27th IB’s replacement in Tampakan has EJK record – Karapatan

HUMAN  rights group Karapatan scoffed at the Philippine Army’s (PA) recent move to transfer the 39th Infantry Battalion (IB) in the Kiblawan-Tampakan-Columbio area in place of the 27th IB, the military unit being held responsible for the massacre of B’laan anti-mining activist Juvy Capion, and her two sons, Pop, 13, and John, 8 on October 18.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said that the “39th IB is also tainted with blood as it was the same unit responsible, with its attached paramilitary group, for the killing of father and son, Rudy Yalon-Dejos, 50, and his son Rody Rick, 26. Both were found dead with gunshot and stab wounds inside their house on February 27, 2011. Like Juvy, they were from the B’laan tribe in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.”

Rudy and Rody Rick Dejos were found dead, their bodies bathed in blood. Their hands and nails were smashed and there were bruises on their bodies. Their tribe was tagged by the 39th IB-PA to be in the “frontline of the underground movement” and the New People’s Army.  Rudy was vice chairperson of Zone-1 Farmers Association (ZOFA), an affiliate of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. Both underwent interrogation and threat from the military and paramilitary groups because of their involvement with KMP.

Palabay added that “the grave rights violations committed against the Capion family, and to the Dejoses for that matter, cannot be resolved by playing musical chair, deploying another terror unit in place of one terror unit to supposedly appease the indigenous communities’ disgust over these killings. The recent massacre took three lives, aside from the dislocation it caused the Capion family. This is a matter of justice. Military troops should be pulled out from all communities immediately. “

Moreover, Palabay stated that aside from the replacement of troops, the reported court martial proceedings and the hazy reports on the relief or resignation of the commanding officer and troops responsible for the killings are meant to deceive the community and the public into buying that good-cop act of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“These military personnel should be held criminally liable for this massacre. They should stop justifying these heinous crimes by weaving tales about an encounter,” she quipped.

The group also noted that the 10th ID’s former Commanding General, Jorge Segovia was promoted by Noynoy Aquino despite the charges filed against him for his involvement in the torture of the 43 health workers known as Morong 43. “It wouldn’t come as a surprise if any of the officers involved in these killings, both of the Capions and the Dejoses, would also be given the same privileged positions in the government. After all, this is ‘respect for human rights’ ala Oplan Bayanihan,” said Palabay.


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