Ligiw kin seeks CHR help

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


JESSIE Ligiw remembers the last time he saw his father Licuben, where they had their last breakfast of patani and rice in their home.

It was an ordinary day, with Jessie leaving for Lacub town in Abra and his father and two brothers, Freddie and Edie, ready to start their day, but he never knew it would be the last time he would see them alive.

All three Ligiws died March 3 and were found in a shallow grave bound, gagged and arranged on top of one another near their hut in Domenglay, Licuan-Baay, March 7, after being reported missing for four days.

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Licuben who was 70, had eight children and 21 grandchildren, all members of the Binongan tribe.

Children of Licuben, Jessie, Edna and Edwin went to the Commission on Human Rights Wednesday morning, to file their statements and ask for justice for their father and siblings.

Family members said they suspect members of the 41st infantry battalion, who are said to be conducting operations in the area when the Ligiws were last sighted on March 2, who may be involved in the killings.

The Ligiws were also active members of activist organizations, with Fermin as a member of activist group Anakbayan while all of the three are members of Kastan (Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin ti Nagtaudan), the provincial chapter of Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA) in Abra.

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance points to the 41st IB as main suspects to the death of the three Ligiws, attesting the military group has been conducting combat operations in the area since February.

The CHRA said the 41st IB had investigated Freddie, prior to his death, and was even forced to become a military guide in operations against insurgent groups in the area.

Allegedly, the military group has accused Freddie to be working for insurgent group.

Reports said the Ligiws were about to file their official complaint to Abra Human Rights Movement before his untimely death.

Sun*Star Baguio tried but failed to get statements from the 41st IB, with their Officer in Charge and Public Relations Officer Captain Deo Martinez not answering phone calls.

The CHR is set to visit the site where the Ligiws were killed in March, as well as process sworn affidavits by the Ligiw clan.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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