NEWS RELEASE 09 October 2009


After almost 18 years of litigation, justice finally caught up with one of the perpetrators of a gruesome “act of state terror” in Cebu.

This was the reaction of the premier human rights alliance KARAPATAN-Central Visayas on the conviction of a government militiaman and vigilante member for executing a peasant activist and kidnapping three children in Asturias, western Cebu in 1991.

On Thursday (08 Oct., 2009) morning, the regional trial court (RTC) in Toledo City promulgated the conviction of CAFGU and NAD member Bitoy Alfeche on all three counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping.

KARAPATAN-CV welcomed what it called as “a long over-due restitution of the victims.”

“We are elated that the persistence of the bereaved families at attaining justice bore sweet fruit.  Let this serves as an inspiration to thousands of victims of state terror and a warning to those hiding under the cloak of state impunity,” said Dennis Abarrientos, Secretary-General of KARAPATAN-CV.

In an 8-page decision, Judge Ceasar Estrera found Alfeche, “in confabulation with his companions Lochimbar Rojo, Vicente Maglasang, and Renato Sevilla, conspired to kidnap and then mercilessly kill the victims as they were all tagged as “NPAs.””

The court sentenced Alfeche to reclusion perpetua and ordered him to indemnify the peasant family a total of P200,000.

Rojo and Sevilla were earlier convicted for the same crimes.

The case arose from an AFP counter-insurgency operation on 12 May, 1991, at 3PM, in Lobo, Baye, Asturias, when the vigilantes abducted Rowena Pastorite, 11, Rosalie Durado, 14, Jerry Durado, 15, and Regalado Durado, 53, leader of the now-defunct Panaghugpong sa Mag-uuma sa Sugbo (PAMASU).

The perpetrators shot Regalado and raped Rosalie.  They dragged Regalado, Rosalie and Jerry and set their bodies on fire.

Rowena Pastorite remains missing.  She is one of the 21 desaparecidos in Cebu since Cory Aquino’s presidency.

also see background story…

or this related article…


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