Elderly NDF consultant dies in detention

Jan. 08, 2016

DAVAO CITY – An elderly peace consultant of the National Democratic Front died Friday morning after another episode of cardiac arrest.

Eduardo Serrano passed away at 8:00 am at the Philippine Heart Center where he was rushed after a cardiac arrest. Serrano was earlier rushed to a hospital on December 16 last year due to a heart attack.

Serrano is among the 561 political prisoners in the country. He was arrested in 2004 in Batangas and was facing criminal charges.

Serrano has been detained for more than 11 years now based on multiple criminal charges meant for a certain Rogelio Villanueva.

On November 26, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court-Branch 100 acquitted Serrano of the charges of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder, crimes attributed to “Rogelio Villanueva”. Judge Editha G. Mina-Aguda said the prosecution failed to prove Serrano’s guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.” The court viewed the witnesses’ testimonies as “either imagined or trumped-up.”

In October, the QC RTC Branch 98 Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang also ruled that accused Rogelio Villanueva is not the same person as Eduardo Serrano; and Serrano should therefore be immediately released. The Branch 98’s October resolution said Serrano’s arrest and detention for 11 years is an “outright mockery of the basic human rights on due process of law which is enshrined in our Constitution.”

However, Karapatan said Serrano faces two more similar trumped-up criminal charges of multiple frustrated murder at the QC RTC Branch 215 and kidnapping at Branch 97 which are up for resolution early this year.

A tribute for Serrano is scheduled on January 10 in University of the Philippines in Diliman and on January 12 in UP Los Baños Laguna where he graduated. His remains will be returned to his hometown in Bicol province. (davaotoday.com)

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