The Philippines: Killing of three family members of an anti-mining leader

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in The Philippines.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources, including Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (KARAPATAN), of the killing of three family members of Mr. Daguil Capion, an anti-mining leader of the B’laan tribe opposed to the entry of Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI) in their ancestral domain area, in the town of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, Mindanao, southern Philippines, during a raid by the military on their farm house.

According to the information received, on October 18, 2012 at around 6.30 am, soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion of Armed Forces of the Philippines, led by Lieutenant Dante Jimenez and under the overall command of Lieutenant Colonel Noel Alexis Bravo, strafed the residence of Mr. Daguil Capion in Fayahlob, Sitio Datal Aliong, Danlag, Kiblawan, killing his wife Mrs. Juvy Capion, who is said to be three months pregnant, and their two sons Jordan, 13 years old, and John, 8 years old. It is reported that the distance of the soldiers who strafed the house was about 20-25 meters away. Their four year-old daughter Vicky was wounded but managed to escape, along with Reesa Piang, 11 years old, a relative who also witnessed the whole tragedy.

Reportedly, when relatives of the Capions went back to the crime scene, they saw that it had already been cleaned-up by the soldiers. The blood had already apparently been washed away with water and the clothes of the victims had been thrown outside the house. When the police investigators arrived, the crime scene had already been sanitised. However they still witnessed “the splattered brain and bloodstains on the wall”.

According to the same information, the military is claiming that its personnel were pursuing Mr. Daguil Capion, and accusing him of being the suspect in a 2010 ambush of three construction workers of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI). The military officers, reportedly, were there to serve the warrant of arrest.

However, it is believed that the attack is linked to the activities of Mr. Daguil Capion who is strongly opposing the proposed Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan large-scale mining project in South Cotabato, where there are the rich gold and copper deposits, to protect their ancestral domains[1]. His wife Juvy, who was a member of Kalgad, a local Lumad organisation that has taken a strong anti-mining stance, as well as the other members of the Capion family have also been playing a leading role within the B‘laan indigenous communities to oppose the entry of any mining- related activities within their ancestral domain.

Moreover, after the killings, Mayor Marivic Diamante of Kiblawan announced a reward of Php 300,000 for the captivity of Mr. Daguil Capion, dead or alive. She is claiming this bounty is necessary to avoid a tribal instigated war where the B’laan community might take revenge against the mining purveyors.

The Observatory condemns in the strongest term of these extrajudicial killings.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Philippines authorities urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Daguil Capion, as well as that of all human rights defenders and their families in the Philippines;

ii. Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned events in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment against Mr. Daguil Capion, anti-mining activists and more generally against all human rights defenders in The Philippines;

iv. Provide adequate reparation and protection to Mr. Daguil Capion and his daughter Vicky;

v. Ensure that Government representatives at all echelons stop labelling and targeting human rights defenders as “enemies of the State”;

vi. Comply with all the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:
- its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,
- Article 12.1, which foresees that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”,
- and its Article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

vii. Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by the Philippines.

Addresses:

• H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, New Executive Building, Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005, Philippines. Fax: +63 2 736 1010
 / +63 2 742-1641 / 929-3968 Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph / op@president.gov.ph
• Hon. Leila M. De Lima, Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ), Padre Faura Street Ermita, Manila, 1000 Philippines Fax: +63 2 523 9548
 / +63 2 521-1614 Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com / soj@doj.gov.ph
• Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales, Commission on Human Rights (CHR), SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue, U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City. Philippines Fax: +63 2929 0102 Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com
• Police Director Nicanor Bartolome, Chief, Philippine National Police, Camp General Rafael Crame, Quezon City, Philippines. Fax: +63 2 724 8763 / +63 2 723 0401. Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph
• Lt. General Ricardo A. David, Jr., Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP-GHQ office, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines. Fax: +63 2 9116436
• Hon. Emilio Gonzalez, Deputy Ombusdman, Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and other Law Enforcement Offices, 3rd Flr., Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road, Diliman, 1004 Quezon City Philippines. Fax: +63 2 926 8747
• Secretary Ramon Paje, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1100, Philippines. Tel: +63-2-929-6626
• Director Leo Jasareno, Mines and Geo-Sciences, Bureau (MGB), Fax: + 63-2 9201635. Email: ljasareno@mgb.gov.ph / leoljasareno@yahoo.com
• Chairperson Zenaida Brigida Hamada-Pawid, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, 2/F D & E Bldg. cor. Roces Ave. and Quezon Ave., Quezon City. T/F: +63 2 415-6803. Email: ncipchairmainsoffice@yahoo.com
• Sec. Elisea G. Gozun, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, Office of the President. Fax: +63 2 4839 4705
• Sec. Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection, 4th Floor, Annex Building, Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Compound, North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila. +63 2 377-1922, 981-9939 / 482 2164, 376-4067
• Sec. Maryann Lucille Sering, Vice-Chairperson, Climate Change Commission, Room 238 Mabini Hall, Malacañang Compound San Miguel, Manila. Fax: (632) 7361171 / 7353144 / 7353069. Email: climatechangecom_ph@yahoo.com / climatechangecom.ph@gmail.com
• Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Chairperson, House Committee on National Cultural Communities, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Rm. N-315, Email: gstring_teddy@yahoo.com
• H.E. Mr. Evan P. Garcia, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva, 47 Avenue Blanc, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 716 19 32, Email: geneva.pm@dfa.gov.ph
• Embassy of the Philippines in Brussels, 297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 345 64 25.
• H.E. Ambassador Bill Tweddell, Embassy of Australia in the Philippines, Level 23-Tower 2, RCBC Plaza 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, 1200 - Fax: + 63 2 757 8268.

Please also write to the officials of Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI)- Xstrata:

• Mr. Peter Forrestal, President, Sagittarius Mines, Inc., 12th Floor, LKG Building 6801 Ayala Avenue, Makati City. Tel: 632-856-3023
• Mr. Charlie Sartain, Chief Executive, Xstrata Copper, Level 9 Riverside Centre 123 Eagle Street GPO Box 1433, Brisbane Queensland, Australia.
• Ms. Elvie Grace Ganchero, SMI Regional Affairs Manager, 12th Floor, LKG Building 6801 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
• Mr. John Arnaldo, SMI Spokesperson, 12th Floor, LKG Building 6801 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
• Tampakan, Yakal St. corner Talisay St., Poblacion Tampakan, South Cotabato 9507 Philippines. Tel: +63 83 2271043. Fax: +63 83 2271045. Email: info@smi.com.ph

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of the Philippines in your respective countries.

***

Geneva-Paris, October 30, 2012

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· Email: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
· Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80

[1] The SMI-Xstrata Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for the Tampakan Gold-Copper Mining Project covers 23,571 hectares in four provinces namely, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, and Saranggani. The permit overlaps four ancestral domains. Moreover, SMI group has not obtained an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) to justify any development activities in the area, as the application for ECC was twice rejected by the Government.

Read more
appelobs