Officers involved in torture, abduction of security guard arraigned

Feb. 24, 2015

The police officers in the abduction, torture and illegal detention of security guard Rolly Panesa will be arraigned Monday at the Municipal Trial Court-Calamba City for charges of less serious physical injuries based on the resolution issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 11, 2014.

According to human rights group Karapatan, Panesa is a security guard of Megaforce Security who was abducted on October 5, 2012.

“He was tortured to forced him to admit that he is “Benjamin Mendoza” whom the military alleged as a high-ranking CPP official with a 5.6 million peso bounty,” the group said.

On September 4, 2013, upon his release, Panesa filed charges before the DOJ against all those involved in his abduction and torture under the Anti-Torture Act, Violation of rights of arrested persons, unlawful arrest, incriminatory machination and perjury.

However, the DOJ, in its June 2014 resolution, downgraded the case to “less serious physical injuries” and charged only four of the named respondents: Insp. Bonifacio Guevarra, SPO1 Christopher Flores, P02 Ariel Dela Cruz and P02 Joseph M. Fernandez.

In its resolution, the DOJ said there is violation of the anti-torture law by these state security forces but at the same time clarified there is no physical torture, as defined under the law.  The injuries sustained by Panesa, the resolution said, were merely “superficial much less not severe.”

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