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Army Accused of Harassment
« on: November 26, 2007, 11:14:07 AM »
By Kit Bagaipo
The Bohol Chronicle

The Philippine Army's 302nd Infantry Brigade (IB) based in Carmen town is being accused of harassment of civilians and farmers whom they alleged as members of the New Peoples Army (NPA).

Last Friday, human rights group Karapatan reported to the Chronicle that two farmers and a leader of a peasant group in barangay Montesuerte, Carmen had been harassed by elements of the military unit.

According to Karapatan-Bohol chair Liza Serenio, the peasant leader identified as one Leonardo Aparece, 59 and his wife Eugenia Aparece, 56, and two others were accused by Army troops as members of the NPA.

Aparece, a press relations officer of Humabol-Carmen chapter, said in his affidavit that last November 22, around 9 a.m. he arrived at his residence when he saw his neighbors gathered in their house.

He was told by his wife and neighbors that members of the 302nd IB wanted to get inside their house. The neighbors, most of whom were also members of the farmers' organization, went to Aparece's residence after seeing the troops going there.

Eugenia, who is ill, was alone when the Army troops came who questioned her how often their group hold meetings.

Two other farmers, Jason Socorin and Lito Quinsena, also residents of said barangay, where present when the troops came.

In a joint affidavit, Socorin and Quinsena claimed that they were in Aparece's house to borrow a straw mat where they would dry their palay.

They said four military men in full combat gear approached the Aparece house while they saw several others who concealed themselves in a grassy area near the residence.

According to Socorin and Quinsena, the military men, who hid their name tags, pointed their weapons at them while asking them questions.

When asked by Eugenia what they wanted, one of the troops said they were looking for a cow that was allegedly stolen from a nearby village.

However, Quinsena said he was shocked when one of the soldiers aimed his camera at him and took a picture.

According to Serenio, barangay Montesuerte farmers have organized themselves as part of the village is covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. The farmer-beneficiaries were already given certificates of land ownership.

According to Aparece, this was not the first time military troops harassed his family and members of their organization.

Last year, Aparece claimed, the chairperson of their peasant organization, Epifanio Estillore, was also shot by CAFGU men.

In 2003, Aparece's son, Leonardo Jr. was also accused as member of the NPA by elements of the 302nd IB.

Leonardo Jr. was allegedly tied-up by the soldiers which bore frightening memories to his, according to Aparece.

Serenio said Karapatan will file complaints against the 302nd IB at the Commission on Human Rights based on the affidavits of Aparece, Socorin and Quinsena.

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Re: Army Accused of Harassment
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 02:43:53 AM »
I was talking to a native resident from the particular neighboring area and I was telling her that I had heard that their were intelligent reports being said that therewere a return of NPA into the local area as before.

The native of that neighboring area denied that there was presently any reports or such activity that would indicate wether or not there was an increase of NPA there in the local area.

I have heard such reports coming from Government intelligence provincial police group members for some time now?
There is a constant monitoring all over the muddy terrains in the mountains area.
In fact more meetings and training on preparedness for stand by and knowing when to jump off at the right time.

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