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Philippines
09.07.10
Urgent Interventions

Alleged extrajudicial killing of Mr. Fernando Baldomero, Municipal Councilor of Lezo, Provincial Chairperson of Bayan Muna Partylist and Provincial Coordinator of Makabayan Coalition-Aklan

Case PHL 090710
Alleged extrajudicial killing/ Risk of impunity

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the Philippines.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (KARAPATAN), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the killing of Mr. Fernando Baldomero (61 years old), resident of Barangay St. Cruz, Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan, on 5 July 2010. Mr. Fernando Baldomero was Municipal Councilor of Lezo, Provincial Chairperson of Bayan Muna Partylist, Provincial Coordinator of Makabayan Coalition-Aklan[1] and member of the Society of Ex-detainees for Liberation, against Detention and for Amnesty (SELDA).

According to the information received, on 5 July 2010 at around 6:30am, Mr. Fernando Baldomero was in front of his rented house in Barangay Estancia in Kalibo, boarding his motorcycle with his 12 years old son on their way to school, when two medium built men in a black motorcycle stopped in front of them. The backrider, who was wearing a black jacket, a helmet and a pair of sunglasses that completely covered his face, disembarked and, using a handgun, started shooting at Mr. Fernando Baldomero at close range in front of his son. The driver was reportedly wearing a white shirt and a pair of denim pants and his face was not covered. According to the same information, the perpetrators were armed with a 9mm pistol and there was a long firearm at the back of the driver.

Mr. Fernando Baldomero suffered two gunshot wounds to the head (which pierced through his helmet) and one to his neck. He was immediately brought to the Kalibo Provincial Hospital but he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

According to the same information received, Mr. Fernando Baldomero actively campaigned for Bayan Muna and the Makabayan coalition as provincial coordinator in view of the general elections that were held in May 2010. He was also re-elected as council member of the Municipality of Lezo. On 19 March 2010, he escaped an attempt on his life. Two men on board a motorcycle with no license plate lobbed grenades at the family ancestral house in Barangay Sta. Cruz Biga-a. One of the grenades exploded in the kitchen and another one landed inside the main part of the house but did not explode.

Previously, in 2005, when Mr. Fernando Baldomero was serving as Barangay councilor in Lezo, he was arrested and detained by the military and the police suspected of having links with a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) having committed a crime in Guimbal, Iloilo and San Regimio, Antique. He was later cleared of all charges and subsequently released. In the 80s, Mr. Fernando Baldomero had been arrested and detained as a member of the NPA. However, after his release, he reportedly settled in his hometown in Lezo and started a small business.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned about the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Fernando Baldomero, which seem to suggest that he may have been victim of an extrajudicial killing. OMCT recalls that the authorities have to fulfil their obligations under international human rights law to protect the right to life and to bringing to justice those responsible for violating this right.

In its Conclusions and Observations, issued after examining the Philippines’ report in May 2009, the Committee against Torture expressed its concern “at reports that, although the total number of killings has declined significantly, such killings (…) continue” and recommended that “the State party should take effective steps to investigate promptly, effectively and impartially all allegations of involvement of members of law enforcement agencies in extrajudicial killings (…)” and “that the State party should implement the recommendations contained in the report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (A/HRC/8/3/Add.2), following his visit to the Philippines in February 2007.”

OMCT therefore calls on the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the killing of Mr. Fernando Baldomero in accordance with international human rights standards, such as the UN Principle on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.

Actions Requested

Please write to the authorities in the Philippines urging them to:

  1. Call upon the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the killing of Mr. Fernando Baldomero, in accordance with international human rights standards, inter alia, with the UN Principle on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
  2. Ensure that adequate, effective and prompt reparation, including adequate compensation, is granted to the victim’s family;
  3. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses

  • H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, Philippines, Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968;
  • Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), 7th Floor Agustin Building I, Emerald Avenue, Pasig City 1605, Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216, E-Mail Address: osec@opapp.gov.ph;
  • Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin, Secretary, Department of National Defense, Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City, Fax:+63(2) 911 6213, Email: osnd@philonline.com;
  • Atty. Leila De Lima, Secretary, Department of Justice, Padre Faura St., Manila, Fax: (+632) 521-1614, Email: soj@doj.gov.ph;
  • Acting Chairperson Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing Commission on Human Rights, SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines;
  • Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva, 47 Avenue Blanc, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 716 19 32, Email: mission.philippines@ties.itu.int

Please also write to the embassies of the Philippines in your respective country.

Geneva, 09 July 2010

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

[1] Makabayan is a political coalition comprised of eight Philippines progressive parties: Bayan Muna (People First), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses), Gabriela Women's Party, Kabataan (The Youth), Migrante, ACT Teachers, COURAGE, and Katribu (partylist of indigenous peoples). In the May 2010 elections, Makabayan rallied for change embodied by their call "Filipinos for Change, Change for Filipinos."

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