OUT NOW! Coalition challenges Aquino to end US intervention

 

Cotabato City

 

July 22, 2010

 

 

 

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.

 

-- From the statement of the OUT NOW! Coalition

 

   
   
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Photos courtesy of KAWAGIB
           
           


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 Cardeño’s death.”

“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.


For Reference:
Bai Ali Indayla
KAWAGIB,
OUT NOW! Convenor
09059248424
 

     
           
     
     
     

 

July 20, 2010

US ranking official visits Philippines, Militants call to Junk VFA

Cotabato City- US Troops OUT NOW! Mindanao Coalition here doubts that death case of Pinoy interpreter in Marawi City prompted US Undersecretary for Political Affairs, William J. Burns to visit the Philippines.

Relatives of Gregan Cardeño, 33, hired as Interpreter to US troops filed Petition for Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data before the Supreme Court against US troops in Marawi City and state agents. In their statement, relatives claimed there was foul play on Cardeño’s death and they received threats.

US government is afraid that if Cardeño’s case prospers, the Visiting Forces Agreement and other ties between Philippines and their government be reviewed and abrogated. It will lead to the unmasking of the military, political and socio-economic interests of the US government.

The covert military operations and what they really do in Marawi City will be exposed and caught attention of the international community which they would never allow to happen.

Burns arrived in Manila and is scheduled to meet with senior officers of the Aquino Administration to discuss ways to advance cooperation between US and Philippines.

“We believe that US government is now pressured on this new case of human rights violation that involves US troops. It necessitate a ranking official to come to Philippines to ensure that the new administration will continue the VFA and US troops involved will have immunity on the case” Bai Ali Indayla, Convenor said.

Burns will also come to Cotabato City State Polytechnic College to launch US government funded JEEP or Job Enabling English Proficiency while OUT NOW! Coalition will spearhead Forum with the theme “A Challenge to Aquino Administration: End US Encroachment of Philippine Sovereignty and Forge a Nationalist Policy” to enlighten the Cotabateños on the issue. ###

For Reference:
Bai Ali Indayla
09059248424
 

     
           
     

The Gregan Cardeño Case

Findings of the Fact-finding Mission

Photos and text courtesy of KAWAGIB

           

 

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 as interpreter.

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 the cadaver.

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 incident.

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 not allowed.

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 dealt properly

*they did not take with them the bed sheet allegedly used by the victim to hang himself.

*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 shorts.

• 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 incident.

- 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 troops activities.

Calls:

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

Email: justiceforgreganmovement@yahoo.com

Contact #: 09062377762
 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
           
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Bai Ali Indayla, Secretary General of KAWAGIB, at a press conference with Myrna Cardeño. widow of Gregan (to her right) and sisters of Gregan,  Grace and Loraine.

           

 

March 29, 2010

Untouchable US troops, Human rights group blames VFA;
Urge gov’t. to identify and investigate US troops in Campo Ranao

Zamboanga City- Human Rights group KAWAGIB blames it to the Visiting Forces Agreement which protects the US troops from investigation on the alleged suicide of Gregan Cardeño, Pinoy Interpreter to US Forces inside their barracks at Campo Ranao, Marawi City on February 02, 2010.

In a focus group discussion participated by students, teachers, community leaders, church people and civil society organizations, KAWAGIB express strong condemnation on the agreement and call to junk VFA. According to the group, the agreement lambasts the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

According to Bai Ali Indayla, spokesperson of the group, even the investigating team of Commission on Human Rights was not allowed by US Forces to enter their barracks in 103rd Brigade, Campo Ranao, where Gregan allegedly committed suicide. “ Much we believe now that they are hiding something, and it convinces more the family that there was a foul play on Gregan Cardeño’s death”, Indayla said.


There were puncture wounds and abrasions on the victim’s body and several scalp hematoma. On February 02, before his death, Gregan had called his wife and sister and disclosed that his work is inconsistent with the contract he signed.

According to Indayla, “Gregan’s death is another case of human rights violation and encroachment of Philippine constitution perpetrated by the US forces. The cadaver of the victim was transported from Marawi to Zamboanga City without permit and death certificate, which is a clear violation to our laws.”

“We were also surprised when we learned that there were US troops in 103rd Brigade in Marawi City conducting Balikatan. On February 2008, there was a Resolution approved by Regional Legislative Assembly-ARMM opposing the conduct of Balikatan in province of Lanao particularly in Marawi City, LGU Offcicials of Marawi also joined the protest rallies of the Maranao’s against Balikatan Exercises”, Indayla Added.

Before Gregan left Zamboanga City, he told his wife he will be brought by US troops in Camp Siongco, Awang, Maguindanao, but he was surprise when instead he was brought to Campo Ranao, Marawi City-his disclosure through phone call to his wife on February 02.

KAWAGIB and other human rights group continue its campaign for justice to Gregan’s death and denounce harassments experienced by the family.

“The US troops in company of Gregan before he died should be identified and the US barracks should be opened to pave way for a thorough and independent investigation. We are urging the government to investigate the case of Gregan Cardeño and serve the justice to his family”, Indayla said. ###

For Reference: Bai Ali Indayla Spokesperson, KAWAGIB 0905.924.8424 justiceforgreganmovement@yahoo.com

     
           
           

 

JUSTICE for GREGAN CARDEÑO MOVEMENT
March 10, 2010

Pamilya ng Pinoy interpreter na namatay sa US barracks, magsasampa ng reklamo

Manila- Pormal ng magsasampa ng reklamo ang pamilya ng Pinoy interpreter ng US Forces na di-umanoy nagpakamatay sa barracks ng US Forces sa Camp Ranao, 103rd Brigade PA sa Marawi City noong Pebrero 03, taong kasalukuyan.

Si Gregan Cardeño, 33, ay natanggap bilang interpreter ng US Forces na nagsasagawa ng Balikatan at umalis noong Pebrero 01, kasama ang mga US Troops patungong Camp Siongco, DOS, Maguindanao. Laking gulat na lang ng pamilya ng mapag-alamang sa Marawi City pala ito dinala. Sa huling tawag nito sa kanyang asawa at kapatid ay nabanggit niyang hindi interpreter ang pinapatrabaho sa kanya kaya’t gusto niya nang umuwi.

Kinaumagahan, Pebrero 03, sa pamamagitan ng tawag ng pulis ay nalaman ng pamilya ni Gregan na nagbigti umano ito gamit ang sariling kumot, ngunit ang malaking ipinagtataka ng pamilya ay bakit may mga tusok sa paa at sugat sa leeg at ulo si Gregan na tila dumanas ito ng tortyur.

Dahil hindi kumbinsido ang pamilya ni Gregan, nagsagawa sila kasama ang mga human rights group (Justice for Gregan Cardeño Movement) ng Fact-Finding Mission noong Marso 03 sa Marawi City. Nakunan ng Fact Finding Mission team ang PNP, 103rd Brigade at US troops team leader na si Capt. Kaye ng magkakaibang salaysay kaya’t mas lalong nakumbinsi ang grupo na hindi nagpakamatay ang biktima kung hindi may foul play na nangyari.

Dismayado rin ang Fact Finding Mission Team lalo na ang pamilya ng hindi pumayag ang US troops na makapasok sa US barracks ang pamilya upang makita ang kwarto ni Gregan kung saan nangyari ang insidente.

Isasampa ng pamilya ng biktima ang reklamo sa tanggapan ni Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima upang maimbestigahan ang pagkamatay ni Gregan. Nanawagan din ang pamilya sa mga kinauukulan na magsagawa ng malayang imbestigasyon upang mabigyang linaw ang nangyari kay Gregan at papanagutin kung sinuman ang mapapatunayang may kinalaman o responsable sa pagkamatay ni Gregan.###

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon:
BAI ALI INDAYLA
Tagapagsalita, KAWAGIB (09062377762 or justiceforgreganmovement@yahoo.com)
 

           
Documentary films  on the Philippine-American War
           

 

MEDIA RELEASE – 1 July 2010
Ref: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson (0917-561-6800)

CA hears writ of amparo petition of Filipino interpreter
Karapatan calls for Philippine government to look into cases involving U.S. troops, too!

As the nation goes back to its routine life under the 15th President, the human rights alliance Karapatan joins other organizations and victims of human rights violations in urging the government to properly investigate the death of the Filipino interpreter Gregan Cardeño at today’s hearing of the petition for the writ of amparo at the Court of Appeals.

The 33 year-old Gregan Cardeño, died under mysterious circumstances on February 2 in the barracks of the US forces, barely two days after being hired as an interpreter for US troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF)-Balikatan. The US troops’ barracks is situated in Camp Ranao, Datu Saber, Marawi City, home of the 103rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army. The Philippine National Police of Marawi immediately concluded that Cardeño committed suicide by hanging himself, echoing what the US troops told the police when the latter reported the death.

The killing of a close family friend aiding in the investigation, WESMINCOM Military Police Commander Maj. Ignacio Javier, who was gunned down the day the Commission on Human Rights conducted a re-autopsy on Gregan’s remains on March 25, made the Cardeño family even more fearful of their safety.

Cardeño’s family filed for the petition for the writ of amparo on April 27 at the Supreme Court that was granted on June 22. The petition prayed for protection of the family members who have been receiving threats since the incident, inspection of the barracks where Cardeño’s body was found and production of all documents and evidences pertaining to the Cardeño’s and Javier’s death, in court.

“Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi,’ (Anyone who has done wrong must face justice. Impunity and continuous oppression must not be allowed to go on.) We hope that this declaration includes the American troops in the country,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan Chairperson enthuses as she quotes from President Noynoy’s speech yesterday. “Gregan’s family deserves and has every right to know how he died and we support them in this endeavor. The American troops’ seeming cover-up of the case, in connivance with the Philippine state security forces, when asked of the circumstances of Gregan’s death, and their silence, do not offer any clarity on the tormented family members. Thus, we hope that under President Noynoy, cases involving US troops will be meticulously examined by our Courts and other investigative agencies,” Enriquez adds.

Enriquez also expressed hope that the magistrates of the CA will not let themselves be pressured by the Philippine or American soldiers or the VFA Commission, and allow truth and justice to prevail in this case. “We call on our government to address this incident, as this involves death of a Filipino citizen under the employ of U.S. forces, inside the barracks of the foreign troops and within a Philippine military camp. We hope that this will not go like the previous cases involving US troops,” concluded Enriquez. ###
 

 
Spanish American War the Philippines and Filipino Genocide  1
 
Spanish American War the Philippines and Filipino Genocide  2
           
           

 

BAYAN
Southern Mindanao Region
Regional Address: Door 32, RGU Apartment, Medical Drive, Bajada, Davao City
Contact 3: (082) 224-2642 Email Ad: bayan.smr@gmail.com

Press Release
July 2, 2010

Bayan demands justice for US military murder victim Gregan Cardeño, pins US military personnel as suspects

Davao City- In a march rally held late afternoon yesterday, human rights advocates lighted their torches to condemn the gruesome killing of a Filipino interpreter for US troops Gregan Cardeño and to demand for an independent probe of US military intervention and cover-up.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) spokesperson John Birondo, “We take up the issue of Cardeno who is a clear victim of the US military forces operating in the country, and whose case gives credence to the need for the scrapping by the Aquino administration of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).”

Gregan Cardeño, a resident of Zamboanga City had allegedly committed suicide, on the eve of February 2, 2010 in his room inside the camp of 103rd Brigade of the Philippine Army in Camp Ranao, Saber, Marawi City. Gregan was supposed to leave for Cotabato City the day before to work as interpreter of Bahasa language for the US military troops under JSOTFP through Capt. Javier Ignacio, CO of MP-WESMINCOM. His employment was coursed through the Skylink Security and General Services.

Contrary to the police reports, BAYAN said its own investigation revealed a foul play in Gregan’s death. Bayan noted the results of the Fact Finding Mission conducted by human rights group Kawagib last March 2 to 4, 2010 that have triggered suspicion on the real cause of Gregan’s death.

“The autopsy alone would show evidences of several puncture wounds, contusions and hematoma in the head of the cadaver that could have been caused forcefully by other persons,” Bayan-SMR spokesperson John Birondo said.

Bayan noted that at 7:48 am of February 2, Gregan’s elder sister Carivel Cardeño received a text message from Gregan informing the latter that he was not brought to Cotabato but to Marawi City instead. At 4:00 pm of the same day, Gregan called his wife Myrna crying and telling her that he was doing a job different from being an interpreter. He further said that the job was difficult and he wanted to go home.

“What caused more suspicions were the inconsistencies in the statements of SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris on the part of the local police and Capt. Kay of the US military. Rangiris first reported to Gregan’s family that they saw his body hanging on the roof of his room. He later retracted his statement and had admitted that the body of Gregan was already lying on the floor when they arrived at the scene of incident,” Birondo noted.

“There are more to dig out in this case and we will know the truth no matter what it takes. This is just one of the many atrocities wrought by the presence of US military forces in the areas where the Balikatan exercises are being conducted,” Birondo stressed.

Bayan said “The case of Cardeno was a clear test for Pres. Aquino as regards to promoting genuine patriotism and respect for national sovereignty given that he has been a clear choice by the US government as its next puppet in Asia during the last elections. Pres. Aquino should act on Cardeno’s case now and revoke the VFA and the MDT. ”

For reference: John Birondo, Spokesperson, Bayan-SMR, Contact #: 09396568925
--
visit our blog at: bayansmr.blogspot.com

 

Spanish American War the Philippines and Filipino Genocide  3
Spanish American War the Philippines and Filipino Genocide  4
           
           

 

PRESS STATEMENT – 10 March 20
Reference: Lovella de Castro, Secretary General (Mobile No: 0920-918-2174)

Another case why US troops must not be in the country?

The government must investigate mysterious death of Gregan Cardeño in the barracks of U.S. troops in a military camp in Marawi City

Human rights alliance Karapatan, Kawagib Moro Human Rights Center and other human rights organizations in Mindanao, which formed the “Justice for Gregan Cardeño Movement,” supports the quest for justice of the family of the 33 year-old Gregan Cardeño, who died under mysterious circumstances on February 2, barely two days after being hired as an interpreter for US troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF)-Balikatan in Camp Ranao, Datu Saber, Marawi City, home of the 103rd Brigade of the Philippine Army.

Gregan Cardeño, a family man from Ipil, Zamboanga, applied as an interpreter for the US forces with the contracting company which hire employees for the troops in Zamboanga He and his family were very happy that he would have a job that will earn money for the family.

On February 1, his wife, Myrna, even accompanied him to the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga City, where Gregan was airlifted with three American soldiers, supposedly to Cotabato City then to his place of assignment in Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipality, Maguindanao.

Two days later, Myra Cardeño claimed her husband’s body in La Merced Memorial homes in Zamboanga City. Gregan Cardeño allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself, midnight of February 2, 2010.

The Cardeño family does not believe that Gregan committed suicide because the victim had a conversation to his wife and sister prior to the incident, and he confessed that he was not brought to Cotabato, but to Marawi City instead, and that what he was asked to do when he arrived in the U.S. barracks at the 103rd Brigade, PA is inconsistent with the nature of the work that he signed up for. The family also finds the report of Philippine police and U.S. troops dubious, because of the wounds they saw on Gregan’s remains during autopsy.

Based on the following findings of the fact-finding mission conducted on March 2 to 5, Karapatan, Kawagib and Inpeace-Zamboanga, human rights advocates of Justice for Gregan Cardeño Movement, are prompted to conclude that there is foul play that led to the death of Gregan Cardeño:

1. The lack of investigation, and the immediate recognition of the US troops on the motive as suicide, despite the fact that they have been trained with the basics and may even have experience in more sophisticated forms of investigation. They did not even secure the crime scene and allowed contamination of the place where Cardeño’s body was found.
 

2. The police concurred with the US troops by immediately concluding that Cardeño’s death resulted from suicide without adequate and proper investigation.
 

3. Material evidence to the case were deliberately destroyed, apparent to Gregan’s mobile phone emptied of its contents – phonebook directory, incoming or sent messages, photos and call register – despite SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris even using the phone to contact a family member on February 3, 2010 to report Gregan’s death; the bed sheet allegedly used by the victim to hang himself was not in the police custody.
 

4. The photos that were taken by the police after Gregan’s body was recovered in the crime scene showed that Gregan was wearing green shirt, maong pants with his underwear partially shown, but when the cadaver was delivered to the funeral home, it was already without a shirt and only wearing a camouflaged cargo shorts.
 

5. Gregan sustained puncture wounds on the right foot, on the left inner part of the leg and on the upper right arm, which contradicts the initial statement of SPO3 Ali Guibon Rangiris that there no defensive wounds on the arms of the victims when he was found.

Based on these facts, Karapatan believes that Gregan Cardeño is a victim of a heinous crime inside the barracks of the U.S. troops. We are one with his family in calling for justice.

We call on our government to address this incident, as this involves death of a Filipino under the employ of U.S. forces, inside the barracks of the foreign troops and within a Philippine military camp. We hope that this will not go like the previous cases involving US troops.

We call upon the Philippine government to conduct a thorough investigation, and to help the Cardeño family in their quest for justice. ###
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign. It was established in 1995.

 
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The Philippine Insurredction
           
     
     
     
           
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