II. Methods

Research for this report was conducted in the Philippines between September and November 2006. Human Rights Watch conducted more than 50 interviews with witnesses, family members, and close friends of victims. These interviews—conducted in English, Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicalano, and Ilonggo, either directly with the report’s authors or with the assistance of an interpreter—provided first-hand testimony of 19 incidents of extrajudicial executions or enforced disappearances that occurred between October 2005 and November 2006. We also spoke with four survivors of attempted killings carried out during 2006. Human Rights Watch visited the site of eight killings.

Cases were identified through consultations with journalists, church members, and non-governmental organizations in the Philippines and a survey of Philippine press accounts. Mindful of the broad spectrum of political organizations and “cause-oriented” organizations in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch made attempts to solicit cases from a variety of interest groups, as well as some cases where no political affiliation was apparent.

Interviews and field investigations were carried out in the following provinces: Albay, Bulacan, Compostela Valley, Davao, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Metropolitan Manila, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Nueva Ecija, Sorsogon, and Tarlac.

Human Rights Watch also interviewed more than 50 government officials, lawmakers, academics, lawyers, diplomats, representatives of non-governmental agencies and civil society organizations, police, and members of the Philippines military. Human Rights Watch has also been in communications with the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Washington, D.C., the Philippines Mission to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva.

Where names have been changed to protect the identity of interviewees because of security considerations, such changes are referenced in the footnotes.