UTRECHT — ? The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Friday filed formal complaints before a special body of the United Nations for the enforced disappearance of two NDFP personnel and charged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and nine of her senior security officials as responsible for the disappearances.
Luis G. Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel to the peace negotiations with the GRP, filed two complaints on 27 April before the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID) for the abduction by armed men and enforced disappearance of NDFP consultant Rogelio Calubad and his son Gabriel on 17 June 2006 in Calauag, Quezon province; and of NDFP staff member Leopoldo Ancheta on 24 June 2006 in Guiguinto, Bulacan province.
Mr. Jalandoni charged GRP President Gloria Arroyo as responsible for the enforced disappearances, citing the universally recognized and applicable principle of command responsibility, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Also charged as perpetrators for the disappearance of NDFP consultant Calubad and his son Gabriel are AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.; PNP Chief, Director General Oscar Calderon; AFP Southern Luzon Command Chief, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano; Chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), Commodore Leonardo C. Calderon, Jr.; PNP Intelligence Group Chief, Senior Superintendent Romeo Ricardo; and Chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Chief Superintendent Jesus Versoza.
Included as perpetrators for the disappearance of NDFP staff Ancheta are Arroyo?s National Security Adviser, Secretary Norberto Gonzales; AFP Northern Luzon Command Chief, Maj. Gen. Bonifacio Ramos; then commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Jovito Palparan; PNP Regional Director, Chief Superintendent Ismael Rafanan; General Esperon; Director General Calderon; Commodore Calderon, Jr.; Chief Superintendent Verzosa; and Senior Superintendent Ricardo.
According to Mr. Jalandoni, the UNWGEID complaints further highlight the gross and systematic violations of human rights perpetrated by the Arroyo regime. The complaints, he stressed, ?hold Mrs. Gloria Arroyo and her generals responsible on the basis of command responsibility, and serve to intensify the international pressure on her regime to surface the involuntarily disappeared.?
Mr. Jalandoni provided the UN special body with detailed accounts of the disappearances and additional documents to substantiate the charges, namely, the verdict on 25 March of the Permanent Peoples? Tribunal Second Session on the Philippines which found Mrs. Arroyo guilty of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other gross violations of the rights of the Filipino people, declaring that these qualify as crimes against humanity; the 21 February press statement of UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Prof. Philip Alston, declaring that ?the AFP remains in a state of almost total denial of its need to respond effectively and authentically to the significant number of killings which have been convincingly attributed to them?; Prof. Alston?s 27 March report to the UN Human Rights Council, denouncing the use of ?Orders of Battle? by the AFP, a practice which labels individuals and groups as enemies of the state and then targets th
em for assassination and political repression; and a case study of the enforced disappearance of Lourdes Rubrico, 63, abducted, illegally detained and tortured by AFP elements in April 2007.
Mr. Jalandoni explained that ?Nay Ude? Rubrico was abducted 3 April, and was tortured and illegally detained for seven days inside the Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas. She was released ?only after she signed a document saying that she agrees to be an ?asset? of military intelligence officers?.
Ms. Rubrico recently filed charges before the Ombudsman against Capt. Angelo Cuaresma, Ruben Alfaro, Jimmy Santana and a certain Jonathan of the Philippine Air Force intelligence, and Major Darwin Sy of the Philippine Army whose vehicle was used in her abduction. Cuaresma belongs to the 301st Air Intelligence and Security Squadron of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), which is based in Fernando Air Base.
Mr. Jalandoni revealed that the NDFP Negotiating Panel is also preparing to file complaints for the enforced disappearance of its other consultants and staff and their immediate families, including Prudencio Calubid, his wife Celina Palma, and their companions Gloria Soco and Ariel Beloy, who were abducted on 26 June 2006; and Leo Velasco, who was abducted on 19 February 2007. #
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