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Please Email, Phone or Write Today In Support Of Tortured Filipino Anarchists

by ABC Brighton Friday, Nov. 17, 2006 at 7:13 AM

Please take a minute to email, phone, fax, or write in support of The Sagada 11, young anarchists falsely accused of a Maoist guerilla attack and tortured in The Philippines. Today, November 17th is an international action day for them! A sample letter and contact details for officials follow this short description of the background to the case...

BACKGROUND

On February 14th this year, a group of anarcho-punks from across the Philippines aged 15-25 were on a trip to Sagada, a well known hiking spot, to go walking. Police stopped the vehicle they were hitchhiking with and brutally arrested them without a warrant. Later, they were told of an attack by Maoist guerillas on a military outpost a few days before. When they denied involvement, they were subjected to further torture including suffocation, electrocution, simulated executions and drowning. The two youngest had to be released, but the 9 others have been charged with arson and murder.

The youths were all active in ecological campaigns and groups such as Food not Bombs, but there is no evidence of any connection with any Maoist organisations, or guerilla groups, or any evidence for the crime. Their arrest was illegal. They are being held under terrible conditions without even basic necessities or enough food in overcrowded cells.

International solidarity could make a huge difference to this case. You can say you are phoning/writing about the Sagada 11, mention their names, and that you would like to enquire about their welfare/you think the arrests were illegal/demand their immediate release, etc. Please remember that they are being accused of being part of Maoist guerilla actions so be careful what you associate them with anything politically.



QUICK CONTACT DETAILS

Filipino police: Gen. Arturo Lumibao: 0063 27264361

Jail:see address below, phone number: 0063 744222304

Important email addresses to send to: rvpuno@dilg.gov.ph, chiefacosta@edsamail.com.ph, sechbp@infocom.com.ph, drpvq@yahoo.com, omb1@ombudsman.gov.ph, ssyed@ohchr.org, tb-petitions@ohchr.org, scronin@ohchr.org . The full contact details are given after the sample letter but you can copy this email list to make mailing easier...



SAMPLE LETTER



I recently heard about a case involving eleven young people arrested, tortured and falsely accused of a terrorist attack in The Phillipines...

Names of those still in jail:

1. Rundren Berloize Lao (24) of Gerona, Tarlac.

2. Anderson Alonzo (18) of Calinan, Davao City

3. Aldoz Christian Manoza (18) of Sampaloc St.,

Santolan, Pasig City

4. Ron Pandino (20) of Barangay Mayatba, Siniloan,

Laguna

5. Jethro Villagracia (21) of Calinan, Davao City

6. Neil Russel Balajadia (25) of No. 026 Tawiran St.,

Santolan, Pasig City

7. Darwin Alagar (21) of Barangay Tipuso, Urdaneta

City, Pangasinan

8. Arvie Nunez (21) of Barangay Silangang Mayao,

Lucena City

9. Jefferson dela Rosa (20) of No. 211 A.M. De Leon

St., Santolan, Pasig City

All of them are presently detained in a jail in La

Trinidad, Benguet.

Name of minor victims released to their parent’s

custody:

1. Frencess Ann Bernal (15) of Calumpang, Marikina

City

2. Ray Lester Mendoza (16) of Blk. 157 Lot 32 San

Francisco St., Barangay Rizal, Makati City

Name of persons charged with torture: General Villamor

Bumanglag, provincial director of the Benguet

Provincial Police Office (BPPO); Police Superintendent

Brent Madjaco, head of the 1604th Police Provincial

Mobile Group (PPMG) and his men; and unidentified

military agents and Cafgu members

It has come to my attention that the 11 persons, who

were arrested and subsequently tortured by the police

and military men on 14 February 2006, have filed

another criminal charges before the Benguet

Prosecutor’s Office on June 28. In the new complaint,

the victims charged the police and military officials

for arbitrary arrest and detention. As you are aware,

the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in La Trinidad, Benguet

had already ruled on May 19 that the arrest of the 11

victims was illegal.

I am deeply concerned that the prosecutor’s office may

further delay in resolving this new complaint of

arbitrary arrest and detention. I am aware that prior

to the filing of this complaint, on March 31 the

victims had also filed for violation of Republic Act

7438 against the same respondents. No formal charges

have yet been filed against them in court. It is

reported that the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for

the Military and Other Law Enforcement Office have yet

to act on the recommendation made by the prosecutor’s

office. Only until the Ombudsman takes action to the

recommendation of the prosecutors the case will make

progress in court.

Also, the administrative case filed with the regional

office of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) is

also dragging at their office. The Commission has yet

to commence its summary hearing of the administrative

complaint that the victims also filed on July 20 and

21, despite a long hiatus between its original

complaint filed to them. The delay to resolve the case

on part of the Commission and Ombudsman is seriously

affecting this case. I am deeply concerned this

situation may prolong unless acted upon while the

victims remained in jail.

I am deeply concerned that charges of robbery with

homicide, which was re-filed by the policemen against

the 11 victims, after the court’s ruling that the 14

February 2006 arrest and detention of the victims was

illegal could be a mere rehash. I am extremely

disappointed that the victims’ allegations that the

confession and evidence taken from them by way of

torture, which the police used prosecuting them, have

not been acted upon. To my understanding, the

succeeding proceeding--filing of the case--should have

been subsequently declared as null and void as the

arrest have already been declared illegal. I therefore

urged the court, to consider these circumstances in

their future deliberation.

I urged your appropriate intervention to ensure that

the complaints the victims filed to the prosecutors’

office, ombudsman and the police commission are acted

upon promptly. I believed that you would completely

agree that promptness to resolve these cases is very

essential. Please also request the prosecutor’s office

in Benguet to consider dropping the charges of robbery

with homicide against the victims re-filed by the

police considering given the court’s ruling. If this

cannot be done, please request the court to consider

approving the victim’s petition for reinvestigation.

Reinvestigation is necessary in order that the

allegations of torture are dealt with accordingly.

Additionally, please request the concerned government

agencies, in particular the Philippine National Police

(PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to

considering dismantling the armed militias they are

utilizing--Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit

(CAFGU). The utilization of Cafgu had already resulted

to abuses. In this case, CAFGU members had been

accused of taking part in the illegal arrest and

detention. The government must send a strong message

against the use of this force.

I trust that you will take action on this case.



Yours sincerely,





FULL CONTACT DETAILS



1. Mr. Ronaldo V. Puno

Chairman

National Police Commission (Napolcom)

A. Francisco Gold Condominium II

EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman

Quezon City

PHILIPPINES

Voice: +63 2 925 0330 / 31

Fax: +63 2 925 0332

Email: rvpuno@dilg.gov.ph

2. Mrs. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta

Chief, Public Attorney Office (PAO)

DOJ Agencies Building,

NIA Road East Avenue

1104 Quezon City

PHILIPPINES

Tel. No. +63 2 929 9010 / 9436

Fax No. +63 2 927 6810 / 926 2878

Email: chiefacosta@edsamail.com.ph

3. Director General Oscar Calderon

Chief, Philippine National Police

Camp General Rafael Crame

Quezon City

PHILIPPINES

Tel: +63 2726 4361/4366/8763

Fax: +63 2724 8763

4. Atty. Jocelyn Castillo

Regional Director, Commission on Human Rights

Cordillera Administrative Region

3rd floor SSS Baguio Branch Bldg., Harrison Road

2600 Baguio City

PHILIPPINES

Tel: +63 074 619 9088/ 074 619 9089

5. Mr. Raul Gonzalez

Secretary

Department of Justice

DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura

1004 Manila

PHILIPPINES

Fax: +63 2 521 1614

Email: sechbp@infocom.com.ph

6. Ms. Purificacion Quisumbing

Commissioner

Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue

U.P. Complex, Diliman

Quezon City

PHILIPPINES

Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188

Fax: +63 2 929 0102

Email: drpvq@yahoo.com

7. Mr. Orlando Casimiro

Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and

Other Law Enforcement Offices

3rd Floor, Ombudsman Bldg., Agham Road

Diliman (1104) Quezon City

PHILIPPINES

Tel: +63 2 926 9032

Fax: +63 2 926 7572

Email: omb1@ombudsman.gov.ph

8. Professor Manfred Nowak

Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture

Attn: Mr.Safir Syed

OHCHR-UNOG

1211 Geneva 10

SWITZERLAND

Tel: +41 22 917 9230

Fax: +41 22 9179016 (ATTN: SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE QUESTION OF TORTURE)

E-mail: ssyed@ohchr.org, tb-petitions@ohchr.org

9. Mr. Leandro Despouy

Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

Attn: Sonia Cronin

Room: 3-060

OHCHR-UNOG

1211 Geneva 10

SWITZERLAND

Tel: +41 22 917 9160

Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (ATTN: SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR INDEPENDENCE JUDGES & LAWYERS)

E-mail: scronin@ohchr.org

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