Military kills two hunters

21 February 2012

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Military forces mercilessly killed two hunters even as two members of an urban poor group were illegally arrested.

February 16. A team of Philippine Army Special Forces gunned down four hunters in Barangay Ilayang Atungay, Magdalena, Laguna. Residents who know the four victims denied the military's allegations that they are members of the New People's Army (NPA) and were carrying high-powered firearms. Jessie Perez, 15, and Christian Luceto, 35, were killed on the spot. Their two other companions were brought to a hospital where they are in critical condition.

February 13. Personnel and security guards of the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City harassed Jan Earl Enerlan, a student at the university, because of his participation in a campaign against tuition fee hikes. The students launched mass actions to protest impending tuition fee increases and the school's failure to conduct consultations on the matter. The League of Filipino Students-Negros assailed the school officials' repression of the protesting students.

February 12. At least 12 journalists from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur were accosted and detained by paramilitary elements while they were on their way to cover a reported demolition of houses near a mining site of TVI Resources in Sitio Balabag, Barangay Depore in Bayog town. The journalists were released only on the following day by the Special Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit which is on the TVI's payroll, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). The media people were with members of a human rights advocacy group when they were blocked by the paramilitaries. Bayog residents have been opposing mining operations in their communities for several months now.

February 7. Combined police and military operatives illegally arrested two members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap-Southern Tagalog (Kadamay-ST) in Barangay Maitim, Bai, Laguna. The victims were Evelyn Legaspi, 53, a member of Kadamay's regional council and Pastora Latagan, 33, a staff of the regional chapter. The military planted alleged subversive documents, 14 explosive devices, four blasting caps and various medicines at the scene to make it appear that the two women are rebels. The members of the raiding team failed to present an arrest warrant.

February 3. Two men killed Loida Pagatpat, 51, a teacher at the Antipolo Elementary School in Palanas, Masbate. Pagatpat was gunned down inside a classroom and in front of her students. She sustained two gunshot wounds to the head. Her assailants fled aboard a motorcycle.

Pagatpat was earlier accused by the military of supporting the New People's Atmy. She was also implicated in the killing of a barangay official in 2011. She is the third teacher killed in Masbate under the Aquino regime.