PAHRA denounces the authors of O.B. lists as conspirators against the right to life of human rights defenders because the former have set the targets and adjusted the sights of guns for the killing. A significant number of those in previous lists have been shot implicating military and police officials and other personnel. PAHRA thus fears particularly for the safety of Ms. Rita Melencio of TFDP who has been subtly described as “Marietta Mulato y Maring” and wrongly placed in the O.B. of the 10th Infantry Division. Mulato is Rita’s maiden name. She is a native of Toril in Davao City. In more than ten years with TFDP, Rita has figured prominently in seeking justice in several high-profile cases, such as the killing of the Japalali couple by the military in 2006-07 and the torture of the Davao bombing suspects in 2003-04. Even before the expose of the 10th ID OB list, Rita had noted definite signs of surveillance.
The Chief Executive, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the AFP, should order all military officers to withdraw and to cease making Order of Battle lists that includes Human Rights Defenders or any linkage of cause-oriented groups, organizations and institutions to any of the armed insurgencies. “If such characterizations are ever to be made,” Alston has earlier recommended that, “it must be by civilian authorities, on the basis of transparent criteria, and in conformity with the human rights provisions of the Constitution and relevant treaties.”
PAHRA calls on all people of goodwill to repudiate the military’s OB lists as acts violative of the Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) right to life. The people should demand the immediate action of government on the Alston recommendation. Such OB lists put the military and all government entities who assist in the elimination of human rights defenders not only as complicit to grave human rights violations but also set themselves against the just demands of persons and peoples which HRDs advocate. Such entities can become an object of the people’s odium. People should turn government and military institutions, instead of being obstacles to the implementation of the State’s obligations to human rights, to become sources of service and protection for all.
Assert our common humanity! Fight for our human rights!
Max M. de Mesa
June 19, 2009