12 cases in a span of three months. Twenty three student leaders and journalists. Four cases in a week. The spate of human rights violations among the youth is alarming, and the military, the sworn protector of the people, was the primary suspect.
From CEGP National
January 21: Three UP Diliman students conducting their course practicum at an Aeta community in Porac, Pampanga were detained, harassed, and assaulted by members of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division. They were made to stand under the midday sun for an hour while they were accused of being members of the New People’s Army, and verbally and physically abused by the soldiers.
February 5: Eight UPLB students who were immersing at a farmer/fishing community in Calatagan, Batangas were accosted by members of the Philippine Air Force’s 730th Combat Group and the local Philippine National Police. The said soldiers said that the videos being taken by the students would be ‘anti-government’, and demanded that the students give their names.
February 13: Arjhay Astudillo, a member of the College Editors Guild (CEGP) national secretariat, was reportedly chased by a suspected intelligence personnel to his house in Marikina.
February 26: Four officers of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, including National Deputy Secretary General Gidget Estella, were accosted by man wearing military clothes while commuting in Catarman, Samar. They were then followed by men aboard motorcycles all the way up to their destination. The next day, the same men asked the residents in JP Rizal street, Catarman whether or not they knew the CEGP officers.
February 26: Suspected military intelligence agents repeatedly put the Laguna residence of campus journalist Ma. Luisa Purungganan under surveillance. Purugganan was a staffer of the Warden, a member publication of the CEGP.
February 27: Men on motorcycles, one of which was identified as one of the men who tailed Estella and her companion, were found in front of the The Pillar publication office. The Pillar is the student publication of the University of Eastern Philippines in Samar.
March 18: PUP Student Regent Rommel Aguilar received SMS messages accusing him of having links with the NPA, and that he would be detained by the military. He received another SMS message four days later, telling him that he would be killed if he participated in their school’s Student Council elections.
March 20: Jebri Sida, contributing editor of UP Vista, publication of UP Tacloban, was harassed by the military while covering a Municipal Peace and Order meeting. He was subjected into outright and extreme surveillance.
April 2: A suspected military intelligence agent went to the house of Cleve Arguelles, former UP Manila University Student Council chairperson, and asked for an unspecified ‘Nikki’. The incident was deemed suspicious because the house was located at the very back of a residence compound in Manila, and is known only to a few residents of the said area. Furthermore, there was no ‘Nikki’ residing in the house, but Nikki Gamara, a member of Anakbayan-UP Manila, was visiting the residence at that time.
April 3: Reynante Gamara, father of Nikki Gamara and a campaigner for the Bayan Muna partylist group, was arrested by a joint group of soldiers and police at a mall in Las Piñas. He was arrested because his name was inserted in a warrant of arrest for members of the New People’s Army.
April 3: Cleve Arguelles was tailed all over Manila by two suspected military intelligence agents after he escorted Nikki Gamara to her family home. After taking refuge in a fastfood restaurant, one of the two, who was also armed with a handgun, went after him and repeatedly asked Arguelles to escort him to ‘Nikki’s house’.
April 3: Christian Tuayon, regional chairperson of Anakbayan in Negros, was arrested by a joint group of soldiers and police at a rally in Bacolod. He was arrested because his name was inserted in a warrant of arrest for members of the New People’s Army.
Prepared by:Tanggulan Youth Network for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, ANAKBAYAN Human Rights Desk, College Editors Guild of the Philippines Campaign and Alliance Committee