Military abuses in Calatagan, Batangas

7 February 2012

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KARAPATAN has exposed a series of major human rights violations by the AFP in a village in Calatagan, Batangas that is currently at the center of struggles against landgrabing.

According to the results of a fact-finding mission conducted by KARAPATAN in Barangay Hukay, Calatagan in December 2011, there have been at least 67 cases of human rights violations in the village affecting 863 individuals, including 22 women, 643 children and 5,061 families. Among the violations documented were cases of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances occurring as far back as 2010. One of the most recent cases involved the attempted abduction of Isabelo Alicaya, 59, last November 18. The military has implicated Alicaya and another civilian Rufina Nolasco, 72, in a series of bombing incidents in Batangas. Alicaya and Nolasco, who are both fisherfolk leaders in Barangay Hukay have been falsely accused as terrorists by the military in the media and through leaflets circulated among the villagers.

Combined forces of the Philippine Army 16th IB and the Philippine Air Force 730th Combat Group began occupying Barangay Hukay in February 2010 under the Arroyo regime. These military units have set up detachments at the barangay hall and in areas near schools.