Military must be accountable for guard's illegal arrest
Military must be accountable for guard's illegal arrest
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - August 30, 2013 - 3:40pm

MANILA, Philippines - Rights group Karapatan on Friday said officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should be held liable for the illegal arrest and detention of a security guard mistaken for a high ranking official of the communist movement.

The group made the statement after the Court of Appeals granted the petition of writ of habeas corpus of security guard Rolly Panesa.
 
The appellate court also ordered the release of Panesa from jail after languishing for 10 months and 24 days in detention, Karapatan said.
 
"AFP Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista, Southern Luzon Commander Maj. General Alan Luga and all military and police officials involved in the illegal arrest, torture and detention of Panesa should be charged with violations of the Anti-Torture Law and Republic Act 7438 or the Rights of the Arrested or Detained Persons," the group's secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
 
Karapatan said that in Oct. 5, 2012, Panesa, his common-law wife and two other companions, were arrested by elements of the military and police in Quezon City and taken to Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna.
 
The group claimed that Panesa was tortured and accused by the AFP as "Benjamin Mendoza," a ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army.
 
Military spokespersons and Bautista issued statements justifying the arrest and detention of Panesa.
 
Karapatan assisted the Panesa family in filing the petition for writ of habeas corpus in Oct. 28, 2012, before the Supreme Court, which referred the case to the CA.
 
"The CA ruling affirmed our position that Panesa’s illegal arrest is a case of mistaken identity; a proof that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) practices illegal arrest, filing of trumped-up charges, torture and illegal detention against activists and ordinary individuals; and that the AFP twisted this case for a P5.6million racket, packaged as reward, at the expense of Panesa’s rights," Palabay said.
 
Karapatan said Panesa should immediately be released from the Security Intensive Care Area of the Metro Manila District Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where he is still detained.

ANTI-TORTURE LAW AND REPUBLIC ACT ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BENJAMIN MENDOZA CAMP BAGONG DIWA CAMP VICENTE LIM CHIEF OF STAFF EMMANUEL BAUTISTA KARAPATAN PANESA
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