THE YEAR THAT WAS:

THE YEAR THAT WAS:

Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]   THE YEAR THAT WAS:    Violations Persist, Farmers Cry S.O.S! (July 2...

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]  

THE YEAR THAT WAS:   

Violations Persist, Farmers Cry S.O.S! (July 2006 – September 2007)     



ince  2001,  a  total  of  415  cases  of  agrarian  reform  and  human  rights  (AR‐HR)  violations  have  been  documented  by  the  Partnership  for  Agrarian  Reform  and  Rural  Development  Services  (PARRDS),  a  coalition  of  peoples’  organizations  and  non‐government  organizations pushing for land reform and countryside development.  Alleged violations ranging  from  killing,  harassment,  violent  dispersal,  frustrated  killing,  destruction  of  property,  displacement  and  more,  have  victimized  19,570  agrarian  reform  petitioners  and  beneficiaries  throughout the country.    In the course of the peasants struggle to secure their human rights to means of subsistence and  food, forty‐one (41) farmers have been summarily executed.  Of the total number of incidents,  twelve (12) were allegedly perpetrated by state agents.  Another 12 incidents were supposedly  executed  by  non‐state  entities  (e.g.  armed  goons,  blue  guards  and  NPAs)  while  sixteen  (16)  others  were  unidentified  and  one  (1)  incident  was  alleged  to  be  perpetrated  by  a  collusion  between state and non‐state entities.     To this day, all cases remain unresolved.  The alleged perpetrators remained scot‐free virtually  clothed with impunity.      Violations meter rising (June 2006 – September 2007 highlights)     During the period, out of the twenty‐two (22) incidents monitored, thirty‐three (33) agrarian‐ related  human  rights  violations  cases  with  six  hundred  fourteen  (614)  farmer‐victims  were  documented  by  PARRDS. 1     The  33  human  rights  violations  (HRVs)  were  reported  by  the  Coalition’s local partners –the peoples’ organizations and non‐government organizations in the  seven (7) provinces considered as “hotspot” areas.    Topping the list of AR‐HR cases documented is harassment (in the form of intimidation, grave  threat  and  indiscriminate  shooting)  attributing  11  cases  and  having  143  victims.    This  is  followed by displacement, with 118 individuals affected including 255 farm workers who were  illegally  dismissed  from  work,  violent  dispersal  with  50  victims,  destruction  of  property  was  attributed to 21 victims, frustrated killings with 16 victims, and Killing with 5 cases recorded and  6 lives lost. 2       Based on the documents, the alleged perpetrators were mostly non‐state agents (the landlords  and  their  goons,  the  blue  guards)  having  been  implicated  in  16  cases  and  victimizing  498  1 2

Cases of Agrarian Reform and Human Rights Violations covering July 2006 – Sept. 6, 2007 Summary of Cases, Incidents, and Victims of AR-HR Violations; July 2006 – Sept. 6, 2007

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

farmer‐beneficiaries. 3     State  agents  meanwhile,  were  attributed  with  7  cases  and  82  victims  involving the Philippine National Police (PNP), Barangay police and the military.    Out of the 33 cases, seventeen (17) AR‐HRVs with reported 191 victims were monitored in the  Visayas,  particularly  in  the  AR‐HR  ‘hotspot’  area  of  Iloilo  and  Negros  Occidental.    In  Iloilo,  11  cases  with  77  victims  were  documented  while  114  victims  were  attributed  to  the  6  cases  reported in Negros Occidental. 4   Second in rank on AR‐HR violations is Luzon.  A total of 13 cases were documented in the island  involving some 161 poor farmer‐victims.  Four (4) of these cases took place in Quezon province  particularly  in  the  Bondoc  Peninsula.    Another  4  incidents  were  also  documented  in  Metro  Manila,  specifically  in  Quezon  City  where  a  heightened  farmers’  protest  aimed  at  the  DAR  central  office  demanding  for  a  swift  resolutions  to  land  reform‐related  cases  and  a  call  for  a  revamp within its bureaucracy.    In Mindanao, three (3) AR‐HR cases were documented by the Coalition involving two hundred  sixty‐seven  (267)  poor  agricultural  workers  as  victims.    These  were  banana  plantation  farm‐ workers  and  also  legitimate  agrarian  reform  beneficiaries  who,  allegedly,  were  dismissed  illegally by the HRC (Hijo Resources Corporation) management.     Extrajudicial killings    From July 2006 to September 11, 2007, six (6) peasant leaders have been killed or summarily  executed.    These  were;  Wilfredo  Cornea,  Alberto  Yadan,  Pepito  Santillan,  Joseph  Matunding,  Alejandro Garcesa, Ely Tupaz and Frank Labial. 5   Frank Labial, the latest victim, was tailed by two (2) assailants on a motorcycle coming from the  market.  Witnesses mentioned that after the first volley of fire, he was able to run towards his  house.  The  killers  followed  the  victim  and  later  caught  him  just  inside  the  gate  of  his  house  shooting him with a .45 caliber handgun.    Before his assassination, Ka Frank was leader of the landless rural poor in asserting their rights  over the 2,995 hectares Bukidnon Farms Incorporated (BFI) in Don Carlos, an ill gotten property  of  the  Marcoses.  Their  struggles  date  as  far  back  as  1986  since  he  was  one  of  the  farmer  beneficiaries of the 1988 CARP Law. 6   Criminalizing agrarian reform    ‘Criminalization’ of agrarian related cases continues to be the leading trend blocking peasants’  effort  and  further  cementing  the  situation  of  ‘CARP  paralyses’  in  the  countryside.    All  3

Summary of Alleged AR-HR Violations Perpetrators; July 2006 – Sept. 6, 2007 Summary of distribution of AR-HRV cases per island and hotspot areas; July 2006 – Sept. 6, 2007 5 Table; Killings/Summary Executions; PARRDS 6 Public Statement; Factsheet; PARRDS 4

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

documented  cases  involving  agrarian  reform  beneficiaries  from  Iloilo  and  Quezon  provinces  face various criminal complaints (e.g. theft, robbery, trespassing, malicious mischief, etc.) filed  by the influential landlords despite the legitimacy of their claims as possessors of Certificate of  Land Ownership Awards or CLOA.      In Iloilo for instance, the Coalition documented and assisted 17 CARP beneficiary‐farmers from  Barangay  Libertad  in  the  town  of  Banate  who  were  forced  to  flee  to  Manila  after  the  former  landowner Danilo Valderama filed Theft cases against them and two (2) others.  The landlord  alleged the farmers harvested sugarcanes which he claimed still belongs to him.  The farmers’  predicament happened despite receiving their respective CLOAs as early June 2005. 7      Suppressing the right to peaceful assembly    At  least  (20)  farmer‐leaders  who  were  pursuing  a  dialogue  with  DAR  Secretary  Nasser  Pangandaman were hurt and injured as a combined group of SWAT and Quezon City anti‐riot  policemen forcibly evicted them outside the DAR central office premises and dispersed scores  of others outside who were on a ‘seat down’ strike.        The mass demonstrations happened two (2) straight days that began on Monday, September 3,  2007.    More  than  300  farmers,  all  agrarian  reform  beneficiaries  coming  from  the  different  regions were involved in the joint UNORKA‐Pilipinas and Task Force Mapalad (TFM) 2‐day rally.   Those who were hurt on the first day were a certain Teresita David, a farmer from Cavite and  Praxedes Ocay both were hit with a cane stick by the policemen allegedly under the command  of  a  certain  police  Colonel  Paguinto.    On  the  second  day,  UNORKA  farmer‐leader  Evangeline  Mendoza was allegedly clubbed by the police and a certain Robert Flores of TFM was mauled  and arrested but was later freed when AR‐HR advocates intervened for the latter’s release.    In September 7, 2007 police violently dispersed more than 100 farmers from UNORKA‐Pilipinas  and  TFM  who  stormed  the  office  of  the  DAR  Secretary  at  the  4rth  floor  of  the  central  office  building.  The protesting farmers were restive after DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman failed  to keep his promise of settling the pending land cases in favor of the farmers.  This forced them  to barge into the compound and staged a ‘sit‐down‐strike’ outside the Secretary’s office room.    Meanwhile, more than 30 UNORKA‐Pilipinas farmer‐leaders also occupied the ground floor of  the building.  The two (2) groups were one in their demand for a speedy resolution of pending  CARP cases and the call for a revamp in the DAR bureaucracy.      The  incident  forced  the  DAR  security  personnel  to  call  the  Quezon  City  Police  Department  (QCPD) Anti‐riot police squad under the command of a certain Colonel Paguinto.  As a result,  more or less fifty (50) farmer‐leaders mostly women were hurt during the violent dispersal that  took  place  around  11:30  in  the  morning.    Allegedly,  one  farmer  was  forcibly  dragged  and  pushed towards the stairs from the 4rth floor.  7

Aide Memoir; PARRDS

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

  UNORKA‐Pilipinas  farmer‐leader  Apolonio  Pacardo  was  arrested  and  was  brought  to  Camp  Karingal in Quezon City.  He was held against his will for more than thirteen hours (13) and was  only  released  upon  the  intervention  of  AR‐HR  lawyers  and  prominent  individual  advocates.   Pacardo was released at the custody of his counsel and pending further investigation at around  12:30 midnight.      Non‐State Actors, new breed of AR‐HR perpetrators    The emergence of the so‐called non‐state entities or non‐state actors (NSAs) as the new face of  human rights perpetrators have been, for quite sometime, subject of a critical discourse among  international  human  rights  experts  and  advocates.    In  the  debate’s  progression  however,  the  entities  unmasked  were  limited  to  entities  like  the  Transnational  Corporations  (TNCs),  International  Monetary  Fund  (IMF),  International  Non‐government  Organizations  (INGOs),  private security contractors including the UN (United Nations). 8   In  the  Philippines,  human  rights  violations  involving  such  groups  are  inadequately  monitored  and  documented.    This  does  not  necessarily mean  local HR  advocates  have  found  no  ways  in  pursuing  the  accountability  of  NSAs  as  alleged  perpetrators  of  human  rights  violations  or  atrocities.  In fact, the Coalition maintains that it is the State’s main responsibility, as party to  international human rights treaties, to go after and prosecute these supposed offenders under  local laws.    Within  the  context  of  the  Philippine  peasant  experience  particularly  those  pushing  for  land  reform,  a  new  strain  of  NSAs  emerged.      Rebel  groups  belonging  to  the  CPP‐NPA  and  the  recalcitrant  landlords  with  their  armed  goons  or  blue  guards  have  been  documented  by  PARRDS to having infringed farmers’ human rights.  Of the two however, the latter topped as  prominent perpetrators of AR‐HR atrocities within the period covered with 243 victims out of  the 15 cases documented. 9       Beyond what statistics show is a far more relevant idea of considering both groups as non‐state  entities  and  therefore  deserves  to  be  elevated  in  the  international  stage  of  human  rights  discourse;  in  making  them  accountable  to  human  rights.    These  groups  command  great  political, social and economic influence in their own localities.  Landlords for instance, govern  their  estate  or  haciendas  with  their  own  set  of  laws  locally  considered  ‘batas  hasyenda’  (hacienda law) and tenants living within are obliged or otherwise forced to follow these rules.    In effect, the haciendas are ‘pseudo‐states’ where landlords have firmly established their own  government  replete  with  system  of  laws,  an  army,  institutions  like  churches,  schools,  health  clinics and other basic amenities.   

8 9

“Non-State Actors and Human Rights”, edited by Philip Alston Table of alleged AR-HR violations perpetrators; PARRDS

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

So  far,  the  government  has  been  ineffective  and  remiss  of  its  obligations  in  protecting  and  defending  farmers’  enjoyment  of  their  human  rights,  specifically  the  right  to  means  of  subsistence and adequate food from the violent onslaught of a new breed of Non‐State Actors.    Shrinking democratic space    CARP  petitioners,  farmers’  groups  and  AR‐HR  advocates  sensed  that  the  AR  struggle  is  losing  ground in almost all aspects.  This was propelled by alleged violations and abuses of both state  and  non‐state  actors  imposing  their  anti‐CARP  stance  often  leading  to  violent  confrontations  with local CARP advocates in agrarian reform communities.      At the policy level, it becomes even more difficult for them to assert their human rights as the  law espousing CARP is replete with ambiguity. The gaps provided an opportunity for recalcitrant  and influential landlords most of whom are policy makers themselves, in rendering their own  self‐serving  interpretations  of  the  law.    It  allowed  them  to  get  around  with  the  law  diluting  whatever is left of its substance.  Worst, CARP as stipulated is supposedly on its final phase and  is set to conclude by June of 2008.      The  imminent  termination  of  the  program  is  a  huge  blow  to  the  impoverished  farmers  and  farm‐workers effort, those who have pinned their hopes on CARP to own land to survive.  Their  miserable  predicament  would  usher  a  new  wave  of  protests  from  the  sectors  involved.   Because  of  this,  farmers  and  human  rights  defenders  believe,  that  with  or  without  CARP  extension, human rights violations would intensify further.         ******* 

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

SUMMARY OF CASES AND VICTIMS OF AR-HR VIOLATIONS Covering the period July 2006 – September 2007 As Documented by the Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Cases

Number of Cases

1. Harassment

Number of Victims 11

143

ƒ Grave threat

7

16

ƒ Indiscriminate shooting

2

104

ƒ Intimidation

1

3

ƒ Physical assault

1

20

2. Frustrated Killing

7

16

3. Killing

5

6

4. Economic Displacement (due to illegal dismissal) 5. Displacement

1

255

4

118

ƒ Due to criminalization of AR cases

3

113

ƒ Others

1

5

6. Arrest

2

2

7. Violent Dispersal

1

50

8. Destruction of Property

1

21

9. Illegal Search

1

3

33

614

TOTAL

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

SUMMARY OF ALLEGED AR-HR VIOLATION PERPETRATORS Covering the period July 2006 – September 2007 As Documented by the Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Alleged Perpetrator

Alleged Involvement

Non-state Agents/Actors ƒ Landlord ƒ Landlord goons ƒ Landlord and goons ƒ Landlord blue guards (Security) ƒ HRC Plantation management State Agents/Actors ƒ Police (PNP)/Brgy. police (Tanod)

ƒ Military (AFP)

Number of Victims

16 1 8 3 3 1

498 68 17 50 108 255

7

82

3

76

2

6

State and Non-State (Collusion)

2

ƒ PNP (Provincial Mobile Group) and landlord goons Unidentified

TOTAL

2

18 18

8

16

33

614

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

SUMMARY OF DISTRIBUTION OF AR-HRV CASES PER ISLAND/HOTSPOT AREAS Covering the period July 2006 – September 2007 As Documented by the Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

AREA OF INCIDENT

No. of Cases

VISAYAS 1. Iloilo 2. Negros Occidental

17 11 6

LUZON 1. Quezon

2. 3. 4. 5.

No. of Victims

191 77 114

13

Quezon City Batangas Pampanga Laguna

MINDANAO 1. Davao Del Norte 2. Bukidnon

161

4

77

4 2 2 1

72 5 6 1 3

2 1 TOTAL

267 261 1

33

614

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Extrajudicial Killing or Summary Execution Agrarian Reform and Human Rights Violations/Abuses (February 2001 – September 2007) As documented by the Partnership for Agrarian Reform and rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Date

Name of Victim

Place of Incident

Alleged Perpetrator

February , 2001

1.

Ronilo Vasquez

December 9, 2002

2.

Emeterio Blanco

La Castellana, Negros Occidental Binalbagan, Negros Occidental

Armed men of Farley Gustillo Unidentified

January 6, 2003

3.

Dominador Morales

Panabo, Davao City

February 4, 2003

4.

Raymundo Tejino

March 8, 2003

5.

Junie Gaylan

May 3, 2003

6.

Indak Espartero

October 3, 2003

7.

Roding Romero

Bo. San Vicente, San Narciso, Quezon Province Nagasi,La Carlota City, Negros Occidental Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental Bo. San Vicente, San Narciso, Quezon Province

March 20, 2004

8.

Felizardo Benitez

May 6, 2004

9.

Lito Bayudan

2004 September 3, 2004

10. Alex Aquino 11. Teresa Mameng

November 1, 2004

12. Agustin Flores

Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004 Novenber 16, 2004

13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

January 15, 2005

22. Winifredo Matahum

May 13, 2005 July 23, 2005 October 25, 2005

23. Delia de Castro 24. Hernando Baria 25. Ricardo Ramos

January 10, 2006 March 27, 2006

26. Antonio Adriales 27. Vicente Denila

Mexico, Pampanga Tanjay City

Para-military unit Unidentified

March 17, 2006 April, 2006

28. Tirso Cruz 29. JimmyMirafuentes

Conception, Pampanga Albay

Unidentified assailant Unidentified

April 15, 2006

30.

Unidentified armed men

April 22, 2006

31. Porferio Maglasang

April 25, 2006

32. Enrico Cabanit

Bagtic, Silay, Negros Occidental Kabankalan, Negros Occidental Tagum, Davao Norte

2003 Armed goons, DARBCO member, and PNP NPA Armed Security guards of Malibu Agri. Corp. Goons and loyal;ist of Miguel Lacson Armed goons of UY family

2004

Jun David Adriano Caballero Jhaivie Basilio Jesus Laza Jaime Pastidio Juancho Sanchez Neng Balete Boy Versola Jesie Valdes

Bo. San Vicente, San Narciso, Quezon Province Bo. San Jose, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija Bulacan Bo. Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental Maytubig, Isabela Negros Occidental Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac

Armed goons of UY family NPA unidentified Armed goons of Mario Villanueva Unidentified AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP AFP and PNP

2005 Escalante City, Negros Occidental San Isidro, Davao Oriental Asao, Lawis, Balasan, Iloilo Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac

Unidentified Unidentified PNP elements of Iloilo Unidentified

2006

Rico Adeva

Unidentified Unidentified

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS] May 17, 2006

33. Mario Domingo (35/male)

May 18, 2006 June 26, 2006

34. Annaliza AbanadorGandia 35. Wilfredo Cornea

December. 6, 2006

36. Alberto Yadan

January 25, 2007

37. Pepito Santillan (62/male)

January 30, 2007

38. Joseph Matunding

June 4, 2007

39. Alejandro Garcesa

June 4, 2007

40. Ely Tupaz

August 10, 2007

41. Frank Labial (59/male)

TOTAL NO. OF VICTIMS:

41

Mansalanao, La Castellana, Negros Occidental Balanga City, Bataan Hacienda Mulawin, Sagay, Negros Occidental Brgy. Tipas, San Juan Batangas

Armed goons of Gustillo’s

2 motorcycle-riding gunmen 2 unidentified gunmen 2 assailants armed with .45 cal. Pistol; (police arrested a barangay police as suspect to the crime)

2007 Hacienda Velez-Malaga, Barangay Robles, La Castellana, Negros Occidental Barangay Manduawak, San Dionisio, Iloilo

Unidentified armed men

Hacienda Velez-Malaga, Barangay Robles, La Castellana, Negros Occidental Hacienda Velez-Malaga, Barangay Robles, La Castellana, Negros Occidental Don Carlos, Bukidnon

Undetermined number of Security Guards of landlord Roberto Cuenca

(2) a certain Ian Bartolome and John doe

Undetermined number of Security Guards of landlord Roberto Cuenca 2 assailants on motorcycle; armed with .45-caliber handgun

With Reports from: PEACE Foundation, Inc. ,UNORKA-Filipinas, NCPERD TFM, EMPOWERMENT, MFDC, KPD, NOFFA, AHRC

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Extrajudicial Killing or Summary Execution: Summary Distribution of Alleged Perpetrators Per Incident and Area (February 2001 – September 2007) Alleged Perpetrator

Luzon

11

State Actors • • • •

PNP Military and PNP Para-military Barangay Police

9 1 1

Landlord Armed Goons Landlord Blue Guards New People’s Army (NPA)



TOTAL PER ISLAND

20

12

1

1

3

16

1

5

Unidentified

-

-

Armed Goons and PNP

12

-

-

State & Non-state Collusion

-

8 5 3 -

2

Total Incidents

-

4 2

Mindanao

1 1 -

Non-state Actors • • •

Visayas

8 17

4

41

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Distribution of Cases & Violations of Human Rights (2001 – June 2006) Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS] Cases

Quezon Province

Provinces of Nueva Ecija, Mindoro,Cavite, Isabela, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Albay, Bulacan, Pampanga,, Bataan, Tarlac and National Capital Region Number Number of of Incident/s Victim/s

Provinces of Davao, North Cotabato, Sarangani, and Compostela Valley

Provinces of Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Oriental Negros

Number of Incident/s

Number of Victim/s

Number of Incident/s

Number of Victim/s

Number of Incident/s

Number of Victim/s

1. Killing

3

3

7

15

3

3

12

12

2. Frustrated killing

6

86

2

3

4

20

7

13

3. a. Harassment

15

76

6

367

2

399

8

230

b. Criminal charges filed against farmer but agrarian related

200

155

21

250

32

143

1

155

3

39

2

2

1

105

4

150

4. Violent dispersal

2

363

5. Forced eviction

1

245

6. Illegal work dismissal

2

47

7. Arrest and Detention

14

18

3

289

8. Divestment of property

3

(3 property Divested)

2

(7 property divested)

1

174

9. Physical assault 10. Evacuation

6

15,478

11. Destruction of property

3

(3 house Destroyed)

12. Frustrated abduction

2

2

1

(6 houses destroyed)

1 13. Illegal search 14.Disappearance 15. Economic Displacement

Total:

1

123

253

15,941

1

1

45

1,254

14

1,077

70

694

Total Number of Incidents………………………………….382 Total Number of Human Rights Victims………………..18,966

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Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services, Inc. [PARRDS]

Summary of Human Rights Violations (Per Cases)

Cases

Number of Incidents

Number of Victims

1. Killing

25

33

2. Frustrated killing

19

122

3. a. Harassment

31

1,072

b. Criminal charges file against farmer but agrarian related

253

548

4. Violent dispersal

3

518

5. Force eviction

1

245

6. Illegal work dismissal

2

47

7. Arrest and Detention

20

346

8. Divestment of property

5

(5 divested property)

9. Physical assault

3

176

10. Evacuation

7

15,583

11. Destruction of property

8

150 (9 houses destroyed)

12. Frustrated abduction

2

2

13. Illegal search

1

(1 property)

14. Disappearance

1

1

15. Economic Displacement

1

123

382

18,966

Total: Period covered: 2001 to June 2006

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