May 14, 2012
Rights Lawyers Slam Military for Distorting Reality
Incredible testimony of the ‘Morong 5’ will wilt before their original spontaneous and voluntary accounts
“The military’s latest statement that there was no torture defies logic and distorts reality.”
This was the statement of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyer (NUPL) Panel of Private Prosecutors through its Secretary General Atty. Edre Olalia after it was reported that five of the Morong 43 health workers — who admitted under duress to being communist guerrillas — refuted the charge of torture that was alleged in the criminal complaint filed in the Department of Justice on May 4, 2012.
Aside from violation of the Anti-Torture Act, the complaint alleges violation of the rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation and robbery. “They should study the law well to know what constitutes torture if they continue to pretend not to realize it,” Olalia said.
The complaint impleads former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who ironically signed into law in November 2009 the Anti-Torture Act. Also named as respondents were Gen. Victor Ibrado, Gen. Delfin Bangit and other military and police officials.
“The five left with the military have graduated from being tortured to their wits end to being pampered to their endless delight. They should be ashamed of themselves,” Olalia said. He added, “Their subsequent incredible testimony will wilt before the light of their original spontaneous and voluntary accounts of how they were dehumanized by their tormentors and now present handlers.”
The five who, according to news reports, will testify for the military previously attested that they were tortured and forced to admit that they are New People’s Army members. Their testimony is at the very least questionable after they have been kept in the custody of the military.
The NUPL and the Public Interest Law Center are also the counsel of the Morong 43 in their Habeas Corpus case pending with the Supreme Court since March 2010, in their complaint with the Commission on Human Rights pending since February 2010, and in the civil case for damages they filed before a Quezon City Regional Trial Court in April 2011.
Reference: Atty. Edre U. Olalia, Secretary General, 0917511337