Forum challenges P-Noy to end US intervention
Cotabato City - Concerned groups and individuals gathered yesterday in
this city to discuss the sustained infringement of the Unites States in
the internal affairs of the country.
The multi-sectoral forum, which carries the theme “A Challenge to Aquino
Administration: End US’ Encroachment of Philippine Sovereignty, Forge a
Nationalist Policy”, is being spearheaded by the city chapter of the OUT
NOW! – Mindanao Coalition, a network of nationalistic Filipinos advocating
an end to US intervention in the country.
Moro human rights watchdog and one of the convenors of the OUT NOW!
Coalition , KAWAGIB, avers that continued presence of US troops in some
parts of the country, under the cloak of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),
is not only an affront to Philippine sovereignty; it also exposes
Filipinos to all sorts of human rights violations and exploitation.
KAWAGIB presents the case of Gregan Cardeño, a Filipino hired as
interpreter who died under suspicious circumstances inside a US troops
barracks in a Philippine military camp in Marawi City, as the latest case
of human rights violation involving US troops.
The group backed by the result of a fact finding mission and the autopsy
report of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Zamboanga City
maintains that Cardeño did not commit suicide as claimed by the military
but was killed inside the camp for a still undetermined reason.
KAWAGIB spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said that despite strong factual
evidences ruling out suicide, “the military and American troops still
refused to provide full cooperation to a thorough investigation of
“The government must review the VFA,” Indayla said, and “hold accountable
American troops for crimes they commit on Philippine soil.”
“We hope to make more Filipinos deeply aware of the consequences of the
continued and unwelcome presence of American troops in the country through
forum such as this,” she said.
The OUT NOW! Coalition has been calling for the abrogation of the VFA for
its anti-Filipino provisions.
Bai Ali Indayla
OUT NOW! Convenor
JUSTICE for GREGAN CARDEÑO MOVEMENT
National Fact Finding Mission
March 02 - 04, 2010
Zamboanga and Marawi City
FINDINGS OF THE FACT FINDING MISSION
Background of the Mission
On February 03, 2010 around 2:00 in the afternoon, Cardeño Family was
informed by SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris, PNP-Marawi, that Gregan V. Cardeño,
33 years old, interpreter of US troops (JSOTFP-Balikatan) in 103rd
Brigade, PA, Camp Ranao, Datu Saber, Marawi City committed suicide by
hanging himself in his room in the barracks of US troops whom he work for
Unidentified US troops brought the cadaver of Gregan from Marawi City and
arrived in Zamboanga City on February 03, 2010 around 4:00 in the
afternoon. Cardeño family met the cadaver at La Merced Memorial Homes and
observed several puncture wounds, contusions and hematoma in the head of
Cardeño family doubt that Gregan committed suicide because the victim had
prior conversation to his wife and sister, confessing that he was not
brought in Cotabato, instead to Marawi City and the nature of his work is
inconsistent to what he is asked to do when he arrived in US barracks in
103rd Brigade, PA. The family also doubts the report of PNP and US troops
because of the wounds they saw during autopsy of the cadaver.
The family sought help from KAWAGIB and Inpeace-Zamboanga to assist them,
conduct investigation and file complaints to appropriate body for the
prosecution of the case.
On February 25, 2010, the Cardeño family, KAWAGIB and Inpeace-Zamboanga
organized the JUSTICE FOR GREGAN CARDEÑO MOVEMENT to collectively work in
search of truth on Gregan’s death, gather support from public, and launch
campaigns and mobilizations for prompt investigation and justice for
Gregan and his family.
The JUSTICE FOR GREGAN CARDEÑO MOVEMENT planned to launch a Fact-Finding
Mission on March 02-04, 2010 at Zamboanga City and Marawi City to
interview PNP-Marawi (SPO3 Ali, SPO3 Angintaopan, Col. Paniares Adap),
103rd Brigade, PA (BGen. Rey Aldo), US troops (Capt. Mike Kay), all
authorities that responded and reported that Gregan Cardeño died.
Objectives of the Mission
The Fact Finding Mission is aimed at interviewing the government
authorities/personnel (PNP, AFP) especially the US troops in 103rd
Brigade, PA to shed light on the issues and questions regarding the
mysterious death of Gregan and have an ocular visit to the place of
Conduct of the Mission
Delegates from Zamboanga met CHR-Iligan delegates headed by OIC Director
Faruk Batara, Ms. Marie Hilao Enriquez of KARAPATAN and youth delegates
from Iligan converged and departed around 8:45 am and arrived at 9:40 am
in Marawi City. Delegates converged and had orientation, groupings and
preceded to PNP, and 103rd Brigade, PA where US troops is staying.
PNP-Marawi facilitated and presented to the FFM team, some evidences of
the case while FFM team (in two vehicles) assigned in 103rd Brigade were
stopped by soldiers on duty at the juncture of Camp Ranao. After 20
minutes of negotiation, only the family, leaders of the mission, media and
a few participants of the mission (in a van) were allowed to go inside
103rd Brigade. Outside the first building of the brigade awaits Deputy
Brigade Commander of 103rd Brigade, Col. Felix Castro together with Capt.
de Leon, Officers Poblacions, Dumlao, Muscad, Hamlag, Cantiga and a
Military Police. The team introduced its members and was made to sign a
logbook, the team observed that the soldiers are tight in security.
Minutes later, dialogue with Col. Castro started. Around 10 minutes later,
team leader of US Forces Capt. Kay (US Army)and Donnelly (US Navy) arrived
from somewhere at the back of main building, the two introduced
themselves. Family of Gregan and other delegates started asking Capt. Kay
about Gregan and his death. Capt. Kay at first seemed to be open to
queries though he doesn’t answer the questions directly while Donnelly
kept on texting.
But after a few minutes, when Capt Kay cannot answer anymore the
questions, he and Donnelly walked out. The FFM team especially Gregan’s
sisters felt insulted on what the US troops did. A soldier in uniform and
another one not in uniform took photos of the FFM team.
Gregan’s relatives asked Col. Castro if they can atleast have a glimpse of
where Gregan stayed or just from the main building where the US barracks
is, but they were denied by Col Castro saying he can’t because they are
Findings of the Mission
After conducting a simultaneous interview with the three groups (PNP,
103rd Brigade and the US Troops) the FFM team observed the following:
• Conspiracy to conclude that the cause of death is suicide and conceal
facts tending to prove otherwise.
- Upon questioning of the FFM team SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris admitted that
they only conducted a cursory examination of the body.
- The preservation of the material evidences in the crime scene was not
*they did not take with them the bed sheet allegedly used by the victim to
*the cellular phone of the victim was left unsealed. He told the FFM team
that they found the phone empty (phone book, inbox/outside messages,
pictures) while in fact SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris used the said phone to
contact a family member on February 3, 2010 at around 2:00 in the
afternoon to report that they found Gregan hanging inside his room.
*Gregan’s body was left by the Police to the care of the US troops upon
the insistence of the latter that they will be the one to send the body. -
The Photos taken by SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris showed that the victim was
wearing green T-shirt, Maong pants with his underwear partially shown. On
the contrary the cadaver was delivered at La Merced Memorial Homes in
Zamboanga City and when the family opened the body bag filled with ice
cubes the cadaver was without shirt and wearing only a camouflage cargo
• It was also observed inconsistencies between SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris
and Capt. Kay statements:
?? Reporting of the incident:
- SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris admitted that it was Capt. Kay who went
personally to the police station to report about the incident. On the
contrary Capt. Kay said he called the police station to inform about the
- SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris told the FFM Team that there were no other
wounds except the ligature marks on the neck. In contrary, the pictures
taken during autopsy showed a puncture wound on the upper part of the
right foot, another puncture wound on the left inner part of the leg,
another puncture wound on the upper right arm. These wounds belied the
statement of SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris that he looked for defensive wounds
on the arms. They also tried to look for other wounds on the lower
extremities by lifting the pants to the higher portions of the leg.
• The contradictory statements of the two commanding officers: Capt. Kay
and Col. Felix Castro Denial of liabilities both on the death of Gregan
and civil liabilities of US troops and 103rd Brigade, PA
- Capt. Kay asserts that they work in close coordination with Col. Castro
as their counterpart in activities they hold within 103rd Brigade command.
In contrary, Col. Castro keeps on denying that he is informed of all the
activities of the US troops.
- Capt. Kay said AFP hired Gregan as interpreter to US troops. Col. Castro
said they only knew of Gregan’s presence inside the camp on Wednesday when
Capt. Kay informed him of Gregan’s death
- Capt. Kay further asserts that Skylink is the one to answer all
questions regarding Gregan’s employment and death. - Col. Castro, said he
is not knowledgeable on who are coming in and out in relations to the US
1. Based on the result of the fact finding mission, filing of appropriate
actions for the prosecution of the case is strongly recommended.
2. The House of Representatives should conduct Congressional Inquiry in
aid of legislation to clarify jurisdictions over criminal and civil cases
committed by US troops.
3. For the US Embassy to open the barracks of US troops where the body (of
Gregan Cardeno) was found dead.
4. For the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Participating Organizations and Individuals:
55 individuals, members of various groups from Zamboanga City, Iligan
City, Cotabato City, Marawi City and Quezon City participated the Fact
Finding Mission. Participating organizations are KARAPATAN, CHR-Iligan,
United Methodist Church- Zamboanga & Cotabato, Consortium of Bangsamoro
Civil Society-Sulu & Zamboanga, Maradeca Inc., Liga ng Kabataang Moro-Marawi
& Iligan, League of Filipino Students-Lanao, Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus-Bantay
Ceasefire Lanao Norte, PBS-DXSO Radyo ng Bayan-Marawi, College Editors
Guild of the Philippines-Lanao, STAND-IIT, Philippine Daily Inquirer,
KABATAAN Partylist, UNICA-CEGP, JGCM, KAWAGIB-Cotabato, Inpeace-Zamboanga.
JUSTICE FOR GREGAN CARDEÑO MOVEMENT
Contact #: 09062377762