URGENT ACTION ALERT: Seven-year-old girl shot by drunken soldier in Compostela Valley, Mindanao, Southern Philippines

Seven-year-old girl shot by drunken soldier in
Compostela Valley, Mindanao, Southern Philippines

UA No: 2011-09-01

UA Date :

September 30, 2011

UA Case :
Extrajudicial killing (or arbitrary killing);

Victim/s :

Seven (7) years old

Grade 2 pupil of Biasong Elementary School

Resident of Purok (sub-village) 3, Biasong, Napnapan village, municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley province

Place of Incident :
Purok 3, Biasong, Napnapan village, municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley province

Date of Incident :
September 3, 2011

Alleged Perpetrator(s) :
Private First Class (Pfc.) Baltazar Ramos, a certain “Sergeant Dalipong” and “Pfc. Valdez” who all belong to the Bravo Company of the 71st Infantry Battalion, under the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army

Account of the Incident:

Around 10:05 in the evening of September 2, 2011, Adelina Jabinez had just closed her store and videoke, there being a curfew in the community on the use of videoke machine. After which, she went to sleep together with her husband Berman and their only daughter Sunshine. Sunshine was positioned near the wall of their house, next to her was Adelina, and Berman. Adelina had her arm around her daughter when at around 11:30 pm she was awakened by 2 (two) gunshots. Stunned, she immediately woke her husband. Then she heard her daughter saying “Ma, Dad, sakit…” (Ma, Dad, I’m hurt). Adelina immediately told her husband to get their flashlight because she suspected that her daughter was hit. When Adelina touched her daughter and Berman turned-on the flashlight, they saw that she was bathed in blood.

Adelina immediately went outside to check who fired the gun, and she saw Private First Class Baltazar Ramos sitting and holding the gun pointing to the direction of their house; beside him was his Detachment Commander identified only as “Sgt. Dalipong”. When PFC Ramos saw Adelina come out, he fired at the ground. She went back in and carried Sunshine outside and presented her to PFC Ramos, saying, “Naigo akong anak, sir; malooy ka, sir; tabangi ko, sir, mabuhi pa siguro ni akong anak, sir (Sir, my child was hit. Have pity on us, help us sir, my child might be able to survive)!” PFC Ramos was shocked upon seeing the wounded child, because Adelina showed him the open wound from the right buttocks of the child, the worn out blanket and shortpants covered with blood.

Adelina did not see the gun because the two other soldiers took it away from PFC Ramos. As she asked help from PFC Ramos, who was still in shock, she shouted at him “You killed my daughter!” She cried to him to look for a motorcycle and maybe they could still save Sunshine. Her husband was able to borrow a motorcycle and Sgt. Dalipong immediately tried to get on it but Adelina stopped him and told him that he was drunk and that her husband should be the one to bring Sunshine to the hospital. A neighbor, helped Adelina find four (4) other motorcycles so that they could follow immediately. When Sunshine was finally brought to the hospital at around 2am, the doctor declared that she was dead on arrival. Sunshine’s father also went to the Police Station to report the incident.

Sunshine was hit in her right buttock, and the bullet went through the spinal cord and stomach. The doctor recovered a bullet from the child, and another was found on the floor of the Jabinez’ bedroom. Adelina told PFC Ramos that if she only knew that he was drunk and was carrying a gun, she would have left the house with her daughter Sunshine to seek safety.

Earlier that evening, at about 10:00 pm at the start of the curfew hour being implemented by the military in the community, PFC Baltazar Ramos and his fellow soldiers had a drinking spree inside their detachment camp located within the vicinity of the community of Sitio Biasong. PFC Ramos was already asleep but PFC Valdez woke him up to come with him and continue drinking at Sana’s videoke store. After drinking at Sana’s videoke store, they went to Lyn-lyn Egos’ videoke store. Upon entering, PFC Ramos immediately harrased the civilians who were also drinking there. He pointed to the civilians and asked, ”Sinong astig dito (Who’s the tough guy here)?” The civilians did not answer because they were all frightened. One civilian identified only as ”Jan-Jan” was in the kitchen when PFC Ramos went inside and asked, ”Ikaw, astig ka (You, are you a tough guy)?” PFC Ramos picked up a bottle to smash on Jan-jan’s head, but to his surprise, Jan-Jan had also picked up a bottle to smash on PFC Ramos’s head. Ramos ran away and Jan-Jan chased him.

PFC Ramos ran towards their detachment; the civilians, who thought that Ramos went to get his gun, also ran away for safety. Eventually, all of the customers left Lyn-lyn’s videoke store. Ramos went back to the videoke store which the owner Lyn-lyn had locked up. Ramos, thinking that his enemy Jan-jan was still inside, begged Lyn-lyn, to open up. Lyn-lyn answered him that Jan-jan had already fled, but Ramos did not listen.

Meanwhile, the detachment commander Sgt. Dalipong, who, out of drunkenness, had fallen asleep in a chair outside the store, was awakened by PFC Ramos’ menace. Dalipong and Ramos scrambled for the K3 light machine gun, carried by the latter. Dalipong removed the magazine from the gun but didn’t check for bullets left in the chamber. Dalipong went back to sleep, as Ramos threatened Lyn-lyn to open the door, or he will strafe the house. Lyn-lyn cried for help from Dalipong and asked him to bring Ramos back to their detachment, but Dalipong’s reply was, “Wala na (He has left).” At this point, Ramos pointed the gun at the Jabinez house and fired, killing Sunshine.

PFC Ramos was arrested soon after the incident, and is now detained at Compostela Valley Rehabilitation Center. However, it was reported that though Ramos is under BJMP custody, he was free to roam within the Center’s compound. PFC Valdez and Sgt. Dalipong are in the custody of the 10th ID.

Soldiers have been deployed to Napnapan village since the start of the operation of the Napnapan Mineral Resources Inc. (NMRI) and the American company Russel Mining and Minerals Inc. On April 12, Santos Manrique, a leader of small-scale miners protesting the entry of big mining companies, was shot dead in his home.

Residents reported that the soldiers had been violating the community’s curfew hour on the use of videoke, which was only until 10 pm. Even as videoke store owners assert the implementation of curfew hour, the soldiers will just confidently ignore it and answer, ”Kami ay sundalo, kami ang masusunod (We are soldiers, we are the ones who give orders).”

Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the death by strafing of Sunshine Jabinez.
The immediate pull-out of the 71st IB of the Phil. Army from the villages in Compostela Valley, as well as the withdrawal of other military units in the civilian communities.
The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innnocent and unarmed civilians.
The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.
You may send your communications to:

H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
2/F Bonifacio Hall, Malacañang, Manila
Tel: 733-3010 loc 882/ 887
Website: president.gov.ph

Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7/F Agustin I Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel: 6360701 to 06 / 637-6083
Fax: 638-2216
Email: stqd@opapp.net
Website: opapp.gov.ph

Secretary Leila M. de Lima
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Main Building, Padre Faura Street, Manila
Tel: 521-1908
Fax: 523-5548
Email: doj.delime@gmail.com
Website: doj.gov.ph

Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin
Department of National Defense (DND)
DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
Tel: 911-6193 / 911-1746
Fax 911-6213
Website: dnd.gov.ph

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com, lorettann@gmail.com

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address; urgentaction@karapatan.org

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights