Grecil’s body to be exhumed for autopsy

Why did they conduct the probe only three days after Grecil was buried? Talk of desecreation, this could be one, because autopsy requires to exhume now! Just asking.

grecil-wib.jpgDAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 April) — A psychosocial first-aid mission that
visited last Saturday the village where nine-year old girl Grecil lived and
was killed in an encounter between government forces and communist rebels on
March 31, want her body exhumed for autopsy.

Grecil, eldest daughter of Virginia Buya and Gregorio Galacio, and whom the
military claimed was a “child soldier” of the New People’s Army, was buried
April 11 in the public cemetery in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, some 6.2
kilometers from their house in Purok 6, Barangay Kahayag, the site of the
encounter.

Grecil had just finished Grade 2 at the Simsimen Elementary School in New Bataan.

Kelly Delgado, secretary general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao, said Grecil’s
parents agreed to have her remains exhumed for investigation.The autopsy was among 13 recommendations of the National Interfaith
Psychosocial First-Aid Mission which probed Grecil’s death on April 14.

Delgado said they will be asking the National Bureau of Investigation to
conduct the autopsy to see whether she died from close range fire.

Delgado said this is to establish the liability of the military, which claimed
she was a child soldier of the New Peoples Army.

Delgado also said the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) which has sent
two of its delegates to look into the alleged persecution of Bayan Muna Rep.
Satur Ocampo and Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, will also look into Grecil’s
case.

He said Grecil’s parents are now in Manila to meet with IPU officials.

Delgado said they will be asking the National Bureau of Investigation to
conduct an autopsy to see whether she died from a close range fire.

Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza, chief of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, last week
told reporters he is inclined to believe the girl was not a combatant but was
holding back its apologies pending investigation on “minor” issues, including
the possibility that Grecil’s father was an NPA member.

The military has filed a complaint against Galacio for alleged illegal
possession of firearms. Soldiers reported to having seized two firearms and
“subversive documents” from his house after the encounter on March 31.

The first aid mission also recommended psychological rehabilitation and
therapy of Grecil’s younger siblings; for the Arroyo government to implement
the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(UNCRC) citing Grecil’s death a concrete violation of the convention; for the
government to implement Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human
Rights and the International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) to protect the rights
of civilians and non-combatants.

The mission also urged local government units and government agencies,
including the Commission on Human Rights, to assume responsibility over
reported cases of human rights violations; pushed for a court trial for the
alleged perpetrators of the violations and called for indemnification and
assistance of and to victims and survivors restore them to normalcy.

“Restitution and rehabilitation, especially for the women, children and the
elderly, the sick and the disabled would certainly help these people get on
with their normal lives again,” the mission statement said.

The mission also called for the immediate pull-out of all troops and military
installations in New Bataan and other neighboring areas “to avoid aggravating
the trauma of the residents.”

It also urged child rights advocates and politicians running for office, to condemn Grecil’s death. It also pledged to support Grecil’s family in bringing the case to the regional trial court, to complain before the Commission on Human Rights and the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the CAHRIHL, the Geneva Committee on the Rights of the Child and to Philip Alston, the UN Rapporteur for Extra Judicial Killing. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional office here is yet to release results of its own probe on the death of Grecil. A CHR team left for New Bataan on April 12 and was expected to make its report at the earliest, on Monday (April 16).  MindaNews checked with the CHR Tuesday and was told the team led by Emiliano Cajes, is due to return to Davao on April 18. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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