Moro fisherman dies in US-Philippine war games

FROM RAPPLER.COM

US troops in sea mishap, 1 fisherman dead

BY DAVID Y. SANTOS

Posted on 04/19/2012 6:23 PM  | Updated 04/19/2012 10:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Tragedy marred the conduct of the Balikatan Exercises 2012 after a fisherman in Basilan died when his motorized pump boat collided with a sea vessel belonging to US troops Wednesday night, April 18.

Reports from Zamboanga City identified the victim as Ahbam Juhurin. He had come from Isabela City and was on his way home with his child to the island municipality of Hadji Muhtamad when the accident happened.

Tahira Ismael, former town mayor of Lantawan town and a relative of the victim, said the collision occurred on the coast of Baluk-Baluk near Hadji Muhtamad town around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“One of the victim’s children, who was also in the pump boat, was injured and has been brought to a military hospital,” Ismael told reporters.

The US Embassy in Manila confirmed the incident. In a statement released to media, it said: “During routine maritime activity on April 18 involving Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) and Philippine security forces, their boat collided with a local fishing vessel. Despite rescue efforts, one local fisherman was killed, and another injured in the accident.”

The statement added: “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victim. We understand that appropriate authorities have begun an immediate investigation into the incident, and JSOTF-P is cooperating fully.”

Returning home

The victims were bringing along fish when their pump boat was hit by a speedboat supposedly belonging to the American soldiers, according to Ismael. She added the US troops assisted the victims and brought them to Basilan’s capital, Isabela City, to seek medical treatment.

However, after sustaining head injuries due to the impact of the crash, Juhurin reportedly died even before he could be transported to a local hospital.

Ismael said the family of the victims has agreed to accept compensation for the accident.

But Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) spokesman Lt Col Randy Cabangbang said the Basilan Provincial Police will still investigate it.

Cabangbang also pointed out that both the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) and the AFP have extended all forms of assistance to the victims’ family. The JSOTF-P is a team of American troops based in Zamboanga City but who receive orders from the US Pacific Command.

Juhurin’s body was brought to the WestMinCom mosque on Thursday morning, April 19, for the traditional Islamic ceremonies.

More than 600 US troops are stationed in different parts of Mindanao as part of their counter-terrorism campaign since 2001.

The PH-US Balikatan 2012 commenced last April 16, with close to 7,000 American and Filipino soldiers participating in different joint military exercises and humanitarian missions in Luzon, Palawan and parts of Western Mindanao.

The US Embassy and WestMinCom however pointed out that the US troops involved in the incident “were not part of Balikatan 2012”.

The sea mishap in Basilan happened as cause-oriented groups opposing the Balikatan conducted protest actions from Davao City to different parts of Mindanao, culminating in Zamboanga City where most of the US troops are based. – Rappler.com

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Philippine Military charged all males in Albarka village for murder!

Angered by the double whammy — from the MILF forces and from PNoy who refused an all-out war —  they got from its attack on MILF in Albarka, Basilan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines filed charges for MURDER against all the adult male population of the Albarka village.

The military filed charges for murder against 8 MILF members and 300 John Does. The usual Modus Operandi (M.O.) for this case is the following: After the charges are filed at the fiscal’s office, no subpoenas will reach the concerned parties because there are usually no addresses given or the addresses were wrong or simply, no names. The court then issues arrest warrants for a couple of people and dozens or, in this case, hundreds of John Does. The military, not even the police, then goes to the supposed address and arrest any male Moro they meet. These Moros would be taken into custody and tortured until they sign confession letters. They would then be shown to the media, who would banner them as terrorists. Then they would rot in jail without getting their day in court. Or, they could escape prison, just like what Laksaw Dan Asnawi did.

Here’s the story from the MILF website:

FROM

All males in Albarka village, Basilan charged with murder

November 17, 2011 – Three hundred eight men, including 8 MILF members, were charged with murder in connection with the killing of 19 members of the Army’s Special Forces by MILF forces led by Commander Laksaw Dan Asnawi in Cambug, Albarka, Basilan last October 18.

The number of those charged exceeded the number of male population in the entire village, based on the 2009 COMELEC record, which showed that there were only 604 registered voters (aged 18 above), males and females. Of the 604 voters, less than 300 are male.

Barangay Cambug is a Moro community and is one of the 16 barangays in Albarka town.

The record also showed that the female population comprised the majority of the total population, in term of voting age.

On November 4, the WESMINCOM legal division filed a complaint with the Basilan Provincial Prosecutor issued a subpoena to 8 MILF members and 300 other John Does.

A non-government worker, who requested anonymity, opined that, based on the above statistics,   assuming that the 300 or so charged of murder are all male, (meaning, not including children and women) practically, all and every legal aged male individuals in Barangay Cambug are charged of multiple murder!

“This is a sweeping and reckless issuance of subpoena,” she commented.

He predicted that these ambiguous developments in the legal arena will again warrant arbitrary arrests and another wave of human rights violations to the Moro community in Basilan similar to the arrest warrants issued in 2003 to at least 300 individuals in Basilan plus John Does wherein several cases of arbitrary arrests and detention, mistaken identity, torture and other human rights abuses and violations were reported.

He cited a classic example of reckless “enforcement of law” by the AFP in the recent arrest of one Harud Jaljalis, a.k.a Indal, from his residence in Maluso. It turned out later that the person actually arrested was a certain Indal Hairun Ladjatua, who is already confined at the Bicutan Jail.