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Archive for June, 2009

Regime Insists Roxas Torture Fabricated; Victim Might Testify in Philippines

Posted by lenolea on June 30, 2009

The Office of the Solicitor General told the Court of Appeals that the abduction and torture of Melissa Roxas are nothing but mere fabrications to embarrass the government. Her recent press conference in Los Angeles, it says, was part of the plot. The victim’s lawyers and supporters, however, say the government is just trying to evade responsibility.

A day after Melissa Roxas recounted her ordeal in the hands of her captors, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) reiterated the government’s claim that the abduction and torture of Roxas had been “stage-managed.”

Roxas, a 31-year-old American of Filipino descent, and her two companions — Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Jandoc — were abducted May 19 by suspected military men in La Paz, Tarlac. Roxas was surfaced six days later. Through Karapatan legal counsel Rex Fernandez, Roxas filed a petition for writ of amparo before the Supreme Court a day after she went back to the United States.

Respondents to the writ of amparo include President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Victor Ibrado, Philippine National Police Director Gen. Jesus Versoza and Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, commanding general of the Philippine Army.

Regime Insists Roxas Torture Fabricated; Victim Might Testify in Philippines

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Whatever Happened to Two Companions of Melissa Roxas?

Posted by lenolea on June 30, 2009

One of them, Juanito Carabeo, is now with his family but has refused to talk about the torture that he, like Melissa Roxas, went through. The other, John Edward Jandoc, has not been heard from, although the human-rights group Karapatan said he is now with relatives. He, too, refuses to talk about the abduction and torture. Bulatlat

Ever since Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas filed a petition for writ of amparo before the Supreme Court accusing military men of abducting and torturing her, the public has never heard from her two Filipinos companions, Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Jandoc.

The three were abducted by suspected military agents on May 19 in La Paz, Tarlac. Roxas was released on May 25 and soon went back to the United States to reunite with her family and seek medical treatment.

But whatever happened to Carabeo and Jandoc?

In a press conference Sunday in Los Angeles, California, Roxas said she still fears for the safety of the two men. “I live with that fear each day,” she said. She said she, too, has not heard of any news about them.

Based on Roxas’s affidavit, the three were conducting a survey in the village for a future medical mission when the abduction happened.

Roxas’s lawyer, Rex Fernandez, told the Court of Appeals (CA) hearing the write of amparo petition that Carabeo and Jandoc had opted to remain silent.

Released

In an interview with Bulatlat, Sister Cecil Ruiz, chairperson of Karapatan in Central Luzon, said she was able to interview Carabeo a day after he was released by their captors.

“His relatives informed me that he was released on the night of the same day that Melissa was freed,” Sister Ruiz said.

Ruiz and some human-rights volunteers in Tarlac were the first to look for Roxas, Carabeo and Jandoc. Carabeo’s sister Luz and his niece sought Sister Ruiz to help them find Carabeo. The human-rights workers went to the place of the incident; the barangay (village) captain confirmed that the abduction had indeed taken place.

Sister Ruiz and her colleagues went to the Philippine National Police (PNP) office in La Paz and got a copy of the report of the incident. Later that day, they went to all military camps in Tarlac in search of the three missing.

On the night of May 25, the same day that Roxas was freed, Sister Ruiz said she received a message from Carabeo’s relatives that Carabeo had come back home. She went to see Carabeo the next day.

Tortured

“He told me what their abductors did to them,” Sister Ruiz said. “He said they were blindfolded and tortured for six days.”

Asked what kind of torture Carabeo was subjected to, Sister Ruiz said that like Roxas, the torture method applied on Carabeo was asphyxiation. Two plastic bags were used to cover his head while his arms and legs were being stretched out by the abductors.

“He was also heavily interrogated. His captors wanted him to admit that he is a member of the New People’s Army. He was beaten repeatedly,” Sister Ruiz said. Carabeo later complained of pain in the stomach.

He also told Sister Ruiz that he was handcuffed. Sister Ruiz said Carabeo’s wrists had abrasion marks when she saw him. He never sought medical treatment though.

“His relatives want him to remain silent about the incident. They told me that nothing would happen anyway even if they would file complaints against Carabeo’s torturers,” Sister Ruiz said.

Asked about Jandoc, Sister Ruiz said a relative of Jandoc in Aurora province sent a text message to Sister Ruiz’s colleague in Aurora that Jandoc had also been freed.

“We were informed that he is now staying with his uncle,” Sister Ruiz said. The human rights leader said she did not have the chance to talk with Jandoc. “I am told that Jandoc’s relatives do not want to speak on the incident, too,” Ruiz told Bulatlat.

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‘Philippine Military Has Its Own Abu Ghraib’

Posted by lenolea on June 26, 2009

In protest rally in front of Nica building, human-rights groups denounce the continuing use of torture. They likewise commemorate the third year of the disappearance of UP students and activists Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño. Edita Burgos says the promotion to colonel of three officials linked to the abduction of her son Jonas will encourage more atrocities.

MANILA – Human-rights group slammed on Friday the continuing practice of torture by state security forces in the Philippines as the world commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Karapatan, the human-rights group, led a picket protest in front of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) compound in Quezon City this morning.

“We join the world in condemning torture. We remember the sufferings inflicted on our friends Melissa [Roxas], UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, farmers Raymond and Reynaldo Manalo and many others,” said Renato M. Reyes Jr., the secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, one of the groups that protested.

The Arroyo regime, Reyes said, “is responsible for these atrocities through its counter-insurgency program that targets even unarmed activists.”

Roxas, a 31-year-old Filipino-American, was allegedly abducted and tortured by suspected elements of the Philippine military last May.

‘Philippine Military Has Its Own Abu Ghraib’

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