Posted by: kawagib | January 26, 2010

Ampatuan massacre site on second month. commemoration An interfaith mission called Kalinaw Mindanao will spearhead an on-site visit on Sitio Masalay, Salman, Ampatuan in Maguindanao Saturday, the day that marks the second month of the tragic Ampatuan Massacre that killed 57 civilians including 32 journalists and two human rights lawyers.

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Cotabato City– An alliance organization that advances Moro Human Rights here or KAWAGIB condemns the kidnapping of Orlando Pajardo, Vice President of Basilan State College around 7:30 last night in Bgry. Sumagdang, Isabela City, Basilan at his house in front of the school he is serving.

Kidnapping of Pajardo took place following the recovery of severed head of Mark Singson, 9:00 pm at City Plaza of Isabela, Basilan. Singson, one of the four employees of High Tech Woodcraft Corp. kidnapped on Nov. 10 in Maluso, Basilan.

“We are saddened that while we observe the 61st International Human Rights Day, human rights violations at its worst forms are still prevailing. It is somehow disappointing that the government failed to resolve these problems. President Arroyo declared State of Lawlessness in Basilan and State of Emergency in Sulu but kidnapping did not stop, instead innocent moro civilians were illegally arrested”, Bai Ali Indayla, Secretary General of the group said.

“We condemn the kidnapping but we also urge the government specially the Local Government officials to seriously and sincerely resolve the kidnapping incidents. We doubt that kidnapping is for fund-raising of the politicians for the coming 2010 election”, Indayla added.

School teachers and businessmen become targets of the recent kidnapping in Sulu and Basilan. Last November, Canizares, a school principal in Sulu was kidnapped and beheaded by his abductors; his severed head found in a gasoline station in Jolo..

“We also fear that President Arroyo will maximize the issue to expand martial Law declaration in Maguindanao and use it to stay in power beyond 2010. What we need is for Pres. Arroyo to have atleast political will to resolve the issue” Indayla said.

In light of the Muslim people’s observance of the Eid’l Adha on
November 27, Suara Bangsamoro and Kawagib Moro Human Rights appeal to
the Ustadz, Imam and the Ulama to devote their sermons and prayer in
calling for peace and justice and hope to reign in Maguindanao and the
whole of Mindanao.

According to Amirah Ali Lidasan, national president of Suara
Bangsamoro, without sounding disrespectful in the observance to one of
the holy festival of the Muslim people, the Eid’l Adha , the group
implore on their religious leaders to take a stand on the massacre
incident in Maguindanao on November 23.

Lidasan lifts a quote from the Holy Qur’an as basis for this call and
says it is imperative for the religious leaders to take a stand in
defense of the people of Maguindanao and to preempt future violence to
happen again in Maguindanao and the rest of the Moro areas:
Qur’an 4:75-76  Surah An-Nisaa (The Women)
And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who
being weak are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men women and children
whose cry is: “Our Lord! rescue us from this town whose people are
oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise
for us from Thee one who will help!”
Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah and those who reject
faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of
Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

‘This is a defining moment for the Moro people of Maguindanao and the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. We should publicly condemn the
killings and not let political and familial affiliations hinder our
responsibility as Muslims to condemn this act,’ said Lidasan.

Lidasan also said that it is the responsibility of the Muslim
religious leaders to put back in the hearts and minds of Muslim people
that there is nothing to fear but Allah alone, instead of helping
perpetuate the fear of politicians and warlord prevail in Maguindanao
and the ARMM.

Lidasan grieves with the families and friends of the victims and hopes
to reach out with the rest of the Filipino people in condemning this
dastardly act.
‘We hope that the Moro people’s outcry be also highlighted as part of
public’s outrage. We are in unity with the rest in calling for an end
to the culture of impunity to reign in Maguindanao,’ said Lidasan.

Lidasan said that this is not merely a traditional rido and the public
should not be led to believe that this is natural or merely part of
Moro people’s tradition and culture.

Lidasan said that simplifying the massacre as mere ‘rido’ or
traditional clan war is glossing over the heinous crime committed by
the warlords – the killing of mustadafins (oppressed) such as the
women and the unarmed people who died in the incident – and
exonerating the perpetrators from their crime.

Lidasan also criticized President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and
presidential aspirant Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. and the rest of the
administration party’s move to expell the Ampatuans from their ranks,
adding that the administration merely absolve themselves from being
party to the rise and continuing warlordism of the Ampatuans in
Maguindanao.

‘We should not ignore that it is the same administration who gave the
Ampatuans the leverage over other politicians in Maguindanao in
exchange for the votes that the administration had been getting from
Maguindanao and the ARMM,’ said Lidasan saying that the administration
and the Armed Forces of the Philippines should also be held liable for
the proliferation of ‘legitimized’ private armies through the EO 546
creating the civilian auxiliary armies for local government units.

Cotabato City- KAWAGIB Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights condemns on its highest terms beheading of school principal in Jolo, Sulu. Severed head of Gabriel Canizares, 36 yrs. old was found at a gasoline station in Jolo on Monday, Nov. 09. Armed group abducted Canizares on October 19 onboard a minibus.

“Canizares is only a teacher, a public servant, what they did to him was inhumane. The act of killing him is so brutal and a violation to human rights” said Bai Ali Indayla, Secretary General of KAWAGIB.

“We are also alarmed by new incident of kidnapping in Maluso, Basilan which took place early morning yesterday. Armed men abducted 4 employees of High Tech Woodcraft Corp. Kidnap victims were  Jerry Tan; Michael Tan, 27; Oscar Tan Lu, 51; and Mark Singson”, Indayla added.

“We demand the government to conduct thorough investigation and take necessary actions to bring justice for Canizares and immediate release of kidnap victims”.

“The perpetrators should be held liable for their acts of abducting and killing Canizares”, Indayla said.

 

Jolo, SULU – Two US Navy servicemen and one Filipino marine were killed when they struck a landmine at around 8:30 Tuesday morning in Sitio Laumsaing, Brgy. Kagay, Indanan town, Sulu. A still undetermined number of Marines were injured in the explosion.

KAWAGIB received reports that some 20 elements of Philippine Marines in company of some US soldiers were sighted in Kagay on their way to Bato-Bato village, when the explosion occurred.  The report further recounted that after the blast, a military convoy – a 6X6 military truck loaded with US soldiers’ and Filipino marine dead bodies and an armored car on its tail, was going to Jolo town.

Bai Ali Indayla, the KAWAGIB Secretary General, cited a witness’ account that, “at 8:09 in the morning, they saw an OV10 plane patrolling the sky. Then, they heard an explosion. After, they saw two helicopters following the OV10 plane.”

“This incident is another evidence that US troops are actually engaging in military actions contrary to government’s assertion that they are here just for humanitarian missions and military trainings,” she said.

However, Indayla was saddened that on the various reports they had received, no one is willing to relate their sightings on US troops’ actual involvement in combat operations publicly due to fear. One witness said that Sulu’s present scenario is horrible for large number of military troops were deployed in their area which caused them fear of being tagged as members or supporters of Abu Sayyaf Group.

Earlier, KAWAGIB received report that on September 20, Muslims in Sitio Talibang, Brgy. Buansa, also in Indanan, had to stop celebrating the Eidl Fitr when the military launched an aerial raid right in the area where morning Eid prayer is conducted. Innocent civilians were forced to immediately vacate the area.

“The prolonged stay of US troops in the country is already an immense violation; much is their involvement in combat operations. This is a big slap to our dignity as Filipino people, beyond mockery to our national sovereignty,” Indayla said.

She further said, “What’s funny here is regardless of numerous proofs from people in the ground, the US military untiringly denies its actual combat involvement and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo persistently defends them. With this recent blast, is there any face the US and Philippine governments to confront just to renounce once more?”

“More important is the peoples’ accounts — the scores of reports on US troops’ operations — the engagement in electronic and satellite surveillance, provision of battlefield logistical support to the military and crashes of unmanned aerial vehicles in areas where communist and Moro rebels are actively operating,” Indayla concluded.

Cotabato City- The KAWAGIB-Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights condemns AFP’s air and ground attack to Moro community in Mt. Tumantangis Marang, Indanan, Sulu early morning on the day of Eid’l Fitr. Civilians reported around 50 bombs from rocket launcher and 100 mortars were fired at the community by elements of AFP in pursuit military operation against rebel group.

Bai Ali Indayla, Secretary General of KAWAGIB said “the military had again committed human rights violations and their action was a show of disrespect on the culture of the Moro people”. Eid’l Fitr is a valuable day where Muslims gather for a communal prayer as they end the month of Ramadhan.

KAWAGIB accused Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of lambasting rights of the Moro people for the past nine years of her administration thus calling her a Martial Ruler.. “37 years after the Martial Law declaration, the Moro civilians are still under attack. Through state policies like State of Lawlessness in Basilan, Anti-terror Campaign and the continuing All-out War paved the way to cases of Illegal Arrests, Zoning of communities, Forcible Evacuations and Massacres where victims are innocent civilians, including women and children” Indayla said.

Indayla added “there is an undeclared martial law under the Arroyo regime”, citing the recent case of indiscriminate firing in Sitio Baniban, Barangay Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat that killed an 11-year old and Grade 5 student Halima Bansil. Her father and brother wounded and illegally arrested by the Task Force Tugis of 6th ID. They were targets of a military operation against suspected bombers. “Without investigations, soldiers just fired, arrests without warrant and acted to be the most and the only authority, this only happens when a martial law is declared”.

“We can’t tolerate the Arroyo administration and the military to continue its abuse of authority and continue violating the rights of the people. The perpetrators should be held liable and there should be indemnification of the victims. The Moro people calls to oust the number one human rights violator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo”

Cotabato City – Kawagib- Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights here urge the Arroyo government to junk Visiting Forces Agreement and pull-out US troops who are permanently stationed in Mindanao and other parts of the country in the guise of Balikatan exercises.

According to Bai Ali Indayla, spokesperson of the group, US troops have committed various human rights violations and it became legal because of this unequal agreement. VFA has also clearly violated national sovereignty and territorial integrity, it was manifested by policies of the US that Filipino soldiers even officials are not allowed to enter the structures and facilities of the US troops unless invited by them.   The government seemed to be inutile when it gave too much freedom for the foreign troops that it cannot punish an American soldier that violated rights of its people it ought to protect under the Philippine constitution.

Kawagib believes that statement of retired Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian that US troops are “embedded” with Filipino soldiers in combat situation in Mindanao and permanently stationed in the country is true. In a testimony of Sandrawina Wahid, wife of Cpl. Ibno Wahid, one of the 8 victims who died in a Massacre in Maimbung, Sulu last February 04, 2008, she saw 4 US Troops aboard a naval boat used by elements of US trained-Light Reaction Company who are responsible for the massacre. She was taken along with them and brought to a military camp. A moro peasant Buyong-buyong Isnijal was also shot  by Sgt. Reggie Lane while Filipino and US troops conduct military operation. Another victim is 52 year old Bizma Juhan who suffered wounds from shrapnel of M203 bomb which was accidentally shot out of range by a US soldier who was training Filipino troops in Indanan, Sulu.. She was made to sign a waver by the US soldiers.

“Despite US troops’ commission of human rights violations to innocent civilians and filed charges against them, not even one of them was held accountable and the truth hurts that the government cannot protect us and just let the perpetrators, foreign troops at that, enjoy freedom and we are made victims in our own land”, Indayla added.

“If we are to weigh the gain and loss from VFA, we have only gained tyranny from  a colonizer while we loss our sovereignty as a nation. Everything they gave us is nothing but debts and “sugar coated bullets” which have killed civilians. The US is only interested in the wealth of the country and plans to make Philippines its military base in colonizing the entire Asia Pacific”, Indayla said.

Even Senator and Chairperson of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA Miriam Santiago said she is convinced that US troops are joining combat operations base on reports she received.

Lastly, Indayla said “the call of the Filipino people to junk VFA and held accountable the American soldiers for violating human rights and our constitution is legitimate. The Arroyo government should be pressured for it to take action otherwise, the moves to oust her will  continue and storm her  administration. It is the only way that justice be given to the victims of human rights violations”.

Cotabato City – Kawagib- Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights here urge the Arroyo government to junk Visiting Forces Agreement and pull-out US troops who are permanently stationed in Mindanao and other parts of the country in the guise of Balikatan exercises.

According to Bai Ali Indayla, spokesperson of the group, US troops have committed various human rights violations and it became legal because of this unequal agreement. VFA has also clearly violated national sovereignty and territorial integrity, it was manifested by policies of the US that Filipino soldiers even officials are not allowed to enter the structures and facilities of the US troops unless invited by them.   The government seemed to be inutile when it gave too much freedom for the foreign troops that it cannot punish an American soldier that violated rights of its people it ought to protect under the Philippine constitution.

Kawagib believes that statement of retired Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian that US troops are “embedded” with Filipino soldiers in combat situation in Mindanao and permanently stationed in the country is true. In a testimony of Sandrawina Wahid, wife of Cpl. Ibno Wahid, one of the 8 victims who died in a Massacre in Maimbung, Sulu last February 04, 2008, she saw 4 US Troops aboard a naval boat used by elements of US trained-Light Reaction Company who are responsible for the massacre. She was taken along with them and brought to a military camp. A moro peasant Buyong-buyong Isnijal was also shot  by Sgt. Reggie Lane while Filipino and US troops conduct military operation. Another victim is 52 year old Bizma Juhan who suffered wounds from shrapnel of M203 bomb which was accidentally shot out of range by a US soldier who was training Filipino troops in Indanan, Sulu. She was made to sign a waver by the US soldiers.

“Despite US troops’ commission of human rights violations to innocent civilians and filed charges against them, not even one of them was held accountable and the truth hurts that the government cannot protect us and just let the perpetrators, foreign troops at that, enjoy freedom and we are made victims in our own land”, Indayla added.

“If we are to weigh the gain and loss from VFA, we have only gained tyranny from  a colonizer while we loss our sovereignty as a nation. Everything they gave us is nothing but debts and “sugar coated bullets” which have killed civilians. The US is only interested in the wealth of the country and plans to make Philippines its military base in colonizing the entire Asia Pacific”, Indayla said.

Even Senator and Chairperson of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA Miriam Santiago said she is convinced that US troops are joining combat operations base on reports she received.

Lastly, Indayla said “the call of the Filipino people to junk VFA and held accountable the American soldiers for violating human rights and our constitution is legitimate. The Arroyo government should be pressured for it to take action otherwise, the moves to oust her will  continue and storm her  administration. It is the only way that justice be given to the victims of human rights violations”.

Cotabato City – KAWAGIB, a Moro human rights organization, gives homage to the men, women and children who have fallen victims to the repressive policies of the government.

The group is commemorating the Jabiddah Massacre where a still unconfirmed number of young Moro men recruited for a covert military operation were mercilessly killed by their superiors. According to its lone survivor, Jibin Arula, 23 died on that fateful event.

The event has been pivotal in arousing Filipino Muslims to rise up in arms and assert their right to self-determination. To this day, it evokes the pang of an abusive and repressive regime.

“Forty one years after that infamous incident in Corregidor, the government still continues to engage in deceptive ploys to pacify or suppress the legitimate cry of Filipinos particularly the Bangsamoro,” KAWAGIB Spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said.

KAWAGIB is calling for justice to the victims of extra-judicial killings and recent massacres believed to be perpetrated by government forces such as in Barangay Tee in Datu Piang, Maguindanao on September 08, 2008 and Maimbung, Sulu on February 4, 2008.

Indayla said the incidents in Barangay Tee and Maimbung that claimed the lives of 12 civilians including 2 pregnant woman and 6 children, and other documented accounts of grave human rights violations are telltales of a despotic rule and the intensity of the state terror perpetrated by the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“The mounting human rights violations committed by the Arroyo regime are quite appalling. We strongly condemn these atrocities and her stay in power,” she said.

Cotabato City- A Moro human rights organization here reminds Filipinos not to easily fall for what it calls the duplicitous nature of US interventions in the country.

“The help that we are getting from the US could come at such a steep price or compromise to our people and sovereignty,” Kawagib spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said.

The Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization issued the statement in commemoration of the Bud Dajo Massacre.

At least a thousand Moros, several hundreds of whom women and children, were massacred by US soldiers 103 years ago at Bud Dajo in the island of Sulu.

Indayla said the incident in Bud Dajo is a grim reminder of excessive US intervention and the danger of misreading the true intent of the aid they are extending to the country.

“It should serve as a cautionary tale as the US continues its incursions to some particular parts of the world under the guise of development and advancing its brand of ‘democracy’,” Indayla said.

Kawagib believes that, to this day, the US continues to trample on the sovereignty of the Philippines. “The US maintains strong influence on the policies being imposed in the country. It exerts dominance on the exploits of our resources and economy,” Indayla said.

Further, the group strongly condemns the conduct of Balikatan military exercises and calls on the government to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). “The VFA gives US soldiers the license to violate the human rights of Filipinos and renders our justice system inutile to prosecute the crimes they commit,” Indayla said. She cites the Subic rape case and the massacre in the municipality of Maimbung, Sulu in February 04, 2008, where 6 people were killed including a pregnant woman and 2 children.

Eyewitnesses have reported seeing 4 US soldiers in the company of the perpetrators as they were leaving the scene of the incident onboard a naval boat. As in the case of the Bud Dajo massacre, the pregnant woman was not spared from the atrocities. Moro women go through a great ordeal as they try to cope with years of armed conflicts and emerge out of the dictates of the norms of their society.. Kawagib also marks this day as the observance of the Moro Women’s Day – a day recognizing the struggle of Moro women for freedom and equality.

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