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Hunger Striker Ernest Barraquias Jr., now on his 36th day of fasting but still no actions

by Ernest Barraquias Jr. Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2004 at 1:47 AM (63) 926-570-79-70

Hunger Strike announcement of the discoverer & whistle-blower of seized drugs distribution by high-ranking police generals & drug lords in the Philippines. They used his company. Assasination attempts on him. Richswaze, his nephew-dependent, now 10 held virtual hostage.

26 July 2004

Subject - The country is ranked by the latest United Nations report to be the 3rd biggest producer & exporter of the metamphetamine hydrochloride, called “shabu”, but commonly called “meth”, “ice”, “crack” in the United States where the instantly addictive illegal substance is becoming extremely popular in the West Coast & Southern States. The Philippines is also an acknowledged major transshipment of the said drugs to other countries.

Ernest Barraquias Jr., president of a paper distribution company in the Philippines. My 2 nephew-dependents are Thomas Barraquias Bernas & Richswaze Barraquias.

Why is Ernest on hunger strike?

It is to press the top law-enforcement officials of the country to conduct investigations on the complaints he has filed with the National Bureau of Investigation (our FBI equivalent), and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, a special national anti-organized crime unit of the Philippine National Police. My complaints none of which are being acted upon, are all related to the assassination attempts and grave threats on me in the last 3 years. It is directly related to the efforts of a group of high-ranking police officials who developed a new distribution network and invaded new ones (from other drug lords) using my nephew-dependent who is an expert in logistics, and my company, which has a very efficient national distribution network in the Philippines.

I won’t eat anymore liquid or solid foods unless concrete, sensible & trustworthy investigations are already on going. My complaints, mostly filed with the NBI are the following â

- The failed abduction attempt on me on 26 January 2004 where I managed to make

live calls to the NBI, members of my family, & my lawyer Atty. Romeo Igot, who turned out to be the lawyer of many influential police generals too. My Expedition was even silently towed near the corner of EDSA/Ortigas Avenues, one of Manila’s busiest. They made it appear a usual kidnappimg case and made a member of my family suspect.

- The staged abduction of my nephew-dependent on 24 January 2004. He is however, also a suspect but held due to their grave concerns when I begun to see new law firms & lawyers, & secured some potential key evidences.

- On Richswaze Barraquias, my other nephew-dependent who also lived with me since the age of 2 in my rented house. He is now 10, and he was not aware that he was a virtual hostage for 3 years. I was constantly warned that if I “love him enough…” I should not expose my discoveries to the media, nor file formal requests for investigations and complaints.

- Inaction of the NBI on my other complaints including theft of company funds and stocks amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, most of which were committed by Thom’s group & collaborator-employees who also used to it to fund their sub-group’s illegal drug trade. Mr. Jacinto Morales, the Senior Bank Manager who handled our account at Security Bank where he committed fraud and possibly money laundering using accounts named to my company, also found his way to our new bank where he deliberately opened a bogus/illegal account named to my company during my illegal detention.

I’m now back in the Philippines after escaping through the new southern Philippines international airport of Davao City to Singapore on March 11 via a Singapore/Silk Airlines. I came back on 27 May and went into hiding but am now out in the open. Until now, I have not seen Richswaze and I have not gone home yet for security reasons. However, I’m traveling to the country’s key cities to distribute hundreds of thousands of leaflets that explain why I’m on hunger strike and that I’m seeking the public’s help in sending petition letters to the country’s top authorities. In many times I am all-alone and in my TV interviews, I expressed fear but I plan to continue with what I’m doing. I have always downplayed my concerns in my interviews and petition leaflets and I declined to name high-ranking suspects and only disclosed their low ranking subordinates. They had record-breaking seizures of “shabu” last year amounting to more than 200million US dollars, PRIOR to the national elections this year, last May 11.

Please help me. Post this in the internet, or help me have this publicized in the international media. It will seriously help me because suspects have political careers or are closely related to the top officials and hopefully, it will lessen their active efforts to “contain” me or in making me “disappeared”. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s leading daily, on its July 24/25 issue, had a story on my abduction (only) on its 2nd frontpage. ABS-CBN, the country’s leading TV network, had reports on my hunger strike only but didn’t much tackled the issues. I was told that major reporters of the country (not of the 2 mentioned news organizations) were asked by police officials close to Malacanang Palace not to publicize or air their interviews of me. The organized crime group members and the high-ranking officials-suspects intimidated me by saying they have vast influences over the local media, the judiciary, and the most influential politicians.

The country’s President Arroyo, through the office of her husband First Gentleman Arroyo, was given documents pertaining to my complaints and my hunger-strike. Same with the office of the Vice President Noli De Castro, as well as some Senators & Congress Representatives. Archbishop Oscar Cruz, the academic communities of the country’s leading universities - De La Salle University-Manila & University of the Philippines expressed support but they can only do so much.

While touring the major cities, I wear 2 big laminated cardboard (front & back) that says I’m on hunger-strike & the phrase “Seized drugs bought back by drug lords, other distributed back in the market, they’ve used my company and want to take our lives”, shorter when expressed in Tagalog, our local language. I get many supporting words and encouragements, and people are very much concerned with me and my state of health, but I’m determined to go ahead.

Short Narration of Key Events that led to my Hunger Strike since 18 June 2004

In the year 2000, my former business partner and I, split up. We the both founded competing companies. I and my 2 nephew-dependents, as well as key stay-in employees moved to Cainta, Rizal, a town nearer the major financial & business districts of Metro Manila than many other cities in the Capital Region of Metro Manila. We settled in a relatively big house.

On December (10?) of 2001, I was warned directly by members of the Cainta Police that I should be silent on my discoveries of their recruitment of Thomas in their group, my nephew-dependent who was Vice President of our company. Their group includes gangs, drug syndicates, high-ranking police generals, and possibly our neighbor bank manager Jacinto Morales. Since then, employees would only pack at night and make unauthorized and unscheduled deliveries to certain clients in certain places as they wish, and used our operations to distribute drugs in many places. Seized drugs cannot be easily sold back to the “market” because drug lords in this country are sometimes more politically powerful and police generals would not want to raise their ire. Thom and employees who are members of their group too, would also directly “run” significant volume of drugs in may places in cities north of Manila. He drove our Ford F-150 & Expedition, considered ultimate luxuries driven mostly by the country’s elite, so he was never stopped by the police, never even when he would rampantly violate traffic laws. He also brought other kinds of drugs back to Manila. I know the places, & some persons.

In the summer of 2002, I nervously managed to snap a picture of the drugs in one of the boxes for delivery the following day. I handed it over to NBI agents Lowell Estiandan, my first cousin, and his other partners. They also obtained many evidences for lab analysis. They conducted some investigations, especially about the employees I declared as suspects and syndicate members who infiltrated the company. Then, nothing happened. I even spent so much funds, but nothing happened, & some investigators turned out be corrupt & some eventually threatened me too.

I was illegally detained and hospitalized because my siblings, who did not bother to see me, were influenced into believing that I was into drugs. They signed an expensive rehabilitation contract for me at the Metropsych-Pasig, but I was instead released by the Doctor. I stayed in hospitals for 3 months, May-August 2002. Upon discharge, I discovered even more anomalies in the company and it was being run by employee-suspects. While I was in the hospital, Jacinto Morales the bank manager opened a bogus / illegal account named to my company but the deposited & withdrawn legitimate funds amounted to around 50thousand US dollars, less than the earlier fraud & similar incidents. Many evidences against the group were destroyed or gone missing.

Every year during our peak season of January to May, I constantly travel around the country because we don’t have provincial offices and I take care of the booking of our key accounts. So I was mostly physically absent from the company and Thom and some key employees had a direct hand in the packaging and deliveries departments. Our company distributes mostly imported paper products and forms in all the major bookstores, grocery stores, and department stores nationwide. I thought I had good control systems, but it was inadequate, and afterall, Richswaze and I were virtual hostages. Paper products are heavy, so is “shabu”.

On 22 January 2004, Thom disappeared, together with my key properties that would prevent me from traveling. 4 Days after the attempt to abduct me failed because I had escaped. On 9 February 2004, the close family friend of the country’s biggest drug lord claimed to have negiated for my life. Then I learned how even more powerful the group is because I was like a state enemy since then and I was under intense surveillances. I managed to go to Singapore on 11 March 2004.

Right now they’re into assessing whom I have talked to while abroad, to whom did I communicate with, and who now knows all about this. When I talked to international agencies, including human rights groups and international law-enforcement bodies, I declared names. They bribed someone to steal my passport, new directory, & complete flashdisk backup of my laptop computer, and my ID’s.

Please help me, publicize my story and my reasons for my hunger strike to press the Philippine President & her government to act.

Thank you so much.

Ernest Barraquias Jr.

2627 Concord St., Brookside Hills,

Cainta, Rizal (Manila suburb close to the financial district)


Mobile Phone No. (63) 926-570-79-70

LandPhone (63-75) 568-79-31

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