Abduction & Torture of former human rights worker in Cebu, Philippines

UA No: 2009-02-02

UA Date: February 11, 2009

UA Case: Abduction,Torture, Incommunicado Detention

Victim: Ramon Patriarca, male, 44 years old, former Coordinator of the Research, Documentation and Information Program of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines-KARAPATAN-Central Visayas until his resignation in 1996

Place of Incident: Brgy.Casili, Consolacion, Cebu, central Philippines

Date of Incident: February 5, 2009

Alleged Perpetrator/s: Elements of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) headed by Supt. Carmelo Valmoria, and of the 78th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army headed by Lt.Col. Raymundo Banarez of the AFP under the AFP-Central Command (CENTCOM) commanded by Maj. Gen. Armando L. Cunanan

Account of Incident: A local daily newspaper (The Freeman, 02/07/09, p.2) reported that Ramon Patriarca was “intercepted” by joint elements of the 78th Infantry Battalion and provincial police on February 5 (Thursday) in Consolacion, Cebu. The arrest was allegedly based on a warrant for Rebellion purportedly issued by Judge Enemecio of the Regional Trial Court in Danao City.

However, a check by Karapatan-Central Visayas reveals that Patriarca has no standing warrants in said court. There was also no return of warrant which means the victim was not presented to the court since his abduction.

Patriarca was former coordinator of the Research, Documentation and Information Program of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines-KARAPATAN-Central Visayas (TFD-KARAPATAN-CV). The military claimed Patriarca is now the deputy secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal ng Sentral Bisayas and a taxation officer of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Upon the request of Patriarca’s former colleagues at TFD-KARAPATAN-CV, KARAPATAN-CV staff sought him out at the headquarters of the AFP Central Command on February 7 (Saturday), but army personnel at the marshalls’ office deny holding him. The next day, Feb. 8 (Sunday), upon confirmation of KARAPATAN-CV of his detention at the CPPO, Patriarca’s counsel, KARAPATAN-Cebu chair Alfonso Cinco, and KARAPATAN-CV staff proceeded to the said police camp. However, CPPO chief Supt. Valmoria prevented him from conferring with his cousel.

This forced KARAPATAN-CV to hold a protest picket outside the camp at around 1PM. KARAPATAN-CV also filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo for Patriarca at the Regional Trial Court (RTC)-Branch 9 at about 4PM of the same day. After hearing the petition, RTC Judge Geraldine Econg issued the writ and ordered the transfer of custody of Patriarca from the CPPO to the Prosecutors’ Office. Together with Atty. Cinco and KARAPATAN-CV staff, she personally delivered the same to the police camp at about 6PM. However, she was blocked by a firetruck and it was only later that she was allowed to see Patriarca inside the camp.

On Feb. 9 (Monday), the CPPO and the 78th IB was forced to bring Patriarca to court at about 11am in the middle of the hearing for the writ of amparo. During the proceedings, a handcuffed Patriarca raised his shirt to bare large dark patches and bruises in the lower abdomen below the waistline. He recounted to the court that he was subjected to “water cure”, made to wear a diaper for 24-hours, his head wrapped in duct tape, and he was kicked and punched and threatened with greater harm. A doctor, who physically examined Patriarca at the in court confirmed that Patriarca suffered bruises and diagnosed Patriarca to be suffering from acute stress disorder secondary to physical and psychological trauma.###

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for: 1. The unconditional release, medical treatment and rehabilitation of Mr. Ramon Patriarca. 2. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the abduction, torture and illegal detention of Ramon Patriarca. 3. The military to stop the malicious prosecution and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.” 4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President of the Republic

Malacanang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80 Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968 Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462 E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Gen. Avelino Razon, Ret. PNP

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

7th Floor Agustin Building I, Emerald Avenue, Pasig City 1605

Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066 Fax:+63 (2) 635 9579 osec@opapp.gov.ph

Hon. Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488 Fax:+63(2) 911 6213 osnd@philonline.com

Hon. Raul M. Gonzalez

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721 Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214 Fax: (+632) 521-1614 Email raulgonzalez_doj@yahoo.com

Hon. Leila De Lima

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex Commonwealth Avenue Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Fax: (+632) 929 0102 Email: atty_delima@yahoo.com.ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by: KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights-National Office 2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central, Diliman Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146 Emails: / Website: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN Urgent Action Alert KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights 2/F Erythrina Building, #1 Maaralin cor. Matatag Sts., Central District, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines Telefax: (632) 435 4146

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