25 February 2010
Hon. LEILA DE LIMA
Commission on Human Rights
Dear Chairperson de Lima,
The undersigned are writing to Your Office on behalf of the forty-three
(43) doctors, nurses and medical workers who are now detained at Camp
Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal following the joint operation of some three-hundred
(300) or so officers and members of the 16th Infantry Battalion, 202nd
Infantry Brigade (IB), 2nd Infantry Division (ID), Philippine Army (PA),
and the Rizal Provincial Police, Philippine National Police (PNP), on a
farm house located at 266 Dela Paz St., Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal,
at around 6:15 a.m., 6 February 2010.
The names of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers, on whose behalf
this Letter Complaint is written, and the marking of their respective
sworn statements, are:
Among, Ray- om
B Balleta, Jane B.
C Barrientos, John Mark
D Carandang, Elenor y Orgena
E Castillo, Eulogio “Ely”
F Castillo, Samson M.
G Castro, Mercy
H Clamor, Dr. Merry Mia
I de la Cruz, Ramon
J de la Cruz, Romeo
K de Luna, Leah Cristine “Ria”
L Dematera, Edwin
M Doloricon, Angela M.
N Donasco, Lilibeth
O Duano, Julius
P Escartin, Mark
Q Espera, Ronilo
R Gonzales, Jacqueline
S Javier, Janice
T Labrador, Sylvia P.
U Liberal, Gary A.
V Macabenta, Reynaldo T.
W Marquez, Emelia
X Marquez, Emily
Y Martinez, Pearl Irene
Z Millena, Ace
AA Montes, Dr. Alexis S.
BB Murillo, Glenda C.
CC Obera, Lydia “Del” A.
DD Ocasla, Delia M.
EE Oliveros, Carina “Judilyn”
FF Ortiz, Jovy “Marvin”
GG Oseo, Miann E.
HH Otanez, Linda
II Paulino, Valentino
JJ Piñero, Danny
KK Pizarro, Jenelyn
LL Quinawayan, Ma. Teresa R.
MM Romeroso, Franco B.
NN Saligumba, Lorelyn
OO Serato, Maria Elena
PP Tawagon, Chenilyn R.
QQ Yaun, Yolanda
The President of the Republic of the Philippines herself, Her Excellency
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is primarily responsible as Commander-in-Chief
under the principle of command responsibility because she knew or, owing
to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the state forces
were committing or about to commit the crimes stated in this complaint.
The public officials and cabinet secretaries also responsible for gross
violations of Constitutional rights following the doctrine of command
responsibility include National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, the
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno.
Meanwhile, the public officers who are also exercising command
responsibility over the 202nd IB, 2nd ID PA and the Rizal Provincial
Police, PNP and directly responsible for the illegal search, illegal
arrests, physical and mental torture and other blatant violations of the
Constitutional rights of the 43 doctors and health workers are Gen. Victor
Ibrado, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Lt.
Gen. Delfin Bangit, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army; Lt.
Gen. Roland Detabali, Commanding General, SOLCOM, Philippine Army; Brig.
Gen. Jorge Segovia, Chief of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army;
Col. Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine
Army; Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, Commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion;
Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa; and P/Supt.
Marion Balonglong of the Rizal Provincial Police.
In the same vein, the Honorable Judge Cesar Mangrobang is also responsible
for the issuance of the bogus and constitutionally defective Search
Warrant that the military and police officers used to justify the raid of
the farmhouse located at 266 Dela Paz St., Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal.
State Prosecutor II Romeo Senson, the Department of Justice Prosecutor who
conducted the defective inquest of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical
workers and issued the Resolution indicting them with trumped-up charges,
and Senior Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Severino Gaña, the reviewing
prosecutor who signed the findings of Prosecutor Romeo Senson, and
Department of Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera are accountable for their
complicity in the efforts to legitimize the military and police’s
commission of human rights violations.
On 5 February 2010, P/Supt. Marion Balonglong, Commanding Officer of the
Rizal Philippine National Police, filed an Application for Search Warrant
before Presiding Judge Cesar A. Mangrobang of Branch 22, Regional Trial
Court, Imus, Cavite, based on the alleged report of a certain Mr. Ricardo
Matias, a resident of Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal, that “one MARIO
CONDES also a resident of aforementioned place is in the habit of
brandishing firearms and would at times poke said firearms at who ever
passes near his house.”
In the alleged hearing for determination of probable cause for the
issuance of a search warrant, Judge Mangrobang only made routine and pro
forma examination of the applicant and the witnesses. Judge Mangrobang
simply asked the applicant’s witness Mr. Ricardo Matias to describe Mr.
Mario Condes but he did not inquire on the exact address of this person;
he did not clarify the place to be searched with sufficient particularity
despite the statement of P/Supt. Marion D. Balonglong that “PO1 Arnel
Tarasona made discreet background investigation on the subject and it was
divulged by neighbors that subject has the habit of showing off his
firearms and intimidate people passing by near his house.”
On the same day, i.e. 5 February 2010, Judge Cesar Mangrobang issued
Search Warrant No. 1565-10, which provides that:
X x x
“It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining under
oath PSUPT. MARION D. BALONGLONG and his witness PO1 ARNEL TARASONA that
there is a probable cause to believed (sic) that Violation of RA 8294
(Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition) has been committed and
that there are good sufficient reason to believed (sic) that MARIO CONDES
has his possession or control at Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal the
following described properties to be seized to wit:
a. M16 Rifle
b. Caliber 9mm Pistol
c. 12 Gauge Shotgun
d. Caliber 45 Pistol
You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search at any time in the
day and night of the premises above described and forthwith seized and
take possession of the above described properties and bring said
properties to the undersigned to be dealt as the law directs.”
X x x x
A copy of said search warrant is attached herein as Annex “SW.”
On 6 February 2010, at around 6:00 a.m., around 300 heavily-armed soldiers
and policemen under the leadership of Col. Aurelio Baladad, commander of
the 202nd Infantry Brigade, and P/Supt. Marion Balonglong unlawfully
entered and searched Dr. Melecia Velmonte’s farmhouse, a renowned and
respected infectious disease specialist in the medical profession, located
at 266 Dela Paz St., Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal.
During that time 43 medical doctors, nurses, midwives and community health
workers from various organizations and provinces in Luzon were renting the
premises for a training entitled Community First Responders Health
Training for the period 1 to 7 February 2010. The Council of Health
Development (CHD) and Community Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED)
sponsored this health and medical training. Both are non-government
organizations that aim, among others, to render medical and health
services to poor communities through providing trainings and seminars to
community health workers on how to address basic medical problems or
The military and police brought during the illegal search eight (8) 6 x 6
military trucks, two (2) armored personnel carriers, one (1) ambulance,
one (1) KIA Pride vehicle, and an undetermined number of PNP vehicles.
They purposely covered the plate numbers of all said military and police
trucks and vehicles with materials to avoid identification. They also
brought with them two K-9 units.
The military and police entered the premises without permission, and
without informing Dr. Velmonte of their purpose and showing her a search
The military and police simultaneously barged into the two houses where
the 43 participants of the seminar were occupying; Dr. Velmonte was
staying in one of the houses together with the female participants. The
military and police also went to the kitchen and the conference room.
When they raided the houses, some of the petitioners were still asleep;
some were in the bathroom doing their daily rituals; others were having
breakfast or getting ready for breakfast while the rest were doing some
The 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers were all herded in one corner
and then ordered at gun point to line-up and go out of the houses, the
kitchen and conference room where they were at the time of the raid.
Thereafter, they were directed to proceed to the drive way. The
participants asked for the reasons why the State security forces were
holding them against their will, but no one from the military and police
raiding team explained anything to them.
While the participants were all at the drive-way, the military and police
went inside the two houses, the kitchen and the conference room and
conducted the illegal search. Dr. Velmonte vigorously protested against
the illegal search and demanded from the military and police to produce a
search warrant but they merely ignored her. Dr. Velmonte, or any member of
her family, was not allowed to witness the search. Instead, Dr. Velmonte
was ordered together with her helper to join the participants at the drive
No one from the military and police asked or looked for Mr. Mario Condes.
Before the illegal search, some of the participants saw the military and
police enter the houses with knapsacks full of load. When they went out
after the illegal search, some of the participants observed that the
military were already carrying plastic bags, and the knapsacks were no
longer loaded. They were surprised when the military announced that they
found grenades, explosives and firearms in the houses and premises of the
Upon the intervention of Dr. Velmonte’s son, Mr. Jose Manuel, Col. Aurelio
Baladad presented a search warrant. But it was only after they have made
the illegal search that Col. Baladad eventually showed to Mr. Jose Manuel
the Search Warrant apparently procured from RTC Judge Cesar Mangrobang of
Branch 22, Imus, Cavite.
Upon examination of said search warrant, Dr. Velmonte and her son
protested to Col. Baladad the illegality and unconstitutionality of the
same due to the following matters:
a.) The search warrant is directed against a person named MARIO CONDES,
who is not a resident of the farmhouse nor known to and heard of by Dr.
Velmonte and her son and the participants of the training;
b.) The search warrant did not describe with particularity the place to be
searched, as it only indicated therein the address “Brgy. Maybangcal,
Morong, Rizal” where so many houses are located; and
c.) The search warrant did not state that the house to be searched is the
farmhouse of Dr. Velmonte located at 266 Dela Paz St., Brgy. Maybangkal,
On its face, the search warrant that Judge Cesar A. Mangrobang issued is a
blatant disregard and violation of Section 2, Article III of the 1987
The protestations of the Velmontes, however, fell on deaf ears as the
military and police continued the illegal search in every inch of the
whole premises without the presence of Dr. Velmonte and other lawful
occupants thereof as the latter were all forcibly confined in one corner
of the premises.
After the illegal search, the military and police told Dr. Velmonte about
their ridiculous and absurd claim that grenades and landmines were
allegedly recovered from one of the beds within the premises. Dr. Velmonte
strongly denied that there were grenades and landmines in any of the rooms
or in any place within the compound. The military and police, without
doubt, definitely “planted” the same when they illegally searched the
premises without any lawful occupant thereof to stand as witness during
Despite their objections, the forty-three (43) men and women found within
the premises were hand tied, blindfolded and forced to line up.
It has become apparent then that the military and police had no real
intention to search and apprehend a certain MARIO CONDES for illegal
possession of firearms and ammunition. Col. Baladad made the unfounded
claim that the forty-three (43) men and women of the medical profession
are suspected communist rebels.
The glaring truth is that the real intention of the military and the
police, as seen from the foregoing circumstances, is to link the 43
doctors and medical workers who are members of progressive organizations
with the CPP/NPA; harass and threaten them; illegally search the
farmhouse; plant pieces of evidence and unlawfully arrest them, using a
patently constitutionally defective search warrant in order for the raid
to have a semblance or appearance of legality.
At around 8:00 a.m., the military and police forcibly illegally arrested
the forty-three (43) men and women from the medical profession without
informing them of the reasons for their arrests. No warrants of arrests
were shown to them.
The 43 participants strongly objected to their illegal arrests since they
were not then committing and have not committed any crime to justify their
apprehension. They insisted on exercising their right to counsel. But the
military and police raiding team did not heed their demand to allow them
to call their lawyers. Instead they were blindfolded, handcuffed and
forcibly placed inside the military vehicles and hurriedly left the
It is important to stress that not one among them is the certain “Mario
Condes” named in the patently constitutionally defective search warrant.
Dr. Velmonte and her son protested the arrests made on the forty-three
(43) individuals but the military and police likewise ignored them. Col.
Baladad did not say anything about the destination of the forty-three (43)
individuals when Dr. Velmonte and her son asked him about it. No one
explained to them the basis for the arrests; they tried to assert their
constitutional right to counsel but the military and police simply
It was only later that Dr. Velmonte and her son overheard from a soldier
that the military would bring the forty-three (43) individuals to Camp
Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.
Upon learning of the illegal arrests of the forty-three (43) health
workers, lawyers Ephraim Cortez and Raymundo L. Apuhin together with the
victims’ relatives and human rights defenders went to Camp Capinpin in
Tanay, Rizal, on the afternoon of 6 February 2010, hours after the illegal
search and arrests. However, the military officers inside Camp Capinpin
prevented and disallowed their entry.
Similarly, at around mid-afternoon the following day, i.e., 7 February
2010, the families and relatives of the illegally arrested 43 doctors and
medical workers trooped to Camp Capinpin together with their counsels
Attys. Amylyn B. Sato and Francis Anthony Principe to confer and check the
condition of the 43 illegally arrested doctors and medical workers. They
stayed at the gates of Camp Capinpin until around 7:00 p.m., but they were
refused entry and not allowed to confer with the 43 medical workers. When
Attys. Sato and Principe insisted on knowing the status of the detainees,
they were even misled and informed that the 43 medical workers were
scheduled for inquest proceedings at the prosecutors’ office somewhere in
Rizal. Attys. Sato and Principe together with some of the relatives went
to the prosecutors’ offices in Morong, Tanay and Taytay, Rizal only to
find out that no inquest proceeding was scheduled on the said night.
During the time that the lawyers and relatives were prevented from seeing
the 43 illegally arrested doctors and medical workers, they were suffering
from psychological and physical torture in the hands of the military
inside Camp Capinpin. The ordeal that the doctors and medical workers
individually experienced at the hands of their military captors were
narrated to the undersigned counsels when they were able to confer with
them for the first time on 11 February 2010 or five (5) days from the time
they were illegally arrested. To summarize, the following are the specific
violations committed against the 43 doctors and medical workers:
a.) All the 43 doctors and medical workers were denied their right to
counsel immediately after their arrest. They were allowed to see their
lawyers only five (5) days after their illegal arrest;
b.) They were placed in incommunicado status;
c.) They were subjected to prolonged and repeated interrogation to elicit
information while blindfolded and in handcuffs; they were still
blindfolded when their fingerprints were taken;
d.) They were deprived of sleep, interrogated individually at odd hours,
made to listen to gun shots and the unnerving screams of the other
e.) They were deprived of visitation rights of families and relatives.
f.) During tactical interrogation, they were given death threats and
forced to admit membership in the New People’s Army; they were subjected
to psychological torture; the military threatened to harm their families
if they refused to cooperate;
g.) They were threatened and convinced to cooperate with the military with
a promise to help fix their cases or give rewards;
h.) Valentino Paulino was concealed from his lawyers when they tried to
confer with him on February 11, 2010; he was threatened and forced to
admit membership in the New People’s Army and thereafter presented to the
media against his will;
i.) Jane Balleta, an epileptic, was deprived of her medicines; Glenda
Murillo suffered internal bleeding leading to a miscarriage due to the
early morning raid on 6 February 2010 and was refused medical attention;
j.) Deprived of privacy; army officers and soldiers take off their
clothing and underwear every time they go to the comfort room;
k.) Sexual harassment on Jane Balleta and Miann Oseo - soldiers took off
their clothing during questioning; Mercy Castro - the soldiers express
their desire to kiss her during interrogation;
l.) Physical torture on Ramon de la Cruz, the interrogators punch him near
the liver area, tight handcuffs causing wounds on the wrists, knee blows
to his legs, soldiers strike at his solar plexus, back, nape and
shoulders; Dr. Alex Montes, suffered electrocution, punches on the chest;
Lilibeth Donasco - was hit and punched in the head by a male soldier when
she would not answer during interrogation; it caused the ringing of her
ears and extreme dizziness, aggravated by the tightness of the blindfold;
Eulogio Castillo prior to the taking of his fingerprints and photograph,
firearms were aimed at his head and back.
On the night of 7 February 2010, State Prosecutor Romeo B. Senson of the
Department of Justice allegedly conducted inquest proceedings on the 43
doctors and medical workers. Instead of inquiring into the circumstances
of their arrest, prosecutor Senson simply made a roll call and head count
of the doctors and medical workers; thereafter, he simply announced that
they were all subjected to inquest and that they are charged with illegal
possession of firearms and explosives. They were not given a chance to
inform the public prosecutor of the illegality of their arrest and of the
ordeal they went through while in detention; they were not given a chance
to manifest their demand to see and talk to their lawyers.
This is despite the fact that at the time the alleged inquest was being
conducted, the lawyers of the 43 doctors and medical workers were at the
gates of Camp Capinpin demanding entry in order to confer with their
Thereafter, without looking into the illegality of the arrests and the
planting of evidence against the 43 health workers, State Prosecutor Romeo
B. Senson, in a Resolution dated 8 February 2010, recommended the filing
of charges against 40 of the 43 doctors and medical workers with illegal
possession of explosives with no bail recommended under Presidential
Decree 1866 (PD 1866) as amended under Republic Act 9516 (R.A. No. 9516);
and Messrs. Romeo de la Cruz, Reynaldo Macabenta and Del Ayo Overa for
illegal possession of firearms under P.D. 1866 and election gun ban.
On 11 February 2010 or 120 hours from the time of their illegal arrest and
detention, Informations were filed against the 43 doctors and medical
workers for illegal possession of explosives with no bail recommended
under P.D. 1866, as amended, and illegal possession of firearms under the
The 43 detained doctors, nurses and medical workers invoke the inherent
jurisdiction of Your Honorable Office and the constitutional powers
appurtenant thereto concerning the investigation and correction of human
rights abuses obtaining under the circumstances.
Considering that the actuations of 2nd ID, PA and the Rizal Provincial
Police from the acquisition of the Search Warrant at Imus, Cavite, to the
illegal arrest at Morong, Rizal and up until the illegal detention at Camp
Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, are clear violations of the human rights of 43
detained doctors, nurses and medical workers, the matter is properly
within the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights to investigate and to
take appropriate action.
The human rights violations of the 2nd ID, PA and the Rizal Provincial
Police in this case affect the civil and political rights of the 43
detained doctors, nurses and medical workers and the corresponding laws
and rules that guarantee and regulate procedural due process that are part
and parcel of the constitutional safeguards enshrined in the Bill of
The following discussion is the correlation of the human rights violations
that the involved law enforcement agencies have committed under the
circumstances and the applicable laws and rules transgressed.
Obtaining Void Search Warrant at Imus, Cavite and Planting of Evidence:
Section 2, Article III of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental
right against unreasonable searches and seizures and lays down the basic
conditions for the issuance of a search warrant.
In this case, the records would show that Judge Cesar A. Mangrobang did
not discharge his duties before issuing the subject search warrant. The
record is bereft of proof to show that he indeed conducted a probing,
exhaustive and extensive inquiry as to the matters relative to the
application and issuance of the said search warrant.
The records will show that Judge Cesar A. Mangrobang conducted only a pro
forma examination of the applicant as found in the respective depositions
of P/Supt. Marion D. Balonglong, PO1 Arnel Tarasona and Ricardo Matias.
The questions propounded in the said depositions were, in fact, not
probing but were merely routinary.
The absence of the said probing and extensive inquiry is evident
considering that the search warrant had included Caliber 9mm Pistol, 12
Gauge Shotgun and Caliber .45 Pistol as among the items for seizure when,
in fact, the applicant and his witnesses in their respective depositions
never mentioned the said items.
This only shows that the judge merely relied on the Application for Search
Warrant without confirming the veracity thereof through the conduct of the
requisite inquiry. Had he properly conducted the required inquiry, the
judge would have known that the aforesaid items were included as a part of
a fishing expedition.
Moreover, the search warrant did not describe the place to be searched
with sufficient particularity. Hence, it is invalid. The said warrant only
mentions the address to search as Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal, where
so many houses of different owners are found. The constitutional
requirement is a description which particularly points to a definitely
ascertainable place, so as to exclude all others. But, clearly, in this
case, the said requirement of particularity is absent which renders the
search warrant void.
The fact that the police and the military raiding teams knew of where the
house is located did not justify the inadequacy of the particulars of the
place to search. Otherwise, confusion would arise regarding the subject of
the warrant — the place indicated in the warrant or the place that the
police have identified. Such conflict invites uncalled for mischief or
abuse of discretion on the part of law enforcers.
The raiding team committed reprehensible acts in enforcing the search
warrant. Among the irregularities are:
a.) The raiding team failed to perform the following before breaking into
i. Properly identify themselves and showing necessary credentials
including presentation of the Search Warrant;
ii. Furnishing of Search Warrants and allowing the occupants of the place
to scrutinize the same; and
iii. Giving ample time to the occupants to voluntarily allow the raiders
entry into the place and to search the premises.
b.) Dr. Velmonte’s helper was held at gunpoint to open the gate for the
b.) The 43 participants of the training/seminar were herded out of their
rooms and/or the building where they were confined for the duration of the
d.) The illegal search was conducted by the raiding team against the
protests of Dr. Velmonte and her son in view of the fact that the search
warrant is directed against a person not a resident of the farmhouse nor
known to and heard of by Dr. Velmonte and the participants of the
training. Worse, the same was done in their absence.
The government’s drive against illegal possession of firearms and
ammunitions deserve everybody’s support. But it cannot pursue it through
ignoble means which violate constitutional rights. It is precisely when
the government's purposes are “beneficent” that we should stand most on
our guard to protect human rights.
Illegal Arrest at Morong, Rizal
Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution explicitly guarantees the right
of a person against unlawful arrests and other forms of restraint. The
State cannot simply intrude indiscriminately into the houses, papers,
effects, and most importantly, on the person of an individual. The
constitutional provision guarantees an impenetrable shield against
unreasonable searches and seizures.
A statute, rule or a situation which allows exceptions to the requirement
of a warrant of arrest or search warrant are strictly construed and their
application limited only to cases specifically provided or allowed under
the law. To do otherwise is an infringement upon personal liberty and
would set back a right so basic and deserving of full protection and
vindication yet often violated.
Undisputed in this case is the fact that the 43 doctors, nurses and
community health workers subject of this petition were arrested in the
early morning of 6 February 2010 without the benefit of a warrant of
arrest. The arresting team of soldiers and policemen numbering about 300
were heavily armed with high-powered, automatic rifles with laser sights
when they stormed the residence of Dr. Melecia Velmonte. But they were not
at all armed with a warrant of arrest.
In a vain attempt to justify the warrantless arrest of the 43 health
workers, the military and police claim that the said 43 were “caught in
flagrante delicto” allegedly in possession of illegal firearms and
explosives. Such claim is inherently incredible and totally false.
The facts and circumstances surrounding the present case do not at all
show that the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers arrested had just
committed, were actually committing, or were attempting to commit a crime.
a. The 43 were attending a week-long Community First Responders’ Heath
Training organized by the Community Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED)
and the Council for Health Development (CHD).
b. It was about 6:15 in the morning of February 6, 2010 when the combined
military and police teams forced their way into the compound of Dr.
Melecia Velmonte. As it was early in the morning, some of the 43
participants in the stay-in training were still in bed, others were in the
bathroom, some others were having coffee, outside the house to do morning
physical exercise, or otherwise preparing themselves for the sixth day of
the training. These are all lawful activities.
c. Moreover, the 43 did not manifest any suspicious behavior or conduct
that would clearly indicate a criminal act.
d. Therefore, they cannot be said to be committing a crime. Neither had
they just committed or attempting to commit a crime.
The military and police officers’ claim that the 43 doctors, nurses and
medical workers were seen in illegal possession of firearms or explosives
at 6:15 in the morning of 6 February 2010 is ridiculously specious,
incredible and self-serving. Immediately upon gaining entry into the
property of Dr. Velmonte, the military and police raiding team held the 43
doctors, nurses and medical workers at gunpoint, herded them outside their
quarters, blindfolded and handcuffed them, effectively shutting them out
of the view of what the arresting officers actually did inside the
premises. The military and police raiding team intentionally planted the
firearms and explosives which they alleged were in the possession of the
43 doctors, nurses and medical workers.
The warrantless arrest of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers is
not justified either under paragraph (b) of Section 5, Rule 113 of the
Rules of Court.
The following circumstances are insufficient to constitute probable cause
for the warrantless arrest:
a.) Assuming without admitting the validity of the search warrant used by
the arresting team, the same did not give a specific place to search. The
search warrant merely stated “Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal” without
specifying the number of the house.
b.) The arresting team did not have the names or a physical description of
each of the persons to be arrested.
c.) They rounded up all the participants in the health training who had
just risen in the early morning of February 6, 2010, still asleep, or
getting ready for the day’s training.
As the essential element of probable cause is wanting in this case, hence,
the arrest of the 43 detainees without a warrant is unjustified and
Considering that the arrest without warrant made in this case was
unlawful, the seizure of the alleged firearms/explosives was rendered
illegal as well for being the proverbial “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
Consequently, such evidence obtained in violation of Section 2, Article
III of the Constitution, is inadmissible for any purpose in any
In the landmark case of Stonehill v. Diokno, the Supreme Court observed
that most jurisdictions have realized that the exclusionary rule is “the
only practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction” against
unreasonable searches and seizures. Quoting Judge Learned Hand, the High
Court explained that “only in case the prosecution which itself controls
the seizing officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong, will
the wrong be repressed.”
It is often stated that those who are supposed to enforce the law are not
justified in disregarding the rights of the individual in the name of
order. Order is too high a price for the disregard and destruction of
liberty. As Justice Holmes once said, “I think it is less evil that some
criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble
part.” It is simply not allowed in a free society to violate a
Moreover, the military and police officers’ acts of planting evidence are
crimes punishable with reclusion perpetua under Section 4-A of Republic
Act 9516 (RA 9516) that amends Presidential Decree 1866 (PD 1866) which
"SEC 4-A. Criminal Liability for Planting of Evidence. - Any person who is
found guilty of 'planting' any explosive or incendiary device or any part,
ingredient, machinery, tool or instrument of any explosive or incendiary
device, whether chemical, mechanical, electronic, electrical or otherwise,
shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
"Planting of evidence shall mean the willful act by any person of
maliciously and surreptitiously inserting, placing, adding or attaching,
directly or indirectly, through any overt or covert act, whatever quantity
of any explosive or incendiary device or any part, ingredient, machinery,
tool or instrument of any explosive or incendiary device, whether
chemical, mechanical, electronic, electrical or otherwise in the person,
house, effects or in the immediate vicinity of an innocent individual for
the purpose of implicating incriminating or imputing the commission of any
violation of this Decree.
Violations of Human Rights and Torture at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal
The 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers were brought to Camp Capinpin,
Tanay, Rizal where they were subjected to physical and psychological
torture. They were deprived of sleep, interrogated individually at odd
hours, made to listen to gun shots and the unnerving screams of the other
The 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers were all blindfolded and
handcuffed. They cannot even relieve themselves without the assistance of
their captors. The women are particularly vulnerable. The soldiers are the
ones to take off the clothes of the women detainees and their underwears
whenever the latter have to relieve themselves.
Some of the men, such as Mr. Ramon de la Cruz, experienced getting
physically beaten up during interrogation sessions. The soldiers would
punch him repeatedly at his sides and at the back, where his liver is
located. The interrogators would also strike at his solar plexus and they
would slap his nape and his back hard. They likewise inflict knee blows on
the sides of his legs, a torment which is excruciatingly painful. The
handcuffs on Mr. Ramon de la Cruz are particularly tight, thus, causing
wounds and lacerations on his wrists.
The psychological torture is no less severe upon the 43 detained doctors,
nurses and medical workers. The interrogators constantly threaten them
with pain, incarceration, sexual abuse, isolation, death, and other
corporeal punishments not only of the detainees themselves but even of
their relatives and loved ones.
On the other hand, the captors offer rewards, better treatment and the
dismissal of the criminal cases to those detainees who would admit their
membership in the New People’s Army (NPA), surrender to the government and
conform to the whims and directives of the military.
These depraved acts of torture that the military personnel inflicted upon
the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers are crimes under Article 235 of
the Revised Penal Code and other pertinent laws, such as Republic Act
9745, the Anti-Torture Act of 1990, as well as the Convention Against
Torture (CAT), of which the Philippines is a signatory.
The psychological and physical torture also violate the detained 43
doctors, nurses and medical workers’ constitutional right against
self-incrimination since the coercion and punishment inflicted upon them
are intended to secure their admission of their membership with the NPA
and their confession for criminal offenses charged against them.
The fundamental guarantee against torture is enshrined in Section 12 of
the Bill of Rights, Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,
The relatives and counsels of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers
went to Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal in order to visit them but the
soldiers manning the gate refused to grant them entry. This is a clear
violation of Section 2 (f) of Republic Act 7438 (RA 7438), and is a
criminal offense that military and police personnel have committed for
which their officers are responsible under Executive Order 226 (EO 226), a
presidential issuance institutionalizing the doctrine of command
responsibility. The pertinent portions of EO 226 are as follows,
Sec. 1. Neglect of Duty Under the Doctrine of "Command Responsibility". -
Any government official or supervisor, or officer of the Philippine
National Police or that of any other law enforcement agency shall be held
accountable for "Neglect of Duty" under the doctrine of "command
responsibility" if he has knowledge that a crime or offense shall be
committed, is being committed, or has been committed by his subordinates,
or by others within his area of responsibility and, despite such
knowledge, he did not take preventive or corrective action either before,
during, or immediately after its commission.
Sec. 2. Presumption of Knowledge. - A government official or supervisor,
or PNP commander, is presumed to have knowledge of the commission of
irregularities or criminal offenses in any of the following circumstances:
a. When the irregularities or illegal acts are widespread within his area
b. When the irregularities or illegal acts have been repeatedly or
regularly committed within his area of responsibility; or
c. When members of his immediate staff or office personnel are involved.
Meanwhile, Section 2 (f) of RA 7438 provides,
Section 2. Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial
Investigation; Duties of Public Officers. –
(f) Any person arrested or detained or under custodial investigation shall
be allowed visits by or conferences with any member of his immediate
family, or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by
him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel, or by any
national non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Commission
on Human Rights of by any international non-governmental organization duly
accredited by the Office of the President. The person's "immediate family"
shall include his or her spouse, fiancé or fiancée, parent or child,
brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild, uncle or aunt, nephew or
niece, and guardian or ward.
In fact, the inquest proceedings were conducted during the afternoon of 7
February 2010 against the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers without
the assistance of their lawyers who were outside the gates of Camp
Capinpin and who were demanding entry in order to see the detainees, as
expressly provided for under the law.
This is yet another criminal violation of RA 7438, at Section 2 (a) and
(b) thereof, that mandates that public officers shall at all times permit
persons arrested, detained or undergoing custodial investigation access to
legal assistance and to allow them to confer privately with competent
counsel of their choice.
Section 2. Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial
Investigation; Duties of Public Officers. –
(a) Any person arrested detained or under custodial investigation shall at
all times be assisted by counsel.
(b) Any public officer or employee, or anyone acting under his order or
his place, who arrests, detains or investigates any person for the
commission of an offense shall inform the latter, in a language known to
and understood by him, of his rights to remain silent and to have
competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice, who shall
at all times be allowed to confer privately with the person arrested,
detained or under custodial investigation. If such person cannot afford
the services of his own counsel, he must be provided with a competent and
independent counsel by the investigating officer.
The detainees can singularly attest that the inquest that Prosecutor Romeo
Senson conducted was grossly irregular and violates the National
Prosecution Service’s Manual for Prosecutors. The 43 doctors, nurses and
medical workers were all made to line up at a basketball court and
Prosecutor Romeo Senson initiated a head count and he merely stated that
they were all charged with the illegal possession of firearms and
explosives and that he is simply submitting his findings to his boss for
The very concept of an inquest is to determine if the persons arrested
should remain under custody and charged in court.
Section 9 of the Manual of Prosecutors regarding Inquest directs the
inquest prosecutor to recommend the release of the arrested persons if the
arrest was not properly effected. Contrary to this very basic objective,
Prosecutor Romeo Senson declared that the 43 doctors, nurses and medical
workers are charged with crimes without even once asking them a question.
The inquest prosecutor certainly has not made any sort of inquiry as to
whether the arrest of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers was
properly conducted pursuant to Section 5 (a) and (b) of Rule 113 of the
Rules of Criminal Procedure.
In Prosecutor Romeo Senson’s Resolution dated 8 February 2010, he admits
that he merely performed a head count of the 43 doctors, nurses and
medical workers and declared that they are charged for possession of
explosives and firearms.
If Prosecutor Romeo Senson had done his task in accordance with the
National Prosecution Service’s Manual for Prosecutors, he would have found
the arrest blatantly illegal and he would have immediately recommended the
immediate release of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers pursuant
to Section 9, Part II of their Manual, and, if he has even the slightest
notion or concept at all of right and justice, he should have sternly
reprimanded the military and police for their contemptible and beastly
conduct in the treatment of the detainees.
It is therefore clear that Prosecutor Romeo Senson did not conduct a
proper inquest of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers.
Prosecutor Romeo Senson and the entire office of the Department of Justice
were merely used as tools in the military’s attempt to give a semblance of
legitimacy to the illegal arrest of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical
workers herein. The complicity of Prosecutor Romeo Senson to the
propensity of the military and the police to commit human rights
violations is precisely the deplorable and harebrained antics that the
Supreme Court censured in the cases of Ladlad v. Velasco and People v.
Considering the foregoing blatant disregard and violations of the
Constitutional rights of the 43 doctors and medical workers, it is
therefore kindly implored that Your Honorable Office expeditiously look
into this matter, investigate and correct the public officers named herein
who are responsible for this execrable travesty of justice.
Thank You for Your kind consideration and prompt action.
PUBLIC INTEREST LAW CENTER
4/F Kaija Bldg. 7836 Makati Ave.
corner Valdez St., Makati City
Tel. No. (632) 899-3439; Telefax No. (632) 899-3416
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
ROMEO T. CAPULONG RACHEL F. PASTORES
IBP No. 805307; 01-05-10; Nueva Ecija IBP No. 805304; 01-05-10; Makati
PTR No. 2088275; 01-05-10; Makati PTR No. 2088276; 01-05-10; Makati
Roll No. 13366 Roll No. 39818
MCLE Compliance No. I –0017830; MCLE Compliance No. II-0009044;
AMYLYN B. SATO FRANCIS ANTHONY PRINCIPE
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PTR No. 3186599; 01-05-10; Q.C. PTR No. 3186600 ;01-05-10; Q.C.
Roll No. 50389 Roll No. 50915
MCLE Compliance No. II- 0013190;
LEON P. MOGAO DICKSON C. AYON-AYON
IBP No. 812412; 1-13-10; Kalinga-Apayao IBP No. 812713; 1-14-10; Makati
PTR No. 2098307; 1-12-10; Makati PTR No. 212567; 1-20-10;Makati
Roll No. 52585 Roll No. 52340
MCLE Compliance No. II-0015931 MCLE Compliance No. II-0015686;
NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLES' LAWYERS (NUPL)
Third Floor, Erythrina Building ,
No. 1 Matatag cor. Maaralin Sts.,Central District, Quezon City (02)
920.6660, (02) 927.2812
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Il-0007658; 1/28/09 MCLE Compliance No. II-
Feb. 1, 2010
The Council for
Health and Development (CHD)
and the Community Medicine Foundation (COMMED)
sponsored a Community First Responders’ Training
from February 1-7, as a result of the disasters caused by super
typhoons Pepeng and Ondoy. The training was held at the farm house of
Dr. Melecia Velmonte, chairperson of the board of COMMED.
The participants of
the training arrived in several batches in the morning. The
participants came from areas commonly affected by disasters, including
the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, Bicol and
Central Luzon. The training started late in the afternoon with
Feb. 2-5, 2010
The first four days
of the training was conducted by Dr. Alexis Montes and Dr. Merry
Mia-Clamor. Assisting them was Teresa Quinawayan, a midwife and field
assistance staff of CHD. Dr. Montes discussed Basic Life Support and
Basic Principles in Trauma Management. Dr. Mia-Clamor talked on
Late afternoon, Gary
Liberal, an operating room nurse of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical
Center arrived for his topic Nursing Skills and Techniques to be
discussed the following day.
In the evening, Dr.
Melecia Velmonte lectured on Management of Trauma Infections on the
Feb. 6, 2010
In the early morning,
around 5:30-6:00, while the health workers were preparing to start the
last day of their community health training, approximately 100 to 300
armed soldiers and policemen barged into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia
Velmonte at No. 266, Dela Paz Street, Maybangcal, Morong Rizal,
conducted an illegal search and thereafter illegally arrested 43
doctors, nurses, midwives and volunteer community health workers.
At the time of the
illegal search and arrest, all the 43 participants were each doing
their respective morning routine and rituals or tasks at different
locations of the farmhouse before the start of the session for the day
at 7:00 am. Some were still asleep or in bed while others just woke
up, others were making their beds or were still in the sleeping
quarters, some were exercising outside the house, still others were
cooking or preparing for breakfast, others were taking breakfast or
just had breakfast at the kitchen, some were preparing to take a bath,
taking a bath or just got out of the comfort rooms, and still others
were cleaning the session hall.
After the arrest, the
43 health workers were made to board vehicles. They were handcuffed
with plastic wires and blindfolded with cloth reinforced by packing
tape for more than 36 hours. They were first brought to an undisclosed
place in one large room before they were eventually brought to the
detention facility of the 2nd Infantry Division and 206th
Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Camp Capinpin, Tanay,
Rizal. No one of the 43 Complainant-Detainees, at any time from the
time of their arrest and detention up to now, has been apprised of
their Miranda rights.
Complainants-Detainees were repeatedly interrogated without counsel of
their choice, subjected to various forms of coercion, threats,
harassments, intimidation and indignities as well as psychological
torture and deprived of sleep. They were refused their right to
counsel of their own or their relatives’ choice for six days. A number
of them were subjected to various forms of physical torture.
(Please see Affidavits dated
Feb 21, 2010
and attached to the CHR Complaint dated
25 Feb 2010.)
recollections and individual accounts of the Complainants-Detainees
are as follows:
(1) Complainant-Detainee Ray-on AMONG, female, 25 years old, was
preparing for the day’s session when the military and police barged
into the rooms of the women. She heard Dr. Velmonte shout to the armed
men: “Mga respetadong tao ang mga yan!” They searched their
room and their belongings without showing any document for such and
despite Dr. Velmonte’s demands. They did not also allow Dr. Velmonte
or anyone of her household to accompany and witness the search and
seizure. After the search, the armed men went out of the house and
they allowed the participants to get in in groups of five to get their
personal belongings. Her cellphone was confiscated.
handcuffed and blindfolded. They were made to board vehicles and
brought to an undisclosed place. She and her fellow
Complainants-Detainees were threatened and coerced into admitting that
they were members of the New People’s Army (NPA). She was made to hear
noises akin to electrocution and was threatened to be electrocuted.
She denied being an NPA but her interrogators continued to threaten
and harass her.
experienced physical maltreatment (e.g. “binatukan)” and
torture. Her hands were pulled down until she knelt and resulted in
gashes in her knees. She was slapped on the face and mouth several
times. She was asked the circumstances and whereabouts of members of
her family and was threatened with harm if she did not cooperate. Her
guards pulled down and replaced her pants when she had to go to the
comfort room at the time that she was being interrogated. A document
supposedly mentioning the purpose of their training to make bombs was
read to her. She was asked names of individuals and asked if they were
her comrades. Her fingerprints were taken while she was still
her co-detainees were again made to board a vehicle and brought to a
place which she later found out to be
Camp Capinpin. The threats and maltreatment continued. She was
told that her fingernails would be uprooted if she would not say the
heard the cries of pain of her co-detainees during the night when they
were being threatened or being forced to admit by the soldiers. For
endless nights, she dreaded nightfall because of the nightly
interrogations which would last until dawn. The interrogation and
threats against the Complainants-Detainees continued for several
weeks. (Affidavit of Among dated
February 21, 2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated
25 Feb 2010 as Annex “A.”)
Complainant-Detainee Jane Beltran BALLETA, female, 27 years
old, was exercising together with her fellow complainants-detainees
outside the house when she saw five soldiers. Dr. Velmonte advised
them to get inside the house. The uniformed soldiers were running all
over the place and forced their way into the house. She heard Dr.
Velmonte ask the soldiers to leave.
together with her co-detainees were made to lie on their stomachs in
one of the rooms one on top of another when they were arrested while
the soldiers pointed their guns at them. Dr. Velmonte asked the
soldiers to make the Complainants-Detainees sit down but the soldiers
asked them to raise their hands over their heads. They were then asked
to get out one by one while they were being photographed and videoed.
She also saw policemen and CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group) members. She saw “Manang Bing,” the help of Dr. Velmonte, as
well as her son, asked by the soldiers to line-up with them outside
her co-detainees had not yet eaten by around 9:00 am. She requested
the soldiers that she will get her medicines because she has epilepsy
and needed to take them as she usually does around 7:00-8:00 am daily
but they refused. She saw the soldiers take away the cellphone of her
fellow detainee. They were made to eat eventually by their co-detainee
who was tasked to cook for them, after which they were asked by the
soldiers to go back to their rooms where she was able to get her
her co-detainees were asked their names and residences. But it was
interrupted when her fellow co-detainees said they needed a lawyer.
They were asked to line up again at which point she saw two soldiers
going outside towards the direction of the gate. One of was holding a
large sack while the other was holding a big can. She saw the men in
their group being blind-folded. The women were also hand-tied and
blind-folded. When they asked why they were doing that to them, the
soldiers told them that they were just following instructions.
we told them about their rights, they told us them “Your lawyers will
not come anymore. Maybe your boyfriends won’t see you anymore.” When
they arrived at the first place where they were brought, they
confiscated her things, cellphone, ID and money.
At times when she had
to go to the comfort room, since her hands were tied and eyes were
covered, the female guards were the ones who pulled Balleta’s
pants and underwear down in two instances. They were also made to wear
diapers since they did not want them to go back and forth to the
comfort room, resulting in so much discomfort that made her sick.
was interrogated endlessly. Several persons took turns in asking her
different questions and misleading her that all her companions have
confessed. At one point, someone placed a paper in her mouth and told
her that she will be tortured. She invoked her right to counsel but
she was just ignored. She had hardly slept when they came back for
her. Because of the fear that she will be given a hard time during the
interrogation and that her epilepsy would strike, she was forced to
admit that I am a member of the NPA even though it is not true.
was blindfolded and handcuffed for 36 hours. They only allowed them to
talk to their lawyers on
February 11, 2010. A fiscal had talked to them one night and said that the
case against them was illegal possession of firearms. She was placed
in solitary confinement for the first two days of her detention. (Affidavit
of Balleta dated
February 21, 2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated
25 Feb 2010 as Annex “B.”)
Complainant-Detainee John Mark BARRIENTOS, male, 20 years old
was cooking at the kitchen when suddenly a group of armed soldiers
entered. They led him outside with his hands at the back of my head.
He was blindfolded and his hands were tied at the back. They were
never told why they were being arrested.
was then loaded
into a vehicle together with others and brought to a place where he
was asked to sit on a chair. They started to question him but accused
him of being an NPA even as he consistently explained that he was just
a farmer and a health worker in their community.
was later brought again to a different place while still blindfolded
and his hands were tied up at the back. A soldier said “Hindi ka
rin lang magsasalita ay ilalabas na kita! Meron kabang nakita?”
(Since you won’t talk, I might as well take you out. Can you see
anything?) and he answered (none and the soldier said “baka hindi
kana tuluyang makakita” (Perhaps you will end up not being able to
see at all). A soldier twisted his right arm and forced him to admit
that he was an NPA but he told them that he was just a farmer and a
When night came, they
took Barrientos’ my fingerprints. He felt dizzy due to
overfatigue. The soldier led him to a room and let him sit on a chair
the whole night while his hands were still tied and eyes blindfolded.
The soldiers would not let him sleep. The soldiers fed him with food
but he was able to eat only a spoonful. (Affidavit of Barrientos
February 21, 2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated
25 Feb 2010 as Annex “C.”)
Complainant-Detainee Eleonor CARANDANG, female, married with 5
children, all of whom are underage, was still inside her sleeping
quarters bedroom (which was on the 2nd floor of the
house) at around 5:00-6:00 am when she heard from a co-participant
that there were soldiers present. Some of them were still sleeping
while others were already taking a bath and were getting ready for
that day’s session.
At first, Carandang thought that there were only a
few soldiers present, but when she actually saw them, she realized
that there were many. They went after the males’ rooms first, that
they forcibly pushed the doors open and tried to break them. They were
made to go down from the second floor, made to lie on their stomachs,
and then had them fall in line. They asked for an explanation why they
were being arrested but they didn’t get any reply nor was there an
explanation why they soldiers there in the first place and why they
had to rummage through their belongings.
saw that the ones who searched through their belongings and who
illegally arrested them all wore military uniforms, CIDG and police.
She does not know their names and as their nameplates were all
covered, but if she ever sees them again, she can definitely identify
some. A bit later, they were instructed to go back to their rooms to
get their belongings but when she did, she discovered that her mobile
phone and wallet containing Php2200 and her sphygmomanometer were
After they retrieved their things, Carandang and her
companions were blindfolded and handcuffed at the back so tight that
it hurt. They were then brought to ride a vehicle but because she was
blindfolded, she didn’t know where they were brought.
was told that even if she was already married, she still looked
beautiful and then the soldiers laughed and even said that they were
going to visit her.
While still blindfolded, Carandang was repeatedly
questioned and were accused of being NPAs. She estimates that she was
blindfolded and interrogated for about 36 hours, about things that she
does not even know.
found out that they
were already brought to
For the whole time that they were handcuffed and blindfolded for 36
hours since they were forced out of their health training facility,
the soldiers still left them handcuffed even when they needed to go to
the toilet. The soldiers were the ones who pulled their pants down and
pulled it back on during their toilet breaks. The soldiers were also
the one who spoon-fed them.
That night, Carandang was brought to a cold and
grassy place, where she heard a scream asking for mercy. She was
told: “that’s what hard-headed people deserve.” She was brought into
a cell, and was left alone. Later on, she found out that all of them
were not allowed to talk to a lawyer or their families. She wants to
have a companion in her cell and she thinks she might go crazy if she
is all alone. She hopes her plea will be heard as well as those of her
Almost every night, except the night before they were
visited by the CHR and the lawyers for the first time which was
February 11, Thursday, Carandang and her co-trainees were
interrogated nonstop, any time of the day - - morning, evening,
midnight or dawn. The things that they have experienced at the hands
of the military inside the camp are very traumatic because she can’t
understand why they were arrested and why they were treated worse than
a real criminal. (Affidavit of Carandang dated February 21, 2010
and attached to the CHR Complaint dated 25 Feb 2010 as Annex “D.”)
Complainant-Detainee EULOGIO CASTILLO, male, 40 years old,
was eating breakfast together with his male participants when around
20 policemen wearing CIDG uniforms and with long firearms barged into
the house where they were staying. The police were with soldiers in
uniforms reading “16th IB.” They pointed their weapons at
them and told them not to move.
Eulogio Castillo were gathered outside the house and separated from the females. They
were blindfolded and handcuffed and made to fall in line before we
were instructed to get on a military vehicle. He was handcuffed and
blindfolded for a long time that on the third day that they were in
the camp, he was not able to walk.
and company were brought someplace which he thought was a “safe
house.” There were more or less 10 interrogators who questioned him
that time. They asked him his name, address and the organizations that
he belongs to; even his alleged participation in the offensives of the
NPA. He heard from the 2 persons beside the soldiers that they were
identifying him as Ely Castillo and that he was allegedly involved in
raids. Because he was so scared, he was compelled to conceal his real
name and told them that his name was Rogelio Villareses y Balino. He
told the soldiers that he is a member of the Health Alliance for
Democracy (HEAD) but they insisted on having him admit that he is a
member of the NPA. They took his fingerprints and photographed him.
But before they did, they had guns pointed at his head and back. His
cash in his wallet was confiscated.
could not sleep because of the repeated interrogations. The soldiers
came up to him to talk, making him hear that there are some who are
going to be sent away and of voices begging for mercy. He also heard
the screams and cries of his companions who were in the other rooms.
The soldiers told me to cooperate with them. They were saying that
once he is set free, he should start his life over and that they will
help him with his case. They said that even he gets free, there is no
guarantee he will be living peacefully.
The soldiers’ “psychological torture” has affected Eulogio Castillo
greatly and brought him immeasurable fear. That is why later on he was
forced to reveal my real name. And if only to have the repeated
interrogation stop which have deprived him of sleep, he was forced to
admit the charges being leveled against him by the soldiers regarding
the alleged activities of the NPA, even though they were false and
even if they do not have any evidence to support their accusations. (Affidavit
of Eulogio Castillo dated February 15 (21), 2010 and attached to the
CHR Complaint dated 25 Feb 2010 as Annex “E.”)
Complainant-Detainee SAMSON CASTILLO, male, 42 years old,
was cleaning the session hall around 6:00 am when many soldiers
and policemen arrived, arresting him and the other participants
without even showing a warrant of arrest. He was told to go
down from the 2nd floor, and while doing that, two soldiers
had their guns pointed at him. He was told to lie facing down on the
floor and had his hands handcuffed at my back and was blindfolded
Around 6:30 am,
Samson Castillo saw the military searched the session hall, then a
soldier went up carrying a backpack with a heavy load and came down no
longer carrying it.
and his co-trainees were taken to a place that he didn’t know because
they were still in blindfolds. The handcuffs also cut through his
wrist because it was too tight. He asked to go to the toilet but after
peeing, he was made to wear Pampers such that both the urine and feces
got mixed up there for two days and two nights.
started when Samson Castillo and his companions arrived at the
place they were brought. The military continued to force him to admit
that he is an NPA and that he point out to his other companions. Every
night, he would not be allowed to sleep because they keep rousing him
and repeatedly interrogated and asked to admit that he is an NPA. He
remained handcuffed and blindfolded for a couple of days. Because of
the tight handcuffs, his wrists suffered cuts and were still painful
for a time.
was threatened to be killed along with my family. The handcuffs and
blindfold were only removed on the 3rd day but they kept on
rousing him from sleep at night and repeatedly interrogated. He was
brought into a cell at the end of the corridor and have been left
there alone and they threatened him that he was the only one left so
he better admit and join the soldiers as an asset. There was someone
who kept asking him about when he last saw or talked with “Diana,
Celia, and Adlay.”
Samson Castillo lost his wallet with cash, driver’s license, Philhealth card, pants
with belt and MIMS (medical book). (Affidavit of Samson Castillo
dated February 21, 2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated 25 Feb
2010 as Annex “F.”)
Complainant-Detainee Mercy CASTRO, female, 27 years old, was in
the kitchen preparing breakfast when she noticed a number of soldiers
in the surrounding area. She decided to go to a room where her other
colleagues were but as she was moving toward the room, she was seen by
the soldiers and was told not to move. They then proceeded to barge
into the rooms of her colleagues. She could not move as she was very
much surprised because all the soldiers were armed. The soldiers
ordered her colleagues to come out from their respective rooms and
made them line-up and photographed them several times.
and her colleagues were all outside, some soldiers entered their rooms
and searched their belongings. She saw soldiers bringing in full
knapsacks when they entered their room. After searching, the soldiers
told them to get their belongings. As she was collecting her things,
she noticed that some items were missing, namely money, a cellular
phone and even their first aid materials.
When the soldiers
came out, Castro saw them with plastic bags which allegedly
contained explosives, C-4, and bombs that they said they used. The
knapsacks they brought in earlier were already empty when the soldiers
and her colleagues were cuffed by the soldiers with tight plastic
bindings and blindfolded with packaging tape over them. Her hands were
cuffed behind her back and this was painful to her because of an
injury on her left shoulder.
and her colleagues
and were made to ride a vehicle belonging to their abductors and
brought them to a place they didn’t know. As they arrived at their
destination, she was repeatedly questioned about her life, name, and
work while she was still blindfolded. Several people interrogated
her, they were in threes and they claim they came from the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP),
Philippine Army (PA), Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (ISAFP) and other agencies and it made her feel that she
has been interrogated by every government agency in the country.
Afterwards her fingerprints were taken while she was still blindfolded
and photos of them were taken side by side while they were holding
something but she could not identify what was on it.
insisted that she was a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) and that
she allegedly even had a high-ranking position there. She was said to
be on their Order of Battle (OB) and was asked of her involvement with
the NPA in Bataan and about her alleged aliases. The soldiers told her
not to deny the accusations that she has blood on her hands because
she is an NPA member. She told them that the only blood on her hands
could have been because of circumcisions of the youth that she has
administered and not because she killed anyone.
was threatened by her interrogators that she would be buried alive if
she would not comply and cooperate with the military. Every time they
interrogate her, government agents tell her that it feels good to kiss
her while she is inside her cell. (Affidavit of Castro dated
February 21, 2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated 25 Feb 2010
as Annex “G.”)
Complainant-Detainee Dr. Merry CLAMOR, female, 33 years old,
was preparing for the continuation of the training and seminar at
around 6:00 am when approximately 300 armed men from the military and
police stormed in. They entered the room of the females with their
rifles pointed at them and they were made to lie prone before they
were ordered to come out and grouped together in one place. They
searched their rooms and belongings without showing any document even
though it was demanded by Dr. Velmonte.
saw that neither Dr.
Velmonte nor any of the members of her family was permitted to come
with and witness the search and investigation inside their house.
While in the driveway, they saw a few soldiers carrying sack bags
coming down. After their search inside the house, they went outside
and let the participants in for them to get their personal belongings;
noticed that her two cellular phones, wallet with IDs and money were
missing. She notified the policemen who were with the group but until
now her missing items have not been returned. They tied their hands
and blindfolded them.
and her colleagues
were loaded into a vehicle and taken to a place. Upon arrival, they
were ordered to get off the vehicle, walked and brought to a place
where they were threatened. She was coerced to admitting that she is a
member of the New People’s Army. The interrogations started and came
with threats and noises like the screams of women getting hurt which
caused her fear and nervousness.
told them that what they’re doing is a violation of her rights but one
of them answered and said “Ano ba yang mga karapatan na yan?”
(What rights are you referring to?) And they still continued with
their interrogations and threats. She was also told that their lawyers
and leaders have abandoned them.
answered their questions and told them the truth that she was not a
member of the NPA or of any movement. But they did not believe her and
they continued with their threats and harassment. They told her that
if she did not admit, they would expose her under the sun and would
not let her sleep. They tried to force out of her the names of her
spouse and children and where they live. When they weren’t content
with her answers they told her that she was tough and they will look
for her spouse and children.
The interrogation on
Clamor was done while she was blindfolded and her hands were
tied and this would last for more than a day. At the peak of their
questioning and threatening there were times when she wanted to use
the toilet and they were the ones pulling her trousers down and then
back up because her hands were bound. No matter what pleading she did
to have her hand bindings removed they would not listen to her. Her
fingerprints were taken while she was blindfolded and then afterwards
they removed the blindfolds and photos were taken of them one by one
holding name cards.
questioning, Clamor and her colleagues were again loaded into a
vehicle still with blindfolds and hand bindings. They were brought to
a place which they eventually learned as Camp Capinpin, Tanay Rizal.
can hear the screams
and cries of her companions who were detained especially if they were
being coerced or threatened by the soldiers. She felt fear and
nervousness whenever she thinks that they will make good with their
threats of death. She pleaded if it was possible for her to call her
spouse to let him know of her situation but it was not permitted along
with her desire to look for and consult with her lawyer. During the
first days of their detention, their families and relatives and our
lawyers were not allowed to visit them. The interrogation and threats
would continue up to the time they were visited again by their lawyers
on February 21. They interrogate her colleagues almost nightly and
these last until dawn. (Affidavit of Clamor dated February 21,
2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated 25 Feb 2010 as Annex