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News, Peace & Order

Killing fields in Abra

In Photo: Edna Ligiw (right), with her brothers Edwin (center) and Jessie, talks to the media in the office of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance in Baguio City, recounting the horrific death of their father and two brothers reportedly at the hands of the 41st IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Larry Fabian)

In Photo: Edna Ligiw (right), with her brothers Edwin (center) and Jessie, talks to the media in the office of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance in Baguio City, recounting the horrific death of their father and two brothers reportedly at the hands of the 41st IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Larry Fabian)

Written by Marilou Guieb and Larry Fabian / Correspondents

WITH hearts heavy with grief, members of the Ligiw family traveled the long road to Baguio from their home in Licuan-Baay in Abra to file a case of extrajudicial killing on March 26 with the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA).

Edna Ligiw, Jessie Ligiw and Edwin Ligiw, assisted by advocates of Human Rights non-governmental organizations, went to the CHR regional office with fear still visible in their eyes.

They said, almost a month ago on March 7, a search team of 50 residents of Domenglay and neighboring villages followed a path of tall grasses and wild vegetation pressed to the ground, indicating that heavy things were dragged through them. The walk led to a shallow fresh grave.

Slippers and clothes told the search team that dead bodies were buried in the shallow grave, but it was only the next day on March 8 did they exhume the bodies. Barangay Captain Josephine Cariño said the police needed to be present to investigate the crime scene.

When exhumed, the bodies of Fermin (30), his brother Edgar (42) and their father Licuben (70) were all in fetal position, one on top of the other. The brothers had their wrists bound with nylon ropes and Licuben showed rope marks around his neck. Eddie, who was shirtless when found, had dark marks in his chest and Fermin’s head was partly bashed in, all signs that they were all badly tortured.

It was another brother, Jessie who last saw them in their pacalso, a farm hut where the family stayed to work when tending their fields as farms are far from the settlements.

Jessie said that on the day he last saw his father and two brothers, he had breakfast with them of rice and patani. He left for Lacub town, spotting soldiers headed toward their hut. The family also observed soldiers looking over their hut from mountain ridges.

Upon returning home by nightfall, he found the hut ransacked. There was no sign of cooking at the hearth. By morning, he found the tracks of combat boots around the hut.

As Audrey Beltran of the Cordillera People’s Alliance was narrating the events, Edna, second of the siblings, silently sobbed. She and her brothers spoke to the local media asking for help for justice, but could hardly speak out of their sorrow.

Edwin lives in Tineg, Abra, where any cellular-phone network is not yet operational. In an interview, he said, “Some relatives had to ride hours by motorcycle just to inform me of the plight of my family after they went missing.”

In Ilocano, he said. “When I arrived, that’s when I knew the search team already found their graves. Seeing them, I could not imagine the brutality of how they were killed and buried because I never knew any reason why this would happen to them. Especially my father, who I knew to have a good heart, I could not recall him doing anything wrong against other people.”

Edwin saw on the pathway leading to their hut what he believed the perpetrators ate before the crime and put them in a bag—Cloud 9 chocolate and biscuits and some cigarette butts.

The three victims were leaders of Balitok, the acronym for Baay-Licuan Takderan Umno a Karbengan (Stand Up For Your Rights), Kastan or Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin ti Nagtaudan (People Defending the Ancestral Land), and the provincial chapter of the Cordillera People’s Alliance. They were Tingguians who belonged to the Binongan tribe.

The CHRA said these organizations have long been under attack from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’s vilification campaign. The Ligiw family played a significant role in stopping the entry of the Olympus Mining Co. in Baay Licuan, Abra.

The surviving members of the Ligiw family, piecing the evidence and circumstances together, pointedly blamed the killing of their three family members to the 41st IBPA.

In fact, Fermin already had his encounter earlier with the brigade.

The said infantry battalion began their Abra military combat operations in Lacub, Licuan Baay and Malibcong on February16.

On February 22, according to the CHRA accounts, the soldiers chanced upon Fermin. They coerced him to guide them to NPA stations or suspected members. After taking the cabbages he carried, he was accused of aiding the NPA and was prohibited to leave Sucao village.

On March 2 soldiers told the people of Lenneng, the neighboring village where the victims were killed, not to venture out to the forests, as combat operations were ongoing. The following day, the three Ligiw men went missing, and before Fermin could report his own account to the Abra Human Rights Movement as he planned, he was silenced in his grave.

There is grave mistrust in the communtiy against the military. While the customary funeral ritual was being performed on March 10, PNP men came to take Jessie for protection, but this was refused. Elders feared there was a cover-up in the investigation. Imelda Tabiando, a development worker who accompanied the Ligiw family to Baguio City, said soldiers and police made several attempts to ask relatives to retract their testimonies.

The CHRA said the Ligiw massacre added up the cases of human-rights violation due to militarization, also pointing especially to the 41st IB to be responsible for the following incidents:

In 2004 combat operations in Abra killed Bernabe Bangoey and wounded Fernando Mino despite their declaration they were civilians. The following year, Francisco Tangbaoan died when he was used as a human shield together with two others who were wounded. In 2006 farmer John Maximo was also killed in a combat operation. In 2013 charcoal maker Maymar Alcantara was accused to be an NPA member and was tortured.

The CHRA is now calling for support to the Ligiw family and to the clamor of affected communities to send messages to President Aquino, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles and Gen. Voltaire Gazmin to have the 41st Battalion pulled out from their communities, and to withdraw Oplan Bayanihan, the counterinsurgency program that victimizes even innocent civilians.

There is an atmosphere of fear in the villages, disrupting normal day-to-day life as families are afraid to venture out in the fields, said Audrey Beltran, deputy secretary-general of CHRA.

FromApril 4 to 7, the community scheduled a solidarity mission in the village where the Ligiw men were tortured and killed.



About SysOp

Chief Architect of abrenian.com


60 thoughts on “Killing fields in Abra

  1. pointing is CHR specialization.

    Posted by barekbek | April 21, 2014, 4:18 am
  2. let them investigate malay natin they are telling the truth

    Posted by eric shawn | April 21, 2014, 6:05 am
  3. Can you please shut your big mouth Erick Shawn if you dont know be quiet o.k

    Posted by felipe | April 21, 2014, 11:27 am
  4. how could we know the truth if nobody investigates. murder is seroius crime the family of the victims is alleging the military that they murdered their kins so it is proper that it will be investigated for us to know the story behind that mass grave.

    Posted by eric shawn | April 21, 2014, 12:17 pm
  5. Stupido ka talaga Erick Shawn…let the investigator do their job then it will be done by the persecutors..ang hirap sa iyo Erick Shawn nagmamagalingan kang wala ka naman sa posisyon eh isa ka lang naman na tsismoso dapat lagyan mo nang masking tape yong bunganga mo para lilinaw ang lahat..wala kang alam sa kaso so please shut up..o.k

    Posted by felipe | April 21, 2014, 8:30 pm
    • bobo ka rin felipe di ko maget un let the investigator do their job and it will be done by the persecutors linawin mo mono bkt nasa posisyon lng ba pwede mgaire ng comment mga nasa posisyon na amo mo mga alergic mga comments ng mga mababa like me. felipe bungaw ka pustahan tau baho pa belat mo

      Posted by eric shawn | April 22, 2014, 8:23 am
      • kaya nga nagkagulo dahil diyan sa pakialamero na systema natin dito sa Abra kaya maraming namamatay dahil kahit walang alam na kagaya mo eh nikiki alam ..wala ka namang magagawa ..anong ginawa mo Eric Shawn kundi daldal ka lang tama ang sabi ni Felife na lagyan mo nang masking tape ang bungangamo

        Posted by Timmaki | April 22, 2014, 12:36 pm
        • timmaki karamihan sa amin na taga abra wala pakialam kaya marami namamatay kaya malakas loob mga gun for hire na friends mo kaya ala rizal na lng kami dito sa a.com . isolve nyo yan at ipatigil ang sugal kara y cruz man yan o jueteng para maniwala ako sau pera pera kau mga pulis polpol

          Posted by eric shawn | April 22, 2014, 6:14 pm
        • Erick Shawn no kadi dagitay adda nonot na ti agsasarita ket da item kadi tay ngiwat mo loko

          Posted by felipe | April 23, 2014, 12:48 am
    • nya ket ni felipen aya no ada nonot mo apay ditoy ka nga agpaepal go out and let your voice be heard like the ligiw family did. regardles sino man ung backer nila importante the incident should be investigated so that truth will come out for us to stop epecualating.

      Posted by eric shawn | April 23, 2014, 9:56 am
      • apay nga ba unen nak metten nagloko kan sika ti tanawtaw nga tanawtaw idtoy saan koma nga bale no adda proebam ngem awan met isu nga ba unem a ta bagim nga aginbestigar ta sika met ti agin lalaing idtoy Mr eric shawn

        Posted by felipe | April 23, 2014, 2:39 pm
  6. Adda ta manen pinaltogan da ni Jordan Co idiay Simon Flower shop, ala ket vigilante kanu ti suspect ta aglakon to met kanu ti bato ti loko, niat ta pay. Ngem madi a daytoy ta summary execution metten.

    Posted by Bodong | April 22, 2014, 12:26 am
  7. bodong scapegoat lng ng PNP yan kc d nila masolve yan dapat yan cop irelieve kc pera pera lng yan mga sugal kalsada lng alam nya hulihin ung jueteng at bolangan d nya hinuhule kc may patong

    Posted by eric shawn | April 22, 2014, 8:26 am
    • Suuuuuu, awan la nalaing kadaguitoy nga cop. hal ut!!!!!! di met ngarud maipablaak ti no annia ti motibo daguitoy a patpatay. tay kunadan nga living with fear in your own environment.

      Posted by Badi | April 22, 2014, 10:57 am
    • Manen kasatno man ti pinaka ammo mon Eric Shawn nga escapegoat ti PNP mahilig ka ti patapata urayem kadi tay husto a damag no agcomment ka kunam la no ammom amin apan ka agpakita diay mental hospitalen sinno ti balbalatongem tay padam a nga mental..imbestigasyun pay laeng ammo mon ..naglaing kan

      Posted by Timmaki | April 22, 2014, 12:42 pm
      • timmaki solve the murder case and stop amin nga sugal.il stop speculating as you sai and il volunteer myself to undergo mental check or i even submit myself for sex rehab. wanna bet

        Posted by eric shawn | April 22, 2014, 6:08 pm
        • kita em tatta daytoy nga Erick Shawn …ne apayen nga ba unem met ni Timmaki ,,nga mangsolbar kadagitoy pinatay kas pay ti sugal,,sika a koma loko nga Erick Shawn ti apan mangsolbar kadagita ta sika met ti agin lalaing..apay nga dika ngarud ipakat ta kina laing mo nga ag ganakgak nga kasla la kasisiglatanen.atty. polpol my ass…….

          Posted by felipe | April 23, 2014, 12:59 am
  8. Eric Shawn feeling na bigtime!

    Posted by braulio | April 22, 2014, 9:44 pm
  9. Sus maryosep, madi kayo agaapa. Tumulong kay ketdi no kasanu a matilled ti narway a patpatay ditoy Abra. Kasla dayta ne no kuma adda basol na ni Jordan Co apay a di da la kuma tiniliw wen, saan ket a summary execution. Col. Lusad, Sir, agbalin met talagan san a Killing fields ti Abran. Sapay no di kunada a Ace kanu ti kategoryam a police, no kuma grade ket “A+” la Sir, ipablaak mo no annia daguitoy a patpatay tapno maawatan mi met, di ket kanayon a speculations. Wenno adda blessings ni Govah ken Mayor D kadaguitoy nga aramid.

    Posted by Bodong | April 22, 2014, 10:02 pm
    • solve solve ang solution i dnt believe that gova will do dat but i believe that he allowed that to happen for him to be saint in the eyes of abrenain . santo pero corrupt nga lng.

      Posted by eric shawn | April 23, 2014, 10:07 am
    • hey, BODONG watch ur words. I knew Jordan Co so well. He was never into drug pushing and neither a victim of summary execution. Sana maging matalino ka naman sa pagccomment mo at huwag lang yang nagPapaEpal ka may maicomment ka lang. Amwem ti usto!

      Posted by Gab | November 20, 2014, 1:55 am
    • Madami ka nasaktan na kapamilya at kaibigan ni Jordan dahil sa epal comment mo. Nakatulong ba comment mo? You only made things worst.

      Posted by Gab | November 20, 2014, 1:58 am
  10. lang gong ka nga talaga nga eric shawn simmaysayaatan ni takit nga governador ti abra kayat mo nga sokatan let your candidacy hear by 2016 sayang ta saan mo nga maka competencia iti pagka gova toy kala a.com nga agtantanawtawen enjoy doing it balangkantis

    Posted by felipe | April 23, 2014, 7:17 pm
    • Felipe and Timmakki, apay la unay ti unget yo no adda agcomment? butbutngen yo met ti kasasao yon. Apay ? sabagay the truth always hurts.

      Posted by amber Buyagawan | April 24, 2014, 4:28 am
      • amber buyagan agpalpalawapaw ni lolom nga eric shawn ta awan met ebidensiana saan nga unget detoy kakailian no di ket correction for a better communication….

        Posted by felipe | April 24, 2014, 4:47 am
        • felipe im i favor for investigation tapno maamoan tau no agpayso ti alegation dagitoy victims family as for takit i maintained my position that he is corrupt. respect mine and i respect yours. and wether you like it or not by 2016 takit is no longer the goba of abra. hope he will not run for another position tapno matapos na pghahari mo sampu ng kanyang alipores bye bye

          Posted by eric shawn | April 24, 2014, 7:39 am
        • 🍺🍺🍺😃😃😃

          Posted by Mabuhay | April 26, 2014, 5:29 am
  11. apay gamin aya nga pumasok latta ti nagan ni gov iti issue nga saan met nga related. No sadot ti tao ket agbisin, basol ni gov, no awan trabaho, basol ni gov. inya ka metten erection.

    Sika met amber bungawan, apay nga lapdan yo garod dagita witnesses nga agpatang nga siwawaya? Gapo ta ibaga da nga npa ti nangaramid dita nga pammapatay? ala man.

    Posted by NOPIPITALISTO | April 27, 2014, 7:20 pm
    • The gova is accountable to his constituents regardless of any issues afecting our province look what the pm in korea did when he failed to prevebt the sea mishap in their country he resigned imediately to give relief the pain of those victims family. Speaking of acountabilty the cop and pd upon recomendation of gova should be relieved for failure to stop the shooting of two person in z5 today. They did not even try to arrest the perpetrators bec the cop is very inclined to tge mayor

      Posted by eric shawn | April 27, 2014, 7:57 pm
      • Corection only one was shot but he was dead on the spot he was shot in the broad daylight and a lot if people passing by good the two kids were not hit by astray bullet.

        Posted by eric shawn | April 27, 2014, 8:46 pm

        Posted by NIKKI DIABLO JR | April 29, 2014, 5:43 pm
        • Do you the meaning of accountability if you dont then it useless to argue with you diablo . Pls read my comment i did never pinpointed ur boss takit in the incident.

          Posted by eric shawn | April 30, 2014, 7:15 am
        • yes i understand accounting but not accountability in philippines cause acountability never exist in pinas ang nagnanakaw ay sikat dito sa pinas where have you been Erectile Shawn we always say and funny Philippines area of resposibility kala mo may kilikili power at erectile pa hahaha

          Posted by NIKKI DIABLO JR | May 1, 2014, 12:24 am

        Posted by NIKKI DIABLO JR | May 1, 2014, 12:40 am
        • your comment apllies to your boss takit at least sau nggaling yan na kapal mukha boss mo diablo baka bukas jobless ka na

          Posted by eric shawn | May 1, 2014, 1:20 am
        • it will never applies to any politician kasi koltura na yang pagnanakaw dito sa pinas.sanay na eh ang mga tao..eh magnakaw ka na rin Erectile Shawn ang ,,,,,, mahirap kong wala kang nanakawin ang bagsak eh ikaw pa ang ing-git 😝😝si Takit ay driver ko noong araw papano ko namang naging boss ko siya🍺🍺

          Posted by NIKKI DIABLO JR | May 1, 2014, 11:24 am
  12. Another shooting at the Food Court Italy in Bangued according to my source; a PAMBOY, driver of the Lunas was shot by 2-young men. They thought he was okay but early this morning he was pronounced dead. Is this ever gong to stop in our province? My heart goes to the family of PAMBOY:(

    Posted by comli2013 | April 28, 2014, 4:05 pm

    Posted by Sal-it | May 1, 2014, 8:58 pm
  14. niki jobless wag kang maingit sa mga taong mgnanakaw kung akala mo ganyan lahat ng tao kagaya ni takit ngkamali ka dame private invidual who work hard in the private either in the govvernement or private sector. tsk ala takit pananaw mo talaga kala mo lahat e mgnanakaw

    Posted by eric shawn | May 2, 2014, 4:04 am
  15. Col. Lusad, Sir di da ka kababainen daguitoy killer ti Abra, ipakitam met a nga adda talaga inalat mo, annia metten bumanakbak a patayan, urayem sa pay met nga killer laengen ti matidda iti Abra tapno nalaklakam sa sapulen daguita nga pumapatay. Sus,,,,,,, Sir action nen ah!!!!!!!!!!!! no madika actionan ma-activate tay vigilante nga kunkunadan, wenno binnales laingen ti maaramid iti Abra.

    Posted by Bodong | May 2, 2014, 7:35 am
  16. eric sugarol kung idol mo man ako sana ikaw gumawa ng ibang username dahil patented ang name na eric shawn nevertheless sumang ayon ako sa iyong comment na magaling lng yata si col lusad sa interviews, public relation and organization pero sa crime solution parang bokya sya pero ok lng ke takit bsta ung PD nya e sunod sunod lng ke gova, speaking of the cop bangued wala ito puro sugal kalsada lng alam hulihin tama ka din every 15 30 e nasa BDO sya naga deposit malaki halaga beyond his salary

    Posted by eric shawn | May 2, 2014, 6:24 pm
  17. Marikna t tunggal Abrenio ti saem nga sagsagabaen dagiti naulila! Dumting t panawen, annak ke kabagyanto met dagiti NPA ken Militar ti agarubos ti adu nga lullua. Sayang nga biag, sayang nga sacrificio nga katkatawaan ni politico nga manggungundaway ti ili ken ti dua pwersa! No mapabaro koma ti buklen ti agturay tunggal ili, dakkel ti namnama nga magun-od ti ill ti ilolong-aw ti rigat ken arapaap nga kappia.

    Posted by Ama | May 3, 2014, 12:19 am

    Posted by JAMES TURQUESA | May 4, 2014, 12:15 am

      Posted by arnulfo bisares | May 4, 2014, 12:35 am
    • definitely takit is to be blamed by tolerating the mayor of his conduct unbecoming a public official, he can investigate wether the mayor has violated the code of ethical stnadard of public officials. and most important they share the loot with the mayor.

      Posted by eric shawn | May 5, 2014, 6:51 am
  19. congratulations mayor sana bigyan mo din ako ng bulik na breed mo

    Posted by eric shawn | May 5, 2014, 6:59 am
    • Dakkel ti na aladan a kuarta ti tayum ta bigtime derby pay ti inna imentrian nen ni Glenn ..apo ket kasian na kam met a nga kailiam toy tayum saan mo met a nga takawen amin tay para kadagitoy kakailiam manga asi ka Glenn

      Posted by Jayson Tumbaga | May 6, 2014, 2:26 am
  20. Dakkel ti na aladan a kuarta ti tayum ta bigtime derby pay ti inna imentrian nen ni Glenn ..apo ket kasian na kam met a nga kailiam toy tayum saan mo met a nga takawen amin tay para kadagitoy kakailiam manga asi ka Glenn

    Posted by Jayson Tumbaga | May 6, 2014, 9:43 am
  21. ginandat da payen nga patayen ni pulis nga edgar bolante idi rabii-daytoy bolante ket bata ni Mayor Dominic ket pinaltopaltogan daguitay adame nga bata ni jendtrix luna ken ryan luna, nakabutbuteng ta pati pulis ket ipapatay da payen

    Posted by KADWA | May 9, 2014, 9:04 pm
  22. Sysop, ikkam kuma met ti “Like” ken “Unlike” daytoy nga website tapno makita no magustuan da wenno saan ti tunggal commentario .

    Posted by Kudong | May 13, 2014, 5:50 am
  23. western union malapit sa jolibee mga trabahodor nanonood habang nagtatrabaho kaya mabagal ang process nila mga wala kwenta kayo jan

    Posted by costumer | May 14, 2014, 6:17 am
  24. kakailyan nga tingian!…anya pay ti kayat yo nga prof aya iti masacre?
    i intervied som of the PNP, CIDG, and army who visited the crime site. most of them said that, the place was cordoned by the 14st personels. nu adda man NPA iti nasao nga lugar dapat natay dan….priop to the insident, 2nd week ti febuary ket nagrugi ti operasyon ti army iti tri boundaries. Lacub, malibcong ken Baay… kasanu pay nga npa ti nagpatay dita? ti problema madi dagitoy nga mag pa interview wenno tumulong iti pamilya ta nu tumulong ka iman ket maawanan ka iti trabaho… daytoy ti maysa nga mapaspasamak kanyatayo iti lugar tayo ya… daytoy man ti karit dagagiti adda iti turay, iti baro nga PD…

    Posted by ayyeng | June 4, 2014, 11:16 pm

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