Military torturers of detained security guard are still lying through their teeth

"The fact that the Court Appeals have ruled that Rolly Panesa is his person and not of Benjamin Mendoza, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been proven to have lied about Panesa's identity. The military is still lying in their defence to charges of torture, perjury and incriminatory machination," Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said during the pre-trial hearing of Rolly Panesa's case filed against false witnesses and military officials who arrested him based on the warrant for Mendoza. 
 
Rolly Panesa, a security guard for decades, was arrested on October 5, 2012 in Quezon City. He was alleged to be Mendoza whom the military accused as a New People's Army leader in Southern Tagalog. Panesa's common law wife Marites Chioco filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court. Chioco and his lawyers from the National Union of People's Lawyers were able to present strong evidences to prove Panesa is not Mendoza, resulting to the CA decision granting the plea stated in the writ and ordering the release of Panesa, after almost eleven (11) months of detention. 
 
During today's hearing at the Department of Justice, Lt.Gen. Alan R. Luga of the AFP, Atty. Alex Alberto Popanes of Office of Army Judge Advocate, Maj. Gen. Generoso Bolina  of the Philippine Army and witnesses Luis Grajo Rayos, Micheal Rojo Alvarado and Erwin Rosales are expected to swear in before the prosecutor to attest their counter-affidavits as respondents to the counter charges against them. 
 
Maj. Gen. Bolina, who is facing the charge of perjury, said that he was only doing his job when he made a press release of the capture of Rolly Panesa. He said in his counter-affidavit that his information was based on official documents in their office and based on their witnesses' accounts. Atty. Popanes, who is facing the charge of incriminatory machination said the same thing: he was doing his job as legal counsel of the respondents. Maj. Gen. Luga, on the other hand vehemently denied in his counter affidavit that he ordered the arrest of Panesa thus taking his hands off from charges of torture against him. 
“These military officers have been taking us all for a ride since Day One of Panesa’s arrest. The charges levelled against Bolina and Popanes are clear – that they are direct parties in the torture and illegal detention of Panesa. If they say that what they have done is in the course of performing their duties, then it just bolsters the view that torture and illegal detention are policy practices of the AFP. Luga’s alibi, on the other hand, is another feeble and malicious excuse to evade command responsibility, of which he is liable as the Southern Luzon Command chief during the arrest of Panesa. It is ludicrous for Luga to claim innocence when his troops directly participated in his arrest, torture and detention of Panesa, whose arrest was hailed by the AFP as their achievement,” Palabay commented
 
The "false witnesses," as Karapatan called the three rebel returnees, attested that they knew Benjamin Mendoza and that he is Panesa. These three witnesses Rayos, Alvarado and Rosales were made as reference to all the accusations against Panesa's identity. 
 
"May I advise Rayos, Alvarado and Rosales to break the chain of lies and tell the truth: That they are being forced to say Panesa is Mendoza to justify the illegal arrest, torture and detention. Tell the truth before they become the fall guys. Their claims, as basis of Panesa's arrest, have already been proven false,” Palabay warned. 
 
Karapatan accused the BS Aquino administration of “perpetuating lies to cover up its rights violations, to portray that the human rights situation in the country is fine and dandy. The more lies, the more accountability you have to face," Palabay concluded, addressing Pres. BS Aquino and the AFP.