Two youth volunteers arbitrarily arrested in Carranglan town, Nueva Ecija province

Free Geary and Guilly!

 

Case:        Illegal Arrest and Detention    

Victim/s:

  1. GUILLER MARTIN SANTOS CADANO, Male, 24, years old, member of ANAKBAYAN, volunteer researcher and organizer of  Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL)
  2. GERALD HERNANDEZ SALONGA, Male, 24 years old, researcher/organizer of Kabataan Partylist


Place of Incident:            Sitio Pimmaco, Brgy. TL Padilla, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija

Date of Incident:            August 9, 2014

Alleged Perpetrator(s):      Members of the Philippines Army Scout Ranger, 3rd Infantry Battalion under the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army

Account of the Incident:

Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano are members and organizers of Kabataan Partylist and Anakbayan. They are volunteers of the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) conducting research on the life and plight of farmers in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. Both stayed in the province and interviewed farmers for several months before they were illegally arrested.

On August 7, 2014 Cadano returned to Brgy. TL Padilla, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija after visiting his family in Metro Manila. He had fever and a skin boil, but he wanted to finish his research for the AMGL’s documentation.  Both Cadano and Salonga stayed with a local farmer known to them as “Kuya Jeffrey.”

On August 9, 2014, Cadano and Salonga stayed in their host’s house to finalize their paper. At around 1:00 p.m., Cadano and Salonga were watching a DVD film with their host when they heard someone shout “Raid!” Immediately after, soldiers forcibly entered the house and held the two at gunpoint. Cadano and Salonga were ordered to lie face down while they were blindfolded and their wrists tightly cuffed behind their backs. Before he was blindfolded, Salonga was able to read patches of “Scout Ranger,” “3rd IB” and “7th ID” on the mens’ uniforms.

Salonga and Cadano were dragged into separate vehicles.

Inside the vehicle, the military put earphones on Salonga while the armed men threatened to hurt him and ordered him to cooperate. Salonga was taken to an undisclosed location and was forced to admit, out of fear, that he and Cadano had firearms.

The military asked Salonga several questions such as where the NPA members were, where their firearms were deposited. Later, Salonga’s interrogators brought him to another place. His blindfold was removed and was photographed with firearms, papers and bullets in front of him.

In another vehicle, Cadano’s handcuffs and blindfold were tied tightly, hurting him. The military men accused him and Salonga as NPA members and asked where his firearms were. One of his captors told him they found a gun inside his bag. However, Cadano knew his bag only contained his clothes, toiletries, a portable speaker, wallet, cellphone, pen and writing pads and several identification cards including his school ID from the University of the Philippines. His belongings were taken from him. Fearing for his life, he was forced to admit that he is a member of the  NPA.

Cadano did not know where his captors took him. He was also interrogated about the NPA in the areas they went to in Caranglan. He was asked who his recruiter was and about the guns he supposedly used. Fearing he will be tortured or killed, Cadano made up answers to tell the military.

About 10 hours later, Cadano and Salonga were brought to the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Cabanatuan City, where their blindfolds were removed. At around 4:00 a.m. of August 10, the two were brought to General Hospital in Brgy. Daang Sarile, Cabanatuan City for a medical check-up. Cadano’s boils were also treated. They were returned to the jail afterwards.

In the morning of August 10, 2014, their families, accompanied by members of  Karapatan-Central Luzon Quick Reaction Team (QRT), proceeded to the PPSC Jail.  Only the families were allowed to see them.

The arrest of Cadano and Salonga was warrantless.

The PNP officials and those from the 3rd IB and 7th ID of the Philippine Army claimed in their affidavits that standing warrants of arrest were issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 39 in San Jose City for murder; and RTC branch 38 also in San Jose City for attempted murder. But said warrant was issued against a certain Ely Agbaliw Taray. The warrants of arrest were supposed to be served in Barangay Padilla, Carranglan town but upon reaching the area, the PNP and the AFP instead arrested Cadano and Salonga.

Later in the morning, Cadano and Salonga were brought to the house of a certain Prosecutor Edwin S. Bonifacio for inquest. It was only then that the two were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives (Violations of RA 10591 and 9516).

The murder and attempted murder case against a certain “Ely Agbaliw Taray” are the same fabricated charges against Leopoldo Caloza, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines who was arrested in 2006 and is currently detained in Taguig City.

In the afternoon of August 10, Cadano and Salonga underwent booking process at the precinct – their mugshots and fingerprints were taken. Some TV news crew members also arrived at the station. The PPSC Deputy Officer interviewed Cadano and Salonga and asked them the same incriminating questions. The two did not contradict the PNP’s claims out of fear.

On August 11, 2014, the two were boarded in a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) van and brought to the Provincial PNP headquarters in Cabanatuan City. The police took video and photographs of Cadano and Salonga standing beside a sackful of firearms.

Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano are both youth activists of Anakbayan and Kabataan Partylist from the University of the PhilippinesDiliman Extension Program in Pampanga. Cadano, a member of the Pi Sigma fraternity, graduated with business administration degree at the State University where Salonga, of the Sigma Kappa Pi fraternity, is also a graduating psychology student.

According to Salonga, he volunteered with the peasant group AMGL because he wants to learn more about the plight of the farmers and to be able to use what he studied in school to help the farmers.##

UA Date:    29 August 2014

Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

  1. The immediate release of Gerald Salonga and Guiller Martin Cadano
  2. Immediately withdraw the charge of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Cadano and Salonga.
  3. The Philippine Government to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major human rights instruments that it is a party and signatory to.
  4. To stop political persecution, illegal arrests, and detention of perceived enemies of the Philippine Government.

You may send your communications to:

 

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III

President of the Republic

Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph


Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles

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) 638 2216

stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph


Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600

Fax:+63(2) 982-5600

Email: osnd@philonline.com, dnd.opla@gmail.com


Atty. Leila De Lima

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-1908

Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.211/214

Fax: (+632) 523-9548

Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com


Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com, lorettann@gmail.com

 

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