Statement of the CSWCD on the Military Harassment of FI Students

| Written by CSWCD

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On January 21, 2012 at around 12:20 p.m. Ms. Anna Pauline Paguia, a BS Community Development student from the College of Social Work and Community Development, reported to their faculty supervisor that three of her team mates were being harassed by alleged military men. Ms. Paguia was referring to Mr. Rafael Antonio Dulce, Mr. Ricardo Louis Flores and Ms. Marie Gold Villar. The four students at the time of the incident were doing their fieldwork in Katutubo Village in Brgy. Planas, Porac, Pampanga for their CD 180 and CD 181 courses.

The three students were on their way up to a neighbouring Aeta community in Brgy. Camias when a van passed by the group; four men disembarked and started asking questions about their identity. The questioning later turned into accusations that the three students were organizing for the New People’s Army. The i
Upon hearing the accounts of the students, the fieldwork team was instructed by their faculty supervisor to go to the nearest police station and file an incident report. They were accompanied by the college’s partner organization, the Religious of the Virgin Mary, in Katutubo Village and the community tribal leaders.nterrogation turned violent as one of the interrogators started shoving one of the students, in an effort to agitate him into a fist fight. Before the three students were let go, the four men had also taken the students’ photos without consent.

The students have since temporarily pulled out from the area in consideration of their safety and security, and have undergone debriefing with the faculty members of the Department of Community Development.

Staff Sargeant Alfredo Fernandez, Detachment Commander of the CAFGU stationed in Barangay Kamias, in a dialogue with College faculty, partner NGO and community leaders, pointed to elements of the Military Intelligence Batallion as having committed the harassment and branding of students as NPA sympathizers.

We, from the College of Social Work and Community Development, denounce in the strongest terms the harassment done to our fieldwork students. It is our institutional responsibility to provide students with security and support while on fieldwork in pursuit of their academic requirements. This incident threatens the viability of our programs and derails the practice of our legitimate profession.

We call on the military chain of command, as the institution primarily targeted to conduct reforms in their operations that must be consistent with constitutionally mandated human rights provisions, to conduct a thorough, swift, and impartial investigation of the harassment incident, and deal accordingly with those at fault. We also call on them to recognize and respect the academic integrity and independence of the Field Work Instruction Program of the college, and to duly communicate this to their units in the field.