Urgent Interventions

Assassination, death threats and intimidation of environmental activists


PHL 003 /0612 / OBS 062

Intimidation/death threats/assassination


June 20, 2012

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme ofthe World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federationfor Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent interventionin the following situation in ThePhilippines.

Briefdescription of the situation:

TheObservatory has been informed by Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)of the intimidation of, and threats against, Ms. Carolyn R. Borja and Ms. NenitaLacasa, respectively President of Carapdapan Movement for DevelopmentAssociation (CAMADA INC.), and staff member.

According tothe information received, on June 19, 2012, Ms Lacasa was at home at 2pm on May 6, 2012,when Mr. Teros Lopido, Trustee of the President of the Terrestrial MiningCorporation, got off a pick up and aimed one shot at the upper storey beforeleaving the scene. Ms. Lacasa also reported that unknown individuals had beenmonitoring her home on several occasions in May, at times standing guard in apick up with the same number plate. In addition, on May 23, 2012,individuals riding two motorcycles fired shots at 11 pm on Ms.Borja’s home before fleeing the scene.

Theseviolent acts of intimidation come in the wake of the stabbing to death, on May 1, 2012,of Mr. Franciso P. Canayong,President of Integrated Upland Farmers Association of Salcedo (BIUFAS), andmember of Carapdapan Land Owners Association (CLOA), an organisation registeredwith the department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Mr. Canayong was also amember of CAMADA INC., and of Samarisland partnership for peace and development. Mr. Canayong, a community leader, hadled the people’s organization in actively supporting and advocating for peaceand development issues, and particularly for the protection of the environment.He was active in the local campaign against the mining operation in Salcedo andin other parts of Eastern Samar, in the Eastern Visayas archipelago.

A few weeks before his killing, on March 19, 2012, Mr. Canayong, along with Ms Borjaand Mr. Antonio M. Norte, barangay[1] councilor, had filed anaffidavit in relation to verbal threats they had overheard on March 17,2012, during a conversation between Mr.Lopido, and some of his colleagues. The affidavit stated that Mr. Lopido hadmentioned the names of Mr. Canayong, Mr. Norte and Ms. Borja, and the names oftheir associations. According to the affidavit, Mr. Lopido had threatened that“if the mining operation [is] stopped, they must leave their home and nevershow up again” otherwise he would kill them. According to the affidavit, Mr.Lopido had said that he would “enter each of their houses and kill them” if Mr.Canayong and his companions “interfered with their incoming chromite oreshipment.”

Mr. Canayong had consistentlyopposed mining activities because of its detrimental health and environmentalimpact on the community. On March 14 and 15, 2011, he had joined a barricade inbarangay Carapdapan to stop the illegal transport of chromite ore byTerrestrial Mining Corporation on its way to China. Due to the group’sactions, the mining company had filed a civil case for damages against Mr.Canayong, Ms. Borja and 3 other members of their group at the Regional trialCourt (RTC) branch 139 in Makati City, Manila.

In September 2011, Mr. Canayong,along with Ms. Borja and members of their group, had filed complaints with theoffice of the Ombudsman for the failure of the local government to interveneand stop the illegal mining activities in the area.

Actions requested:

Please writeto the Philippinesauthorities urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, thephysical and psychological integrity of Ms. Borja, Ms. Lacasa and Mr. Norte,and of all human rights defenders in general in the Philippines;

ii. Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartialinvestigation into the assassination of Mr. Canayong, and the death threatsagainst Ms. Borja and Mr. Norte, the result of which must be made public, inorder to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competentand impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Provideadequate reparation to Mr. Canayong’s family;

iv. Complywith all the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adoptedon December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, inparticular:

- its Article 1, which states that“everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promotethe protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at thenational and international levels”,

- its Article 6.a, which states that"everyone has the right individually and in association with others toknow, seek, obtain, receive and hold information about all human rights andfundamental freedoms, including having access to information as to how thoserights and freedoms are given effect in domestic legislative, judicial oradministrative systems",

- Article 12.1, which foresees that“everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, toparticipate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights andfundamental freedoms”,

- and its Article 12.2 which providesthat “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection bythe competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association withothers, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adversediscrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of hisor her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the presentDeclaration.”

v. Guaranteethe respect for human rights and fundamentalfreedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and otherinternational human rights instruments ratified by the Philippines.


· H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III,President of the Republic of the Philippines, New Executive Building, MalacañangPalace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005, Philippines. Fax: +63 2736 1010, Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

· Hon. Leila M. De Lima Secretary,Department of Justice (DOJ) Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila, 1000 Philippines Fax: +63 2 523 9548 Tel: + 63 2 521 1908
Email: /

· Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales,Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue, U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188 Fax: +63 2929 0102 Email:
Police Director Nicanor BartolomeChief, Philippine National Police Camp General Rafael Crame Quezon City,Philippines Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401 Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763Email:

· Hon.Emilio Gonzalez Deputy Ombusdman Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for theMilitary And other Law Enforcement Offices 3rd Flr., OmbudsmanBldg., Agham Road, Diliman, 1004 Quezon City Fax: +63 2 926 8747 Tel: +63 2 9269032

· H.E. Mr. Evan P. Garcia, Ambassador,Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva, 47 AvenueBlanc, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 716 19 32, Email:

· Embassy of thePhilippines in Brussels, 297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Tel: +32 2340 33 77 / 2 340 33 78, Fax: +32 2 345 64 25.

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic representations of the Philippines in yourrespective countries.


Geneva-Paris,June 20, 2012

Kindlyinform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in yourreply.

TheObservatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of HumanRights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contactthe Observatory, call the emergency line:

· Email:

· Tel and faxOMCT: + 41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

· Teland fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / 01 43 55 18 80

[1] i.e. the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines.

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