Freedom from Torture Campaigns
Urgent Appeal by OMCT
On Torture
Thursday, 21 January 2010 16:03

Alleged torture and ill-treatment of four members, inlcuding a minor, of an indigenous tribe, as well as of a local trader by members of the Philippines Army

Case PHL 060110/ PHL 060110.CC

Alleged torture and ill-treatment/ Death threats/ Arbitrary arrest and detention/ Fear for safety and risk of impunity

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the Philippines.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the detention and alleged torture and other ill-treatment of four members, including a minor, of an indigenous tribe called “Dumagat”, namely J. A.[1], 17 years old, Mr. Rolan Corpuz, 20 years old, Mr. Ricky Torres, 21 years old, and Mr. Lolit Agbayani, as well as of a local trader of Barangay Mukalapa, Mr. Edwin Buryo, around 30 years old.

According to the information received, Mr. Rolan Corpuz, Mr. Ricky Torres, Mr. Lolit Agbayani, Mr. Edwin Buryo and J. A. were detained by about ten fully-armed military personnel, alleged to be members of the Philippines Army, on 1 December 2009 at 6:00pm, in Barangay Dikapinisan. They were staying in a house of a certain “Jun”, after days of hunting nests of a rare bird in Dingalan Town, Province of Aurora.

According to the same information received, Mr. Rolan Corpuz, Mr. Ricky Torres, Mr. Lolit Agbayani, Mr. Edwin Buryo and J. A. were frisked by the military and asked to present a residence certificate. After they failed to present any identification, the military reportedly brought them to a place that the abovementioned victims identified as “Kampo” (Camp). At the said place, they claim to have been tortured and ill-treated.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 16:16
Indigenous Peoples Tortured during Human Rights Week, A Shameless Violation of the Anti-Torture Law (RA 9745)
On Torture
Monday, 28 December 2009 10:42

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) strongly condemns the acts of torture perpetrated by military personnel against 4 Dumagats and 1 Tagalog in Dingalan, Aurora.

It is a despicable violation of RA 9745 otherwise known as “The Anti-Torture Act”.  It is a continuing abuse of human rights that challenges the government’s political will to stop the use of torture in the Philippines and among its ranks completely by enforcing the law and putting its perpetrators before the bars of justice.

This recent commission of torture by military men shows how deeply rooted the culture of impunity is in the country.  It is a showcase of how fearless the military are in violating a non-derogable right that is not only internationally unacceptable but now punishable through the recently enacted RA 9745.

The torture of Junjun Acleto, Rolan Corpuz, Ricky Torres and Lolit Agbayani, all Dumagats and Edwin Borreo, a Tagalog, that took place from December 1 to 4, 2009 while the world was celebrating Human Rights week, is a grave affront to human rights and an insult to laws of the land. It is an addition to the Philippine government’s record of inability to protect its people.     

Or shall we say a proof of government’s lack of will and genuine concern to really stop the use of torture among its rank.

Torture was used against the five (5) victims to make them confess their alleged involvement with a rebel group (NPA).  For four days victims were physically and mentally abused after being illegally arrested. They were forced to reveal an alleged hiding place of firearms of the NPA after they were kicked and punched in different parts of their body and were manhandled for every unacceptable response and were threatened to be killed. According to the five they were also threatened to be beheaded if they would not cooperate.

RA 9745 was a product of decades of lobby and campaign to protect the people from torture which has been consistently and strongly denied by government.  Now that torture is officially a crime under Philippine law, we call on the government to act immediately and impose this law against its erring military personnel. Let this case be a test of government’s sincerity in doing away with torture.

The “Anti-Torture Act” was a real milestone for a government with a bad human rights performance but implementing it is another matter.  Justice for victims may now be available if government exercises its political will. But jailing its own abusive military personnel is alarmingly the next big question. The ball is in government’s hands and there can be no time out for torturers!

Justice for torture victims!
Enforce RA 9745!
Break impunity! Jail torturers!

December 28, 2009

Last Updated on Monday, 28 December 2009 10:47
5 Dumagats to file torture charges vs military
On Torture
Saturday, 12 December 2009 17:39

12/11/2009 | 10:40 PM

Five members of the indigenous Dumagat tribe are set to file torture charges against members of the military who allegedly abducted and subjected them to physical abuse in Aurora province last week.

The alleged victims – Rolan Corpuz, Junjun Acleto, Ricky Torres, Lolit Agbayani, and Edwin Buryo – claimed they were abducted by 10 fully-armed military personnel last December 1 in the province's Barangay Mukalapa on suspicion that they were members of the New People’s Army.

The Dumagats claimed that the alleged abductors kicked and punched them several times while being held captive, before they were eventually released four days later.

Major General Ireneo Espino of the Philippine Army's 7th Infantry Division in Aurora, however, told GMANews.TV that he was not aware of the incident involving military personnel under his command.

“We will have to check on that. This is the only time I heard of such an incident," he said in a phone interview.

The Dumagats, who were flown to Manila through the help of non-government organizations are now in the custody of a priest in Quezon City and are readying torture charges against their alleged abductors.

“We want this to be the test case of the Anti-Torture Law recently signed by President (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo. Natatakot na silang bumalik sa lugar nila dahil sa nangyari (They are already afraid to go back to their place because of what happened)," Task Force Detainees of the Philippines' Rommel Yamzon told GMANews.TV in a phone interview on Friday.

President Arroyo signed last month Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law, which criminalizes torture and other inhuman forms of punishment.

The said law defines torture as an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for purposes such as obtaining information, or intimidating another person.

Yamzon also that the victims would also petition for a writ of amparo to ensure their protection. - ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2009 17:42
Five Persons Were Abducted and Tortured in Dingalan, Aurora Province
On Torture
Saturday, 12 December 2009 09:00



The victims from indigenous tribe called “Dumagat”, namely: Rolan Corpuz, 20; Jun-jun Acleto, 17; Ricky Torres, 21; Lolit Agbayani; and a local trader who is Edwin Buryo, 30+, of Barangay Mukalapa were abducted at around 6:00pm on December 1, 2009  happened in Barangay Dikapinisan while staying in a house of a certain “Jun”, after days of hunting nest of a rare bird called “Layang-layang”.

According to the victims, they were surprised when they were apprehended by around 10 fully-armed military personnel without any reason. They said that they were frisked by the military and asked them to present a residence certificate for their identification. After they failed to present a residence certificate, the military brought them to their detachment. At said place, they claimed that they were tortured.

The victims said that they were tied separately in four cornered posts of the detachment. The military told them to cooperate and confirm their knowledge about the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) in the area. They even offered Rolan P10,000.00 as a reward once he reveal the place where armed rebels kept their ammunitions. He appealed to the military that they do know nothing about it and that they were in the area just for hunting. Irked with his answer, the interrogator choked Rolan. After a few seconds, he was pushed and simultaneously kicked in the chest, stomach and back by two military personnel. Then the military took their attention on Ricky. He was also kicked several times in different parts of the body which was witnessed by Rolan. Jun-jun on the other hand was punched in the stomach and was whipped by a certain “Sergeant Moreno” using a steel pipe. The military threatened to kill each one of them if they unable to divulge any knowledge about the armed rebel group. At this stage, Rolan was terrified and eventually forced to admit that he is a NPA member.

On December 2, the victims were accompanied by the military towards the mountain they called “Balagbag” in Barangay Alasanay to search for the firearms supposedly buried by Rolan. The military tied their waist and hands by a rope to ensure that they will not escape. They were with the military for two days in the forest and were also forced to act as guide in identifying the NPA’s hideouts.

On December 3, 2009, Lolit and Rolan were able to escape from their captors. Rolan was able slip down a cliff near a river away and immediately went towards a small passenger vessel going towards Brgy. Kabog. Rolan went right away to the place of Fr. Pete Montallana in Barangay Ibona to call for help. Rolan said that until now he has no information as to where Lolit is including her present situation.

On December 5, Jun-jun, Ricky and Edwin were released by the military.

Rolan, Jun-jun and Edwin are presently here in Manila and in custody of Fr. Pete Montallana who is planning to file charges against the perpetrators together with other non-government organizations.

Contact Person:

Rommel Yamzon, RDIP-Luzon
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
45 St. Mary Street, Cubao Quezon City
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2009 09:05
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