1. Elements of the 1604th PNP Provincial Mobile Group (PPMG)
2. Elements of the 3rd Coy of PNP Regional Mobile Group(PRMG)
3. Elements of the Philippine Army Armed Forces of the Philippines
1. Rundren Berloize G. Lao, Davao City
2. Anderson Tabocanon Alonzo, 18 yrs old, Malagos, Baguio St., Purok 2, Calinan, Davao City
3. Aldoz Christian Maòoza, 18 yrs old,, #2 Sampaloc St., Santolan, Pasig City
4. Ron Baquiran Pandino, 20 yrs old, Brgy. Mayatba, Siniloan, Laguna
5. Ray Lester Esguerra Mendoza, 16 yrs old, Blk. 157 Lot 32 San Francisco St., Barangay Rizal, Makati City
6. Jethro Villagracia, 21 yrs old, Malagos, Baguio St., Purok 2 Calinan, Davao City
7. Neil Russel Sarmiento Balajadia, 25 yrs old, #026 Tawiran St., Santolan Pasig City
8. Darwin Padilla Alazar, 21 yrs old, Brgy Tipuso, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
9. Arvie Molmog Nuòez, 21 yrs old, Brgy Silangang Mayao, Lucena City
10. Jefferson delacruz DeLaRosa, 20 yrs old, #211 A.M. De Leon St., Santolan, Pasig City
11. Frencess Ann Galdonez Bernal, 15 yrs old, Camupang, Marikina City
PLACE OF INCIDENT
DATE OF INCIDENT
February 14 February 16, 2006
BRIEF SUMMARY OF FACTS
The eleven victims belong to a group of backpackers who hitchhiked their way from Tarlac to Baguio to attend the Panagbenga Flower Festival after attending their groups music gig in Gerona, Tarlac. Having reached Baguio earlier than the major Panagbenga Festival activities or on February 12, 2006, they decided to hitchhike their way to the famous tourist destination in Sagada, Mt. Province. On February 14, 2006, they indeed went into their journey to Sagada.
They were able to hitch on a dump truck along the Halsema Highway. Upon reaching a certain place which they later on learned to be Buguias, Benguet, they were stopped by men in full battle gear, forced to jump down from the truck, ordered to kneel and kicked at the back to have them lie flat on the ground. Any slight movement from them resulted to kicks, strikes and whacking from the armed men who were threatening them with their long firearms. All their belongings including cell phones, cameras, belt bags, backpacks, wallets, tents and many others were unlawfully confiscated from them. The armed men did not give any receipt for these. These armed men were later identified as elements of the PPMG and PRMG.
The victims were then brought to the 1604th Camp somewhere in Buguias, Benguet. There, in the camp, they were subjected to several forms of torture by members of the PPMG, PRMG and other armed men believed to be members of the AFP. Some of the forms of torture which they received are :
1. They were hit in various parts of the body with the use of the butt of a long firearm and a big piece of wood ;
2. They were punched, slapped and kicked in various parts of the body. The pain they got from the kicking was even aggravated by the combat shoes worn by their torturers.
3. Their hands were tied and they were blindfolded.
4. They were forced to kneel blindfolded under the heat of the sun.
5. One was even forced to have a kiss on the lips with a dog of the perpetrators.
6. In the middle of the night towards the early dawn, they were ordered to remove their clothes and were poured very cold water while being punched and kicked.
7. Some of them experienced being thrown in an excavated land (in the form of a grave), and were poured with soil, garbage, dried leaves and other materials.
8. Some of them were even electrocuted.
9. They were ordered to sleep with their heads hanging.
10. They were ordered to sing with their heads down and their feet in a higher elevation.
11. While lying down, they were stepped on from head to toes by men wearing combat shoes.
12. Bullets were inserted between fingers and squeezed so very tight causing so much pain on the fingers and hand.
13. They were poured cold water while their heads are hanging.
14. Plastic bags were used to suffocate them.
15. Their genitals (the penis and the testicles) were hit and whacked with wood and radish.
16. Their faces were smacked into hard soil and rocks.
17. Rubber was stretched and released hitting different parts of their faces.
18. Some were given the water treatment drowning their heads in a pail of water.
19. They were made to squat.
20. They were made to stand on their toes on one side, and the tip of their head of the other side while being hit.
21. Some were even tortured while hanged with their feet up and head down.
22. Some of them had pails of water hanged on their necks for some period of time.
23. One was ordered to held on to a bar and swing his body. Every time he swings towards the perpetrators, he got a punch or a kick.
24. And many other forms of torture.
All these forms of torture were done on the victims with threats to kill them. The tortures were done to force them to admit responsibility of an armed raid made on a military camp in Cabiten, Mankayan, Benguet which happened on February 10, 2006. Due to the nonstop tortures on the victims, they admitted every charge against them. Four of them were even handcuffed and ordered to draw a sketch of the alleged battle area and to actually guide them to where their alleged arms were hidden in the battle area. They were made to go to a mountain and directed to lead the perpetrators to where their alleged arms were hidden. No arms were found and this resulted to further torture.
One of the victims was able to escape from the military camp. He jumped on a ravine beside the camp and ran for his life while the perpetrators sprayed bullets after him. He hitchhiked back to Baguio, inquired and proceeded to seek help from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which turned him over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Thereafter, elements of the PPMG and PRMG served a warrant of arrest on him.
Based on the warrant of arrest, the victims are now charged with the crime of Robbery with Homicide.
PREPARED BY :
CORDILLERA HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE
FEBRUARY 17, 2006
Juday C. Baggo
10 Rimando Road, 2600 Baguio City
Telephone : 074-445-2586
It has come to the attention of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) that the Regional Mobile Group of the Philippine National Police (RMG-PNP) in Benguet arrested and detained 11 innocent civilians on February 14, on mere suspicion that they are part of the New People’s Army (NPA) platoon that raided the 77th IBPA detachment in Mankayan a few days before. Worse, the elements of the PNP-RMG subjected these 11 individuals, most of whom are young adults, to extreme physical and mental torture in forcing them to admit that they are members of the NPA.
These 11 young adults are backpackers that came from different provinces as far as Davao City. Fortunately, one of the 11 individuals, Rundren Berloize, was able to escape from the custody of the RMG-PNP on February 15 and lived to tell their story. He narrated that they were physically and mentally tortured by RMG-PNP elements under the command of a certain Glenn. During their ordeal, said PNP elements repeatedly interrogated them on the person of Simon Naogsan, Ka Filiw and other names unknown to them. Simon Naogsan with the nom de guerre Ka Filiw is the spokesperson of the Cordillera Peoples’ Democratic Front (CPDF), a revolutionary organization of the Cordillera, affiliated with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Said escapee has sought the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation through its Regional Director Ricardo Pangan.
If the PNP can do this to persons not politically involved, what more to leaders and members of militant groups or worse, captured combatants ?
We condemn this police brutality inflicted upon innocent civilians on mere suspicion that they are NPA members. Is this the way we treat visitors who come all the way from far municipalities to appreciate the beauty and wonders of the Cordilleras ?
Also, if the PNP can do this to persons not politically involved, what more to leaders and members of militant groups or worse, captured combatants ?
We demand from the PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao to mete out the appropriate punishment against the PNP officers responsible and involved in this brutality. Is this the way the PNP exemplifies its motto "to serve and protect" ? At the least, dismiss all of them from service to serve as an example that the PNP does not tolerate such such dastardly act against innocent civilians and to send a message that erring PNP officers cannot escape with impunity.
We call on government officials specifically the local government units to whom the victims belong to extend whatever assistance to them and at the moment, help in locating their families.#
Cordillera Human Rights Alliance
Beverly L. Longid
Contact nos. +63744466227 or +63744426040