Gruesome and Cruel: 11 massacres under Duterte



Throughout our country’s history, massacre of civilians has been a hallmark by those in power to suppress and intimidate the people to submission. From one administration to another, the people demanded justice for these gruesome crimes of the past and present administrations, but justice was never serve.

On Thursday, August 30, human rights group Karapatan unveiled to the public the Duterte government’s contribution to the growing number of massacres perpetuated by the state and its security forces.

According to the group, since the start of Duterte’s term, Karapatan has documented 11 massacres, the most recent of which is the killing of seven unarmed personnel of the National Democratic Front – Panay in Antique.

Below are the 11 massacres under Duterte with brief information from Karapatan:

  1. Sumilao Massacre | On July 12, 2016, Remar Mayantao, Rogen Suminao and Senon Nacaytuna, all members of Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous People Organization, were massacred by guards employed by private corporation RAMCAR Inc. in Sitio Inalsahan, Brgy. Lupiagan, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The victims were among the Higaonon community asserting their claim to their ancestral land currently landgrabbed by RamCar Inc. and used for pasture.Thirteen security guards surrounded the makeshift tents put up by the Higaonons. Witnesses attested that Mayantao was already raising his arms in surrender when the guards shot him. As if this wasn’t enough, one security guard pulled out a knife and slit Mayantao’s throat. Nacaytuna was shot in the chest when he attempted to run. Suminao, was shot on the left side of his cheek and on his forehead.
  2. Fort Magsaysay Massacre |On September 3, 2016, armed men affiliated with Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas, together with a certain Col. Rigor of Nueva Ecija, opened fire at farmers over a disputed land located inside Fort Magsaysay, Brgy. San Isidro, Laur, Nueva Ecija. Emerenciana Mercado Dela Rosa, Violeta Mercado De Leon, Eligio Barbado and Gaudencio Bagalay were killed during the shooting spree. The victims joined the land cultivation activity (bungkalan) of the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid na Nagkakaisang 3100 (ALMANA 3100).In the afternoon, while around 60 farmers were building huts, armed men opened fire for about 30 minutes. Eligio Barbado, 55, was fixing the roof of his hut when he was shot. He attempted to run but the bullet caught him. The rest of the farmers scrambled to hide themselves behind grassy areas and inside huts. After the shooting, Angelita Milan, 55, and a 17 year-old boy who was then cuddling his 5 year-old sibling, were found injured. Gaudencio Bagalay, 58, Emerenciana Mercado Dela Rosa, 53, and Violeta Mercado De Leon, 55, were later found lifeless in an old hut, huddled together under a wooden bed.
  3. Cawayan Massacre | On April 20, at around 5:30am, at least 42 soldiers from the 3rd Scout Ranger unit and 903rd Brigade of the Philippine Army fired at four houses of farmers in Sitio Lubugan, Barangay Panan-awan, Cawayan, Masbate province. 70-year-old Lolita Pepito and her grandchildren Rechely Luna, 12, and Reden Luna, 9, were instantly killed, while at least two others were wounded. By the afternoon, soldiers took the bodies of Lolita Pepito and her two grandchildren.
  4. San Nicolas Massacre | On August 25, 2017, treasure hunters and farmers Marcelo Perico, and elderly Arthuro Galvez, along with cook Crisologo Alambra, 60, and his wife Thelma Albanio, 67, were massacred by elements of the PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion (PNP-RPSB) and Pangasinan Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC). The victims were in the boundary of Brgy. Sta. Maria East and Brgy. Malico to do their work.According to Evelyn Dotimas, the employer of Perico, Galvez and Alambra, she lost contact with the group on August 24 when she was about to hand out their budget for their treasure hunting. It was only the next day on August 25 that she heard of the news that the PNP-RPSB and PPSC reported of an alleged encounter with the NPA. On the evening of the same day, Dotimas confirmed that the three were the ones referred to as ‘NPA casualties’; she insisted that they were mere civilians.
  5. Gubat Massacre | In Gubat, Sorsogon, Edwin Pura, a paralegal for Atty. Ron Ely Espinosa of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL), and his companion Wilfredo Bronio were gunned down by two armed men on October 25, 2017. The assailants followed Pura and Bronio, who were then going towards a restaurant, and started shooting at the victims while they were inside the establishment. Grace Merilla, a waitress of the said restaurant, was wounded in the incident and was rushed to a hospital; she was eventually pronounced dead. (Continued next week)#

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