MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Urgent Action: Two more human rights activists murdered anew in Mindoro Oriental, Philippines

Published by MAC on 2004-02-13

Urgent Action: Two more human rights activists murdered anew in Mindoro Oriental, Philippines

13 February 2004

Summary Execution

II. Victims:
Vice Mayor Juvy M. Magsino
. Female
. 34 years old, single
. Vice Mayor of Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines
. Chairperson of Mindoro for Justice and Peace
. Chairperson of the Vice Mayors' League Mindoro Oriental,
Philippines
. Human Rights Lawyer
. Honorary Member of Gabriela
. Candidate for Mayor of Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines
endorsed by Bayan Muna, Partylist Group for the May 2004, National
Elections
. A resident of Barangay Adrealuna, Naujan, Mindoro Oriental,
Philippines

Leima Fortu
. Female
. 27 years old, single
. Acting Secretary-General of KARAPATAN-Mindoro Oriental
. Volunteer Staff of Mindoro for Justice and Peace
. Member of Bayan Muna Calapan City
. Public School Teacher at the Suqui Elementary School,
Calapan,Mindoro Oriental, Philippines
. A resident of Barangay Maidlang, Calapan City, Mindoro Oriental,
Philippines

III. Date : 13 February 2004 at about 11:00 PM

IV. Place : Barangay Amuguis, Naujan, Mindoro Oriental,
Philippines

V. Alleged perpetrators:

Elements of the 204th Infantry Brigade, whose Commanding Officer is Col. Ferdinand L. Mesa with General Headquarters at Pinagsabangan Uno, Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines under the 2nd Infantry Division of which Col. Jovito Palparan, Jr. is Deputy Commander; A paramilitary group and incumbent Mayor Norberto Mendoza of Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines

VI. Summary of Incident:

At around 11:00 PM of February 13, 2004, Vice Mayor Juvy Magsino, 34 years old and a resident of Barangay Adrealuna, Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines, along with Leima Fortu, 27 years old and a resident of Barangay Maidlang, Calapan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines were on their way to Vice Mayor Magsino's friend to get a computer in Pinagsabangan, Naujan, Mindoro Oriental. After passing through a place called "Curba" in Pinagsabangan going to Amuguis, they were already being tailed by elements believed to belong to the 204th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army. In Barangay Amuguis, the two men on board a motorcycle with no plate number peppered the Vice Mayor's vehicle with bullets. Witnesses claimed that the two were armed with a 9mm gun and an armalite. The General Headquarters of the 204th Infantry Brigade was only a hundred meters away from the ambush site.

Vice Mayor Magsino suffered three gunshot wounds on her head without exit points; and one each on her chest, shoulder and neck. Leima also had gunshot wounds on her chest, near her right ear, knee and shoulder.

At the time of her death Vice Mayor Magsino was the Chairperson of Mindoro for Justice and Peace, Chairperson of the Vice Mayors' League in Mindoro Oriental, Philippines, honorary member of Gabriela and was running for Mayor of Naujan against the incumbent Mayor Norberto Mendoza. She was also a known human rights lawyer for KARAPATAN-Mindoro Oriental and the fisherfolks group PAMALAKAYA-Mindoro Oriental.

Leima Fortu was a public school teacher at the Suqui Elementary School in Calapan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines. She was Acting Secretary General of KARAPATAN-Mindoro Oriental, a volunteer staff of Mindoro for Justice and Peace and a member of the partylist group Bayan Muna Calapan City Chapter.

Prior to her death, Vice Mayor Magsino was known to be very vocal against the former 204th IBPA Commanding Officer Col. Jovito Palparan, Jr. and the increasing military deployment in the island province.

KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog spokesperson Irein Cuasay, told the KARAPATAN National Office that Vice Mayor Magsino had recently called her a few days before she was shot dead. Vice Mayor Magsino informed Irein that she had received two death threats claiming that she would no longer live beyond February 15, 2004.

Her body lies in state at the Varcenaga Funeral Homes in Naujan, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines. The place is teeming with military men and a soldier reportedly took a picture of the Vice Mayor's wake.

Recommended Action

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the summary execution of Vice Mayor Juvy Magsino and Leima Fortu of Mindoro Oriental, Philippines;

2. The investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime;

3. The immediate and proper indemnification of the family/relatives of the victims; and

4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of its provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opn@ops.gov.ph


Hon. Teresita Deles
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
7F Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 636 0701 to 0766
Fax: (+632) 638 2216
Email: palaka@pacific.net.ph

Hon. Eduardo R. Ermita
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Camp Emilio Aguinaldo
E. de los Santos Avenue,
Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 912-9281
Fax: (+632) 911 6213

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov.ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below:

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights)-National
Office
43 Masikap St. Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 435 4146 / Fax: (+632) 928 6078
Emails: krptn@philonline.com.ph; / karapatan@edsamail.com.ph

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