STOP MILITARIZATION NOW! (gabriela member Milgaros Belga etc. etc.)

GABRIELA condemns the killing of GABRIELA member Milagros Belga, as well as the spate of killings and abductions, the harassment of peasant leaders, human rights and land reform advocates. It appears that human rights violations have taken a more savage and brutal face, under the leadership of a woman president.

We condemn the unrelenting militarization in the countryside and human rights violations that in recent months have taken as its prey, women and children civilians. (mas diinan ng husto ang women and children angle)

Bgy. Malinao, Magdalena, Laguna

Mila, a mother to four children, is an active GABRIELA member and volunteers as a paralegal for the human rights group, KARAPATAN. Last July 22, 2001, at around 3:00 PM, two men, one of which was identified to be a member of the para-military group, CAFGU*, came looking for Mila at her house. Mila's 10 year-old daughter who was at home called Mila who was then at their neighbors. When Mila returned home, her daughter heard the two men asking Mila for a loan, after which the child also witnessed the two men shoot and stab their mother. Mila bore two gunshot wounds in her chest and her waist. A stab wound was also found near her chest. Four bullet shells were recovered from the site. Mila died on the spot.

Mila has long been harassed and accused of being a supporter of the New People's Army. To allay the situation and dispute accusations, Mila and her husband obliged to military requirements for them to report to the Southern Luzon Command and even attended seminars being conducted by the AFP in the area last April.

(dislocated ang buong pamilya, into hiding, traumatized ang mga bata etc.)

Bgy. Igang, Lucban, Quezon

Last July 10, 2001, between 4:00 to 5:00 AM, Armando awoke disturbed by the noise being made by his chickens. When he opened his window to check, a bullet hit him in the left eye. Mang Armando died immediately. This was followed by 10 minutes of gunfire as an estimated 30 elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines strafed the Arellano residence. Myrna and her children were ordered by the military to come out from the house. They again saw the military fire at their house. Then, they were ordered to bring the wounded children to the nearest hospital (Quezon Memorial Hospital). (wounds and trauma ng 2 bata)
Later in the afternoon, military elements aboard a six by six truck went to the Arellano residence and there, found Armando's two children, Gilberto and Danilo. Soldiers looted the wallets of both Gilberto and Danilo, after which both were arrested and were forced to admit being members of the NPA.

Sitio Landing, Malasena, Bgy. Tala, Rizal, Laguna

Last July 31, 2001 at around 3:00 PM, elements of the 5th Special Forces Company of the Philippine Army strafed the house of the Ibanez family. This was after NPA members were sighted earlier in the area. Merly and Christian were taking an afternoon nap when the military opened fire. Merly who was seven months pregnant with twins was hit in the back and died at the San Pablo District Hospital. Five year-old Christian was hit in the head and died instantly. Christopher was wounded in the left thigh.

The cases above are limited to incidents in the province of Laguna. Many have likewise been reported in Northern Luzon, the Cordilleras and provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Add to these cases, 14 women and minors continue to be detained for political reasons. This includes six minors and a pregnant woman. Another woman political prisoner was pregnant when arrested and had a miscarriage. Already, over 150 cases of human rights violations have been documented under the 6 month-old Arroyo regime.

We dread to see the Arroyo administration surpass the record of human rights violations set by her macho-fascist predecessor. We dread to see more civilians, especially the women and the children, displaced, harassed, traumatized, wounded and killed in many military operations.

We demand justice for all victims of human rights violations and the immediate release of all political prisoners, especially the women and children. We demand for the Arroyo regime to return to the negotiating table with the National Democratic Front. We demand the immediate dismantling of para-military groups as well as the pull-out of military troops in the countryside. In lieu of a military solution to the growing insurgency, we urge the Arroyo administration to instead channel military funds towards basic services such as health and education as well as the implementation of genuine pro-people projects in the countryside, towards the attainment of genuine peace based on justice.

National Alliance of Women's Organizations
August 2001