October 24, 2013
Groups condemn dismissal of murder case against Army’s 27th IB
Justice for the Capion massacre DENIED
Support groups of anti-mining communities affected by the Tampakan Copper Gold Project condemn the dismissal of the criminal charges against members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines 27th Infantry Battalion.
Last year, Oct 18, Juvy Capion and her sons John and Jordan were killed in what the 27th IB admitted as “operational lapses”.
Before the 1st anniversary of the massacre, the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao del Sur dismissed the case as they find that evidences filed are “circumstantial and insufficient to establish probable cause of murder.”
“This is outrageous! This is outright denial of justice not only for the Capions but all victims of killings and human rights violations by military personnel. This tells us that military agents can easily run away from criminal charges,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.
According to Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Executive Director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center ”The dismissal of the case against the military is an outright travesty of justice and a clear indication of the kind of justice system that prevails in the country.”
“The victims and their families are crying for justice and for the perpetrators of the killings to be held accountable for their actions. Mining-affected communities particularly of indigenous peoples have consistently experienced various forms of human rights violations committed by groups and individuals who are supposed to protect their rights and interests. . The killing of the Capions is only one case and we should continue to seek justice for them and the other victims,” Dr. Simbulan stressed.
The Social Action Center of Marbel Diocese have documented the whole incident and according to the statements signed by the witnesses, the military operation was legitimate and planned to capture Daguil Capion-husband of Juvy and father of the two (2) children who died during the operation.
Additionally, witnesses heard a military say “Tapusin na yan (finish them off!).” The only survivors of the Capion massacre is Vicky (then 4y/o) and Ressa (then 11y/o) who were able to run to the adjacent hut. Vicky was shot in her right ear.
SAC-Marbel Advocacy Officer Rene Pamplona added: “We call on the national agencies, specifically the Department of Justice and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to intervene and not let this case pass.” He added that the documents gathered from the witnesses, Commission on Human Rights Resolutions, Board of Inquiry of the AFP and the ongoing Court Marshall Proceedings gives bearing to the case.
More killings; HRVs
January 29, 2013: Kitari Capion and Diyo Capion were killed during a raid conducted by Task Force KITACO.
June 28, 2013: Eking Freay and his brother-in-law, Sonnny Boy Planda, were ambushed after selling corn and buying goods from Brgy. Kimlawis. Planda was killed on the spot.
August 23, 2013: Anteng Freay and son Victor Freay, were killed near their home in Bulol Kalon allegedly by the members of the Division Reconnaissance Team of the 10th ID, PA, together with the members of the Task Force KITACO detailed in Datal Alyeng detachment.
Garganera concluded: “We call on the Aquino Administration to take this issue seriously—Tampakan is only one of the mine sites infested by military forces and that result in different forms of violations—these should be pertinent actions done to this. It is about time that we focus on human rights over mining investments.”
”We do not know how the provincial prosecutors have come to their resolution but we know that the Capion murder happened and that we will not stop until we give justice to the Capions, Freays, and the militarized communities,” Pamplona further added
Tampakan and nearby communities are militarized to protect the mining investments of Sagittarius Mines Inc, Xstrata and Indophil.
ATM is part of the Tampakan Forum, a coalition of international and local organizations that serves as technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue. ATM is also part of the TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA Campaign.
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB. (30)
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, PhilRights Executive Director email@example.com
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 firstname.lastname@example.org