Philippines: Extrajudicial killing of Mr. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr

07/08/2013
Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed by Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) about the killing of Mr. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr., President of the Network of Transport Organizations (NETO), a member of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and of Akbayan political party, in Davao.

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:

According to the information received, on July 2, 2013, at around 8:15 am, Mr. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr. was shot three times by an unknown gunman at his home garage in Maharlika village, Matina Aplaya, Davao city. The gunman was allegedly caught on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera as he walked away from the scene and rode a motorcycle. Reportedly, a sketch of the suspect is currently in the hands of the police.

According to Mr. Petalcorin’s wife, her husband has not received any death threats. However, prior to his death, another leader of a transport group, Mr. Emilio Rivera, former Chair of Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO), was killed on January 25, 2013. Mr. Petalcorin and Mr. Rivera both actively campaigned against the alleged corruption at the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and against its Director, Mr. Benjamin Go.

Moreover, the name of Mr. Petalcorin had previously appeared on a power point presentation entitled “Know Thy Enemies” allegedly made and used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines during information campaigns conducted in communities in 2008. This document included names of many human rights defenders.

The Observatory condemns in the strongest term the murder of Mr. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr. as well as of Mr. Emilio Rivera, and calls upon the authorities of the Philippines to order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into their murder 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.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Philippines authorities urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders and their families in the Philippines;

ii. Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the murder of Messrs. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr. and Emilio Rivera 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. Provide adequate reparation to the relatives of Messrs. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, Sr. and Emilio Rivera;

iv. Put an end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in The Philippines;

v. 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.”

vi. 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:

· Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President, Republic of the Philippines, Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St. San Miguel, Manila, Philippines. Fax +632 7421641/9293968. Email: opnet@ops.gov.ph / corres@op.gov.ph
· Police Director Alan LM Purisima, Chief of the Philippine National Police, Camp General Rafael Crame, Quezon City, Philippines. Fax +632 7248763. Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph
· Atty. Leila M. De Lima, Secretary, Department of Justice, Padre Faura St. Manila, Philippines. Fax: +632 5211614. Email: doj.delima@gmail.com
· Ms. Loretta Ann P. Rosales, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), SAAC Building, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. Tel/Fax: +632 929 5655. Fax +632 9290102. Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com
· Mr. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya, Secretary, Department of Transportation and Communication, The Columbia Tower. Ortigas Avenue, Barangay Wack-wack, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. Fax + 632 7234925. Email: webmaster@dotc.gov.ph
· Atty. Winston M. Ginez, Chairman, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City 1100, Philippines. Fax +632 9257191. Email: contact@ltfrb.gov.ph
· H.E. Mr. Denis Y. Lepatan, 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
· H.E. Ms. Victoria Sisante Bataclan, Ambassador, Embassy of the Philippines in Brussels, 297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 345 64 25. Email: brussels@philembassy.be

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

***
Geneva-Paris, August 7, 2013

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

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