Lawmakers file House Resolution No. 2490 on the January 30, 2019 – Raid of office of peasant group MOFA in Misamis Oriental, and Arrest of Peasant Activists, along with two children

Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao and Makabayan lawmakers file House Resolution No. 2490 on the January 30, 2019 – Raid of office of peasant group MOFA in Misamis Oriental, and Arrest of Peasant Activists, along with two children.

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City, Metro Manila

SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS
Third Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 2490

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INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES 
ARIEL B. CASILAO
CARLOS ISAGANI T. ZARATE, EMMI A. DE JESUS, ANTONIO L. TINIO,
ARLENE D. BROSAS, FRANCE L. CASTRO, SARAH JANE I. ELAGO
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RESOLUTION
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE JANUARY 30, 2019 – RAID OF THE OFFICE OF THE LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC PEASANT ORGANIZATION MISAMIS ORIENTAL FARMERS’ ASSOCIATION OR MOFA, PROVINCIAL CHAPTER OF KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP) AND ARREST OF FOUR OF ITS LEADERS AND MEMBERS, ALONG WITH TWO CHILDREN, IN VILLANUEVA TOWN, MISAMIS ORIENTAL

WHEREAS, on January 30, 2019, at around 6:30 pm, elements of various units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) raided the office of Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association (MOFA), and arrested four peasant activists, including Gerry Basahon, Chairperson of MOFA, Gerald Basahon, Chairperson of Gingoog City Farmers’ Association (GCUFA), peasant women members of MOFA, Marivic Coleta and Mylene Coleta, along with a minor and two children, 16-year old Renaliza Sayasat, 2-year old Rojeme Karl Manseguiao, nephew of Marivic and Mylene, and 1-year old Anthony Coleta, child of Marivic;

WHEREAS, during the raid, the raiding team composed of 4th Infantry Division Military Intelligence Batallion, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Region 10 (NICA 10), 65th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA), 403rd Infantry Brigade, and police units, were in full military uniform, armed with high-powered rifles, wore bonnets but no nameplates or identification;

WHEREAS, the raiding team entered via the backdoor, tied the victim Gerry Basahon with a plastic cord and orered him to bend down. The victim saw a member of the team put a green Jansport bag on cabinet at the kitchen;

WHEREAS, the other victim, Mylene Coleta called another MOFA member through her phone, but a member of the raiding team snatched it from her. She protested about the raid being a violation of their rights. Consequently, the perpetrator said “Wag kang magsalita. Wala kang karapatan!” and pointed his firearm at 2-year old child, Rojeme Karl;

WHEREAS, more members of the raiding team went upstairs and accosted the victim Marivic Coleta, with the 1-year old baby Marc Anthony and 16-year old Renaliza. Marivic was pushed down to the floor, and a perpetrator stepped on the baby’s leg, thus, she tried to get him, but the perpetrator stopped her and aimed his fiream at the baby’s face. The victim also saw another member of the raiding team placing something fist-size inside the bag of Renaliza;

WHEREAS, the victims were all brought outside their office, where elements of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) were already positioned. PNP-CIDG officers said they had a warrant but did not show it to the victims. An ununiformed man wearing eye-glasses slammed Gerry’s head against a cemented fence;

WHEREAS, the military members of the raiding team came out of the office, after almost an hour, moments before the arrival of barangay officials. Then, PNP-CIDG officers read the warrant and entered the premises for a “search.” They allegedly found: a taped grenade inside Marivic’s bag, along with baby products; .45-caliber handgun under the baby’s pillow; a bag at the kitchen, containing long wires and some materials that the women victims could not even recognize; a grenade inside Renaliza’s bag;

WHEREAS, the victims were brought to the PNP-CIDG office inside the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army Headquarters in Camp Evangelista, at Brgy. Patag, Cagayan de Oro City. The children were taken by personnels of the social welfare office;

WHEREAS, they are being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and are detained at the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Cagayan de Oro City;

WHEREAS, various people’s organizations and human rights groups have denounced the arrest and branded it as part of the continuing crackdown against activists under the martial law-ruled Mindanao, and demanded their immediate release, especially, the minors. While the office of the Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano issued a statement claiming that MOFA is a “legitimate group of farmers organized to protect their human rights as farmers;”

WHEREAS, it was subsequent of the January 28, 2019 – abduction and arrest of two activist leaders namely, Ireneo Udarbe, Chairperson of KMP – Northern Mindanao Region and Datu Jomorito Goaynon, Chairperson of Kalumbay lumad organization;

WHEREAS, prior to the raid, the victims, Gerry Basahon and Gerald Basahon, both peasant leaders joined a press conference organized by the Karapatan – Northern Mindanao Region, as panelists, to demand the immediate release of Udarbe and Goaynon. In the afternoon, they returned to their office in Villanueva town, hours before the raid;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Committee on Human Rights to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the January 30, 2019 – raid of the office of the legal and democratic peasant organization MOFA, and arrest of four peasant activists, alongwith two children in Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental.

Adopted,