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Case History: Anjo Bacarisas

Status: 
Surveilled & Intimidated
About the situation

On 9 February 2015, an unknown man, purporting to be a member of the National Defense, visited the home of human rights defender Mr Anjo Bacarisas and pressured his relatives in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of the human rights defender. The man has allegedly been seen in the area several times in the previous days.

About Anjo Bacarisas

Anjo BacarisasAnjo Bacarisas is a staff member of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Northern Minanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR), which works with rural farmers, agricultural workers and fishermen for law reforms in the context of land rights and use of resources. The human rights organisation also defends the land rights and right to self-detemination of indigenous peoples.

13 February 2015
Surveillance and intimidation of human rights defender Anjo Bacarisas

On 9 February 2015, an unknown man, purporting to be a member of the National Defense, visited the home of human rights defender Mr Anjo Bacarisas and pressured his relatives in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of the human rights defender. The man has allegedly been seen in the area several times in the previous days.

The unknown man, who was travelling on a motorbike without number plates, left an envelope containing a mobile phone number and asked the human rights defender's family to contact him when they were ready to cooperate. Previously, on 26 January 2015, several unknown individuals had gone to the place of work of Anjo Bacarisas' mother in a market in Puerto and inquired about his whereabouts. Four days earlier, the human rights defender had received a threat via his Facebook account in a conversation with a person, unknown to Anjo Bacarisas, who revealed that the human rights defender was under surveillance. The individual appeared to be offering Anjo Bacarisas a bribe in return for providing information on RMP-NMR.

On January 21, 2015, Anjo Bacarisas had facilitated a series of screenings of the documentary “Gikan sa Ngitngit nga Kinailadman” (From the Dark Depths) at the Limketkai Center in Cagayan de Oro City. The film highlights the risks face by human rights defenders working on land rights, gathering the stories of Lumad indigenous peoples and land rights defenders who have been targeted as a result of their opposition to mining, palm oil plantations and other resource-extractive industries in the Northern Mindanao region.

RMP-NMR has been targeted in the past, and Front Line Defenders previously highlighted the case of human rights defender Mr Joel Q. Yagao, who has been in detention since his arrest on 8 September 2013 on false charges of multiple murder, double frustrated murder, robbery with double homicide and damage to properties, and illegal possession of firearms.