September 8, 2015, New York, NY. Today, the International Justice Network (IJN) issued an open letter to H.E. Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Philippines, calling for a full investigation into the August 31, 2015 extrajudicial killings of Emerito Samarca, Executive Director of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), Dionel Campos, chairperson of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), and Campos’ cousin, Bello Sinzo.
These three men, leaders in the indigenous Lumad community in the Philippines, were brutally killed by the paramilitary group of Marcos Bocales. IJN's open letter calls on President Aquino III to order an immediate pull-out of the 36th Infantry Battalion in Lumad communities in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and the dismantling of paramilitary groups in this dirty war against the Filipino people. IJN further urges the Aquino administration to form an independent fact-finding and investigation team to look into these extrajudicial killings and arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.