Updated April 08, 2009 12:00 AM
CEBU, Philippines – Suspected rebel leader Ramon Patriarca yesterday filed a million peso damage suit against police and military officials in the region for allegedly torturing him during his arrest two months ago.
Patriarca, through his counsels, filed the case before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City against former Police Regional Office-7 chief Ronald Roderos, Cebu Provincial Police Office director Carmelo Valmoria, Provincial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau chief Elma Delos Santos, Central Command chief Armando Cunan, 78th Infantry Battalion commander Raymundo Bañares, Insp. Rolando Evalle, PO3 Reynaldo Solante, PO2 Junar Rey Barangan and several other unidentified police and military personnel.
Patriarca is demanding P1.4 million in damages over the alleged unlawful and “bestial” acts of the respondents towards him. The amount will cover for moral and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses.
Patriarca impleaded the ranking police and military officials in the region for allegedly condoning the illegal acts of their men.
The alleged ranking official of the New People’s Army was arrested by the joint operatives of the police and military on February 5 in Casili, Consolacion. The arrest was made based on a warrant of arrest for rebellion issued by RTC Judge Edito Enemecio in Danao City.
But Patriarca claimed that his constitutional rights have been violated by the police and the military operatives, saying that when they accosted him, they did not introduce themselves as law enforcers.
Patriarca said he was brought to an undisclosed place where he was stripped of his clothes and was made to wear a disposable diaper that put him in “utmost humiliation, fear, anguish and loss of self-respect.”
He said he was placed under custodial investigation without the presence of his lawyer. During the interrogation, Patriarca claimed that he was subjected to “physical, mental and psychological torture.”
He said he was punched and slapped repeatedly while his face was covered with clothes. He also alleged that water was poured into his face that he “suffered the sensation of drowning and not being able to breath.”
Not only that he was allegedly tortured, Patriarca said he was also held incommunicado for 80 hours, prompting his friends to file a petition for writ of amparo even on a Sunday.
“Because of the foregoing and the utter brutality by which the detention and interrogation were conducted under a situation of impunity, the plaintiff was forced to admit that he was a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines as well as other things he did not know of or was not involved with,” Patriarca said in his complaint.
Patriarca said he was also forced to sign documents without letting him read their contents.
His claim of torture was bolstered by the testimony of a doctor that the court had him checked during the hearing of the petition for writ of amparo.
He claimed that his ordeal with the police and the military during his arrest allegedly caused him to suffer mental and psychological anguish, untold suffering, humiliation and degradation as a human being and sleepless nights for which the respondents are liable for damages. – Fred P. Languido/LPM