AFFIDAVIT OF BASILAN VICTIM’S WIFE SHOT BY U.S.SOLDIER
(Republic of the Philippines) (Isabela City )
I, JURAIDA HASALAL ISNIJAL, Filipino, 27 years of age, a Moslem of the Yakan tribe, with residence at Barangay Camas, Tuburan, Basilan, after having been sworn in accordance witrh law, do hereby depose and state that:
I am the wife of Buyong-buyong Isnijal, likewise a Moslem Yakan, aged 31, for nine months now. I am a high school graduate while he only finished the 4th grade . We speak the Yakan language;
On July 25, 2002, at about 12:oo midnight, we were all asleep on the floor of the house of my mother-in-law located near our house when all of a sudden, armed men kicked its door and forcibly entered my mother-in-law’s house located in said Barangay Camas without our consent. At that time, there were eight(8) of us inside the house including my husband and my relatives: a two month baby, a two year old, an eight year old, a fifteen year old, a twenty five year old woman, and my elderly mother in law, Jalilan Isnijal;
My mother in law and I sat up at the same time and I instantly turned our big “Tiger” flashlight on. It was full moon that time so that light filtered into our house;
I immediately saw three soldiers, two Filipinos and one African American, all armed with Armalite rifles. I could tell that one of them was an American solider as he was tall, at least six feet tall and stocky;
I have grown quite familiar with how American soldiers look like because for months now, I have been seeing different American soldiers in Basilan around and I know exactly how and what they look like;
My husband, who was garbed with only his underwear on, started to get up but was sternly told by the Filipino soldiers, who were all pointing their guns at him, to be still, telling him, “Huwag kang gumalaw”(Do not move);
I also tried to stand up but was told by the American soldier to sit down, saying, “Sit down! Sit down! Sit down! in an American accent;
Thereafter, the soldiers pushed me and forced my husband to lay flat on his back and I was terrified when the American soldier, using his Armalite rifle, suddenly fired at my husband once hitting him on the left thigh. My husband was then still lying down on the floor;
I and one of the soldiers scuffled for one of their rifles and I was hit on my right palm and on my face by the end of its barrel in the process. I sustained bruises on my forehead, the bridge of my nose and my right palm;
I was not able to determine who among the said soldiers I scuffled with was, but since I felt that the end of the barrel was hot, it could be the American soldier who had hit me;
In the course of said scuffle, I heard two more shots being fired inside the said house coming from their rifles. At that point, I, my mother in law, and the rest of my relatives inside rushed towards the open side of the house to escape. Unfortunately, my husband was left behind;
Outside our house, we saw about 30 other soldiers standing guard. I instntly recognized one of them as a certain Lt. Cabanayan, whom I had met sometime in June this year. He and a handful of soldiers visited our house looking for my husband and introduced themselves as members of the 18th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. My husband had at that time left to visit his brother in the latter’s house also in Tuburan, Basilan;
We all ran to the house of our neighbor Rabbang, which was about 30 meters away from my mother in law’s. Rabbang and members of her family were all standing outside. We ran into their house and stayed there. From its window, we watched and waited for what would happen next and saw the soldiers carrying my husband out of the house and into their parked vehicle, an Armored Personnel Carrier(APC) popularly called a “Sikatuna”;
We returned to the said house of my mother in law only at 7:00a.m. that day and found the house ransacked and all of our personal belongings strewn about. The front door was broken and the part where we were sleeping was also covered with blood. I also saw a used syringe, used medicine capsule covers, a small plastic packet and two triangular scarfs whichwere left on the floor. These items are not ours and were never in our control or possession;
That afternoon, a child came by and told me that my husband was at the “LDH” or Lamitan District Hospital, also in Basilan, and that I should go there and bring him some clothes;
I immediately went to the said hospital at about 2:30 p.m. and found my husband in a room with two other female patients. There were also six Filipino soldiers in the room guarding him;
Two of the said soldiers informed me that they were taking my husband to a place called the “Southcom” that same day claiming that he will have to be mediclly treted there. They said it was located in Zamboanga City. I asked them if they will return him to Basilan and they said yes, provided there is no complaint against him and that his wound has healed. From then on, I never saw my husband and I do not know exactly where he is now and whether he is still alive or already dead;
That same afternoon too, I heard from my neighbors that the reason behind the incident in my mother in law’s house where we slept in on the aforesaid time and day was that my husband allegedly owned a Garand rifle, which the soldiers had allegedly seized from my husband’s nephew, Hadji Saud, when they raided the latter’s home about 300 meters from our house;
My husband never owned or possessed any gun and I do not know of any reason why my husband was shot without the slightest provocation and was forcibly abducted;
To my knowledge and belief, my husband neither has any criminal record nor has he been a recipient of complaints from our neighbors;
The contents of this affidavit have been read, translated and explained fully and thoroughly to me in the local language of the Yakan; that its contents are an accurate, truthful and faithful account of all the foregoing facts that I have narrated in the Yakan and Filipino languages, and that I am executing this to attest to the truth of the foregoing and for whatever legal purpose it may serve.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereunto affix my signature this 27th day of July 2002, in Isabela City, Philippines.
(signed) JURAIDA HASALAL ISNIJAL Affaint
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME THIS July 27, 2002 in Isabela City.
Gregorio V. de la Pena II Notary Public Until Dec. 31, 2003 PTR. No. 7675939 IBP. No. 527861 Isabela City/Oath Only
Doc. No. 399: Page No. 80: Book No. XI: Series of 2002.
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on Nov 27th 2002.