milintant solidarity with the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) in its protest against several cases of escalating harassments by police and military elements in the province of Kalinga. The Cordillera Human rights Alliance (CHRA) reported that cases of harassments were reported from Kalinga province. The CHRA cited the following cases:
* Robel Zerso, businessman with 3 kids and husband of Alyce Omengan Claver’s first cousin was followed by a motorcycle-riding assassin from the residence of the Clavers in Appas, Tabuk, Kalinga to their home. The said assassin fired his 9 mm gun at the car Zerso was driving while he was entering their compound. It is fortunate that he was unhurt.
* After the incident, the gate of Atty. Warren Luyaben in Magsaysay, Tabuk was also strafed with M-16 bullets. Atty. Luyaben is the current president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Kalinga chapter. He is also the private prosecutor of the Gobiangan and Galema cases, which he has already filed with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and is yet to be filed in court. These two cases of summary execution directly point to P.D. Ramos as the perpetrator.
During the burial of Alyce Omengan Claver, Atty. Luyaben was outspoken against the killings that have been happening in Kalinga, challenging the police and army in the rank and file not to follow wrong orders from their superiors and reminding them that their mandate is to serve and protect the people.
He has been receiving death threats through his cell phone stating that “sika ti sumaruno”(you will be the next) while he was at the wake of Alyce. Atty. Luyaben also said that two heavily-tinted red-plate vans have been seen in the poblacion area. Its passengers are suspected to be conducting surveillance work.
Pesante-USA strongly condemns these incidents, which are meant to silence the protest of the people of Kalinga against the human rights violations of P.D. Ramos. The gunmen behind these incidents are part of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s death squads under the leadership of Ramos.
We are united with the CHRA in saying that the 30-day leave imposed on Ramos by the Philippine National Police is not the punishment he deserves. He should be the subject of the investigation of the killings in Kalinga and his crimes should be dealt with appropriate punishment. P.D. Pedro Ramos should be removed from service and placed behind bars.
We believe that the petition to recall the 30-day leave of Ramos and his retention is being circulated in Kalinga by people allegedly from the business circle was a maneuver of by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. According to reports, the premise stated in the petition is that Ramos has been playing a big role in keeping the peace and order in Kalinga.
It should be recalled that an earlier petition to remove Ramos from his post was circulated and signed by the people of Kalinga. Since Ramos assumed his position, there has been a state of lawlessness in Kalinga. There has been a rise in human rights violations. Frustrated murders, summary executions, political assassinations have happened.
Currently, there are sixteen victims of summary execution and seven cases of frustrated murder in Kalinga where witnesses and the kin of victims have directly pointed to Ramos as the perpetrator. Ramos has blood in his hands and he should be held accountable for all of his crimes against the people.
We support the CHRA call on the people of Kalinga to bravely stand for truth and justice especially during these trying times. We are united with you not allow these agents of the state to trample on your human rights!
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