SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
The human rights alliance, Karapatan, has slammed the military for continuing to illegally arrest and detain Filipino civilians due to the money making “bounty” scheme in where the military arrests civilians using arrest warrants of “aliases” in order to reap the multi-million peso rewards:
What was supposed to be a vacation turned out to be a nightmare for three local tourists Aileen Cruz, Rey Busania, and Ofelia Inong when they were arrested without any warrant on September 10 by joint operatives of Regional Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), the Philippine National Police led by Senior Supt. Ulysses J. Abellera, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Cruz, Busania and Inong were brought and detained at Mt. Province Provincial Police in Bontoc. The three were only brought to the fiscal’s office on September 11. Cruz and Busania were initially cleared of any cases. Inong was shown a warrant of arrest against her under the name of “Lolita Loguibis”, an alleged finance and logistics officer of the NPA. The PNP claimed that Inong is “Loguibis”.
Even without a charge, Busania was not released. Later in the day, a warrant of arrest from Madella, Quirino was issued against Busania.
The arrest followed the series of indiscriminate bombing in the northern villages of Sagada supposedly in pursuit of members of the New People’s Army. The bombings destroyed communal rice fields, hunting grounds, and water source.
“The military’s claim that Rolly Panesa is ‘Benjamin Mendoza’ was proven wrong and unjust. Now they did it again to Ofelia Inong by insisting she is ‘Lolita Loguibis’ supposedly a finance and logistics officer of the NPA. ‘Loguibis’ reportedly has a PhP 2.05M bounty on her head, just as ‘Mendoza’ had PhP 5.6 million,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
“This reward/bounty system is getting out of hand and becoming more dangerous, victimizing any person, at random, for the military and police to get the reward money,” Palabay lamented. The PhP 5.6 million bounty for the arrest of ‘Benjamin Mendoza’ was rewarded to an unidentified person for Panesa’s arrest. We don’t even know where that PhP 5.6 million of people’s money went. This reward-bounty system must stop!” Palabay said.
“This is a desperate act of the Aquino government who is stricken by massive opposition to corruption and bureaucrat capitalism,” Palabay said. “Kasabay ng pagtatakip ng gobyernong ito ang apoy na nilikha ng pork barrel, bumibigwas si Aquino para takutin ang mamamayan para hindi lumaban (while the government tries to appease the people’s outrage against pork barrel, Aquino strikes at the people to sow fear and suppress people’s protests and indignation),” Palabay said.
Karapatan demanded the immediate release of Yagao, Busania, Inong, and all political prisoners. “Stop arbitrary arrests and illegal detention!” the group said.