CHR starts probe on ‘military abuse’

THE COMMISSION on Human Rights in Davao Region (CHR-XI) started the investigation yesterday into the reported military harassments in Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley.

The CHR launched its investigation on the basis of the complaints from the alleged victims of militarization.

An investigator of the agency, who asked not to be named due to lack of authority to speak on the case, said that hopefully the complaints will pursue the case. “Hopefully, they are really adamant in filing the case … hopefully, they won’t drop this one,” the source said.

In separate interview, Hanimay Suazo, secretary general of Karapatan, a human rights group who accompanied the victims in filing the case, assured that they will pursue the case until somebody is held accountable for the alleged military abuses in the three provinces.

Suazo also hoped the CHR will treat the complaint seriously, which include extra-judicial killing, indiscriminate firing, illegal arrest and “paramilitarism.”

Meanwhile, Armando Bermejo, one of the victim of military harassment in Monkayo, Compostella Valley, said that he was tagged as a member of the New People’s Army and arrested on May 19.

“I was illegally arrested and the dismissal of my case is a proof that the military is good in fabricating stories,” Bermejo said.

Based on court records, Bermejo was charged for violation of the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition (RA 10591), and Illegal Possession of Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives (RA 9516).

However, Prosecutor Linalou Racaza-Veloso, in her resolution dated June 5, dismissed Bemejo’s case due to lack of evidence.

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